OCBC Home Loan Review: Calculator, Refinance, Home Loan Rates

OCBC Home Loan Review: Calculator, Refinance, Home Loan Rates

Those currently house-shopping will understand the pains of financing their new homes. First, you have to decide between a bank mortgage or HDB loan. Then, if you chose the former, you have to settle on a preferred bank and package.

If you’re in the market for a home loan rate, here’s an overview of OCBC home loan rates and what it has to offer.

Generally, most banks’ have streamlined their home loan packages in light of the increasing interest rates, and only differ slightly in terms of their package types.

Contents

      1. Overview of OCBC Home Loan
      2. OCBC Home Loan Calculator
      3. OCBC Home Loan Rate: Fixed Interest Rate
      4. OCBC Home Loan Rate: Floating Interest Rate (1M SORA)
      5. OCBC Home Loan Rate: Eco Care Home Loan
      6. OCBC Home Loan Repricing
      7. OCBC Home Loan Refinance
      8. Home Loan Rates: OCBC vs DBS vs UOB
      9. OCBC Home Loan Hotline

1. OCBC Home Loan: Summary

In the past, like most banks, OCBC had 3 popular types of home loans — fixed, floating (3M SIBOR), and floating (MBR) rate. However, that has since been streamlined to 2 types of home loan packages:

OCBC Home Loan What it is 
Fixed Rate OCBC determines the rate for up to 3 years, switches to floating rate thereafter 
Floating (1M SORA) Rate Pegged to 1-Month SORA, which is a market rate (i.e. not determined by any single bank) 

Fixed rates are as the name suggests — they’re stable rates that are “locked” for up to 3 years, depending on your package. In contrast, floating rates fluctuate as they are pegged to the 1-month SORA as a benchmark and can go up and, or down.

Previously, some banks used to differentiate their home loan packages based on your property type too. But for OCBC mortgages, it doesn’t matter if you’re looking to purchase a HDB, condo, or private property.

However, the eligibility for fixed or floating rates is still dependent on the nature of the property you’re purchasing:

Property Type  OCBC Home Loans Available
HDB BTO (under construction)  Floating 
Private property (under construction)  Floating
HDB flat (resale or built BTO) Fixed or floating 
Private property (built)  Fixed or floating 

Note that if you are financing a property that is still under construction (BTO or BUC) you can only choose from floating rates.

All that sound like gibberish to you? Fret not, we’ll get into each OCBC home loan type later.

2. OCBC Home Loan Calculator

OCBC Home Loan Calculator is a comprehensive calculator that gives you a rundown on how much you can borrow based on you and your spouse’s income, age, and financial status. It also does go on to provide a general breakdown of how much interest you will be paying based on its fixed and floating rate home loan packages.

For instance, if you and your spouse have a combined annual income of $120,000 and want to know if you can afford your dream house – a $490,000 4-room Bidadari HDB BTO, this OCBC home loan calculator will show you just that. On top of which, it will breakdown the monthly payments.

You’ll start the process by answering some key information:

  • I earn: $5,000/month
  • My spouse earns: $5,000/month
  • Other credit card payments/ current loans? No
  • CPF/ Cash you currently have: Assume $45,000
  • CPF / Cash your spouse currently have: Assume $45,000
  • Property type: HDB

As it turns out, you’ll be $44,800 short in funds for the initial downpayment.

You’ll need to pay:

  • Downpayment (20% CPF, 5% cash)  + fees (legal fees, valuation fees, stamp duty): $134,800

Considering your finances and the home you’re looking to buy:

  • Maximum bank home loan quantum: $367,500
  • Loan tenure: 25 years
  • Average monthly repayments: $1,739 (at 2.98% p.a.)

The calculator also has the option of a more detailed report where they further breakdown the interest rates into:

OCBC Home Loan: 2-year fixed rate
Year Interest rate Monthly payment
Year 1 – Year 2 2.98% $1,739
Year 3 2.02% $1,573
Thereafter 2.42% $1,638

 

OCBC Home Loan: 1M SORA
Year Interest rate Monthly payment
Year 1 – Year 2 1.80% $1,522
Year 3 1.82% $1,525
Thereafter 1.82% $1,525

The 1M SORA rates used for the above calculations are 0.82%p.a.. Do note that as of 12 July 2022, the 1M SORA is 1.469%. While the OCBC calculator gives you an overview, it’s not the most accurate when doing the math for the floating rate home loan package.

If you’re looking for more detailed information that’s up to date, you would be better off speaking to a home loan specialist. That said, the OCBC OneAdvisor Affordability Calculator does as its name suggests by computing for you whether you have enough monies to buy your dream home.

3. OCBC Home Loan Rate: Fixed Interest Rates

The first type of OCBC home loan package is the fixed interest rate mortgage. Right now, it is 2.98% for year 1 and 2. After that, it is pegged to a floating rate benchmarked by the 1-Month SORA.

OCBC Home Loan: 2-year fixed rate
Year 1 – Year 2 2.98% p.a.
Year 3 1M SORA + 1.20% p.a.
Thereafter 1M SORA + 1.60% p.a.

How it works is that OCBC sets the fixed rate, which you will enjoy for 2 years before it switches to a floating rate. That means you will enjoy fixed mortgage repayments and protection against fluctuations for the initial few years. Thereafter, the interest rate will be dependant on the changing 1M SORA rate.

An important point to note is that for OCBC’s fixed rate home loan packages, you will be penalised if you redeem your loan or sell your property during the lock-in period. Fixed rates are available for completed properties only.

4. OCBC Home Loan Rate: Floating Interest Rate (1M SORA)

Next, floating interest rates. These are tied to another index known as the 1-Month SORA. Unlike other local banks which peg their floating interest rates to the 3-Month SORA, OCBC’s rates are dependent on the 1-Month SORA.

So…what’s the difference?

While 3-Month SORA is the 3-month compounded SORA rate, the 1-month SORA is the 1-month compounded SORA rate. The latter is more prone to fluctuations given the faster monthly turnover as opposed to a 3-month turnover. At a time when interest rates are on an incline, a 1-Month SORA might not be in your favour given its volatility.

For SORA-linked floating rates, the interest rate will be the 1-Month SORA, plus a fixed spread. Currently, the OCBC rates are:

OCBC Home Loan: 2-year lock-in 1M SORA + 0.98%
Year 1 – Year 2 1M SORA + 0.98% p.a.
Year 3 1M SORA + 1% p.a.
Thereafter 1M SORA + 1% p.a.

*As of 12 July 2022, the 1M SORA is 1.4690%.

Currently, at 2.449% p.a., OCBC’s floating home loan package rate is inching very close to HDB’s. Given that the 1M SORA rates have been on an incline and if the economic climate is anything to go by, floating home loans may no longer be attractive if interest rates surpasses the benchmark 2.6% p.a. HDB loan.

It doesn’t help that the 1-Month SORA rate fluctuates from month to month. If you have a weak heart or little discipline to follow the interest rates market, you may want to pass on this.

In the good ol days, you could pick from 3- or 6-month packages, which means the rates are only reviewed every 3 or 6 months respectively. You no longer have that choice now. OCBC’s floating rate packages are by default based on the 1M SORA. Boo-hoo.

5. OCBC Home Loan Rates: Eco Care Home Loan

If you’ve taken the time to read the Singapore Green Plan 2030, you probably already know that green efforts are high up on the government’s agenda. Even if you aren’t an environmental warrior, OCBC’s Eco Care Home Loan might prompt you to look into green-proofing your house. Doesn’t hurt that’ll you’ll be saving tons given that electricity prices have also spiked.

Whether your home is sustainable or not is measured by the Tropical Home Energy Efficiency Assessment. The online test will essentially take you 2 minutes at most where you’ll answer a series of questions about your home appliances like:

  • Will you be using fans in the living room?
  • Will you be using any hot water electric heat pump?
  • Will you be using any solar window film?

According to OCBC’s website, if you do meet the sustainable standards, you’ll be entitled to a promotional 1-Month SORA pricing package. However, it is not explicitly stated what the promotional pricing package is and how much more you’d actually save under the Eco Care Home Loan.

Is your house eligible for the OCBC Eco Home Loan? HDB can apply? Yes, HDB can apply. You’re eligible for the OCBC Eco Home Loan if you are aged 21 and above, and your minimum loan amount is:

  • Private Home: $300,000 and above
  • HDB: $200,000 and above

6. OCBC Home Loan Repricing

There are many not so great things about taking a home loan from a bank but there are also a few good things. One of which is the option of repricing your home loan at the end of your existing loan’s lock-in period. This means that at the end of the 2 or 3 years lock-in period, switching to a new home loan package from the same bank is an option.

You’ll be eligible to reprice your existing OCBC home loan, if:

  • You’re at least 3 months before the end of your lock-in period
  • You have at least $100,000 in remaining loan
  • You have a minimum remaining loan tenure of 5 years

To reprice your home loans with OCBC, it’s a fairly fuss-free 3-step process:

Step 1: Ensure that you meet the above-stated requirements to be eligible to reprice your home loan and apply here with Singpass

Step 2: Review the new interest rate package

Step 3: Accept your repricing offer

However, OCBC does not explicitly state the repricing home loan packages on its website. If the offers from the other banks are any indication, you can expect OCBC’s reprice home loan packages to be just as attractive (if not slightly advantageous) to retain existing customers.

While repricing your home loans with the same bank incurs far less cost than refinancing your home loan with another bank, you might still incur a one-time processing fee of $500 unless your existing contract states otherwise. If you opt to reprice your home loan package before the lock-in period is up, you can also expect to incur additional payment.

7. OCBC Home Loan Refinance

The other option that you have is to refinance your home loan at the end of the lock-in period of your home loan package. Refinancing, unlike repricing, entails converting to a home loan package with another bank to leverage on a lower interest rate. When you refinance your home loan with OCBC, you’ll be offered the same home loan packages as new OCBC customers.

The following are the home loan packages:

OCBC home loans fixed interest rates:

OCBC Home Loan: 2-year fixed rate
Year 1 – Year 2 2.98% p.a.
Year 3 1M SORA + 1.20% p.a.
Thereafter 1M SORA + 1.60% p.a.

OCBC home loans floating interest rates:

OCBC Home Loan: 2-year fixed rate
Year 1 – Year 2 1M SORA + 0.98% p.a.
Year 3 1M SORA + 1% p.a.
Thereafter 1M SORA + 1% p.a.

While you might be changing over to a home loan package with another bank that’s offering lower interest rates, don’t forget that you’ll incur thousands in lawyer fees when you refinance from one bank to another. One way to get past losing an arm and a leg on legal fees is requesting for free legal services from the bank you intend to switch to. If you’re intending to do so, look into it early – 3 months is a good benchmark.

Also, refinancing is a great way to make sure you’re getting the best deals out there. A point to note, you do not have the option of switching over to a HDB loan. After you get a bank home loan, the HDB home loan ship would have sailed.

8. Home Loan Rates: OCBC vs DBS vs UOB

Let’s have a look at how the home loan rates compare across the more popular banks in Singapore which are DBS home loan, UOB home loan, and OCBC:

Fixed Rate Floating Rate (SORA)
DBS Home Loan 2-year fixed at 2.75%

3-year fixed at 2.75%

2-year lock-in:

3M SORA + 1% p.a.

OCBC Home Loan 2-year fixed at 2.98% Year 1 – Year 2:

1M SORA + 0.98% p.a.

UOB Home Loan 2-year fixed at 2.98% Year 1 – Year 2:

3M SORA + 0.80% p.a.

The main difference between OCBC’s floating home loan packages and that of UOB and DBS is that OCBC’s interest rate is pegged to 1M SORA. As previously mentioned, 1M SORA has a faster refresh period than the 3M SORA. This works in your favour when interest rates are on a decline. However, the monthly fluctuations would be of disservice if the interest rates are on an incline like they have been in recent months.

Let’s have a look at the 1M SORA in the past year:

Month 1M SORA
4 Jan 2022 0.2314%
4 Feb 2022 0.2381%
4 Mar 2022 0.2826%
4 Apr 2022 0.3239%
4 May 2022 0.3588%
3 June 2022 0.9282%
4 July 2022 1.1383%

As you might be able to tell from the above table, the 1M SORA has been on an incline since January, seeing a significant jump from May to June. The signs show themselves in the numbers. You might have to suffer higher interest rate payments if the numbers continue to increase. If that doesn’t phase you and you have enough cash on hand to tide through the fluctuating 1M SORA, then by all means.

Otherwise, you might find yourself a better rate with UOB’s floating home loan package which is at 1.772% p.a. or 1.572% p.a. based on its 3M SORA benchmark as of 1 July 2022.

9. OCBC Home Loan Hotline

If you need further assistance before you decide which home loan package you want to sign up for, you can be in touch with a home loan specialist at their hotline: 6319 9756 or +65 6319 9756 (if you’re calling from overseas).

Otherwise, you can also leave an enquiry online via the feedback form.

Still looking for a home loan? Check out the top home loans in Singapore.