In its first meeting of the year today the Reserve Bank opted to keep rates on hold at 4.75 per cent.

The decision comes on the back of economic data out last week showing inflation was running lower than expected.

“This is a good start to the year for mortgage holders,” says┬á spokesperson Carolyn Boyd. “It’s likely there will be rises later in the year, so this presents a window of opportunity for people with housing debt to pay a little extra down.”

Each 0.25 per cent interest rate rise adds another $50 to the monthly cost of an average Australian mortgage.

The official interest rate is now 4.75 per cent. Mortgage holders on variable interest rates are being charged a standard variable rate of about 7.83 per cent by their lenders.

Today’s decision will be a boost to the opening of this year’s property market, which is just starting to ramp up now that the summer holidays have officially ended.