Mark and Lara Savage with daughter April yesterday. – Picture by Peter StoopHUNTER retailers were the big winners when the Reserve Bank of Australia lowered the official cash rate by 25 basis points yesterday.

Home owners in the Hunter also felt the Christmas cheer as the central bank cut interest rates for the second time in as many months to 4.25 per cent.

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Home owners will enjoy a further reduction of about $50 on their monthly repayments on the average $300,000 home loan assuming banks pass on the latest official rate cut in full.

Retailers were hopeful the rate reduction would lead to more disposable income in households that would then lead to an increase in retail spending.

‘‘We’re obviously pleased with the decision because we’ve seen improvement since the Reserve cut in November,’’ Charlestown Square manager Drew Pannowitz said.

‘‘We’re on track to have more than 2.5million customers come into the centre in November and December, which is when people tend to put their hand in their pocket a bit more.’’

Hunter Business Chamber chief executive Kristen Keegan called on the banks to pass on the interest rate cuts ahead of the Christmas holiday period.

‘‘The Hunter Business Chamber focus has been on retailers this month,’’ Ms Keegan said.

‘‘It was a much-welcomed announcement for retailers and we call on all financial institutions to pass on the cuts in full and immediately.’’

Australian National Retailers Association says the rate cut will have no impact at shops across the country unless banks pass it on.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said it was unacceptable that banks took up to two weeks to pass on the November cuts and some did not deliver in full.

The Newcastle Permanent passed on the full 0.25per cent the day after the last rate rise on Melbourne Cup day.

Carrington couple Lara and Mark Savage exchanged contracts on their new house at Maryville as the Reserve Bank of Australia lowered interest rates yesterday.

Ms Savage said the news could not have come at a better time for them and 16-month old daughter April with Christmas less than three weeks away.

‘‘It’s great news, especially after we have just settled on our new house,’’ Ms Savage said.

‘‘It was very kind of them [RBA] to do that for us.

‘‘It might help us throw in a few extra Christmas presents.’’

Ms Savage works for Newcastle health insurance company NIB and her husband is in the sales department at Census and they said the rate cut would help with the mortgage.