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Mortgages

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Finally some good news for borrowers

The cost of fixed rate mortgages has started to tumble following a signal last week from the Reserve Bank that the official cash rate will be coming down by the end of the year.

Wednesday, June 11th 2008, 5:42AM

by Maria Scott

The OCR remained at 8.25 per cent as a result of the RBNZ's latest review but the signal about the likely future path of this key indicator sent rates in wholesale markets down.

Lenders had put up rates over recent months independently of moves in the OCR and borrowers will see it as only fair that rates have come down with no nudge from the official rate.

Reductions started to come through within 24 hours of the Reserve Bank's statement with ASB and other lenders within its group, Bank Direct and Sovereign leading the pack. All the other major banks and many other lenders followed up with cuts to some or all of their fixed rates.

The reductions have been up to 40 basis points in some cases. That may not be a deal-maker for a stretched borrower but the expectation is that there is more to come.

ASB is forecasting that the cost of fixed rate loans across all terms will be 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent lower in 12 months and around 1.5 per cent lower in 2 years.

Increasing confidence that interest rates are on a clear downward path has prompted economists and advisers to recommend shorter-term fixes.

ASB, for example says that taking a 6 month rate now may enable you to fix for a longer term at a lower rate when the 6 month term expires. A more cautious approach would be to fix for 1 year to wait for the dust to settle.

Westpac thinks that scope for interest rate cuts will run out by early next year because inflation will still be a problem. Borrowers could adopt a wait-and-see approach, sitting on a floating rate. A cheaper option would be a six month rate, in the knowledge that you could miss out on even lower rates.

There could be further rate changes to come as lenders and markets absorb the latest news on official rates. At the time of writing the lowest floating rate among the largest banks was from ASB at 10.75 per cent except for BNZ on its TotalMoney package at 10.49 per cent. Lower floating rates were on offer from many of the smaller banks and non bank lenders including Kiwibank at 10.2 per cent.

The larger banks were generally more competitive over most of the fixed rate terms. For six month money ANZ, ASB and National Bank were charging 9.75 per cent and there were a few lower rates on offer from smaller lenders. Over 1 year all the major banks were charging 9.4 per cent except BNZ on its Standard and FlyBuys loans which were at 9.49 per cent. Over two years, 9.2 per cent was the favoured rate amount the major players although BNZ's Classic rate was a whisker lower at 9.19 per cent. Kiwibank's 2 year rate was also at 9.19 per cent.

Note that some lenders offer special rates on larger loans.

The good news on rates comes with a caution from economists. They doubt that the OCR will fall to the low of 4.5 per cent seen in recent years, which means adjusting to generally higher borrowing costs for the foreseeable future. It is worth noting that even as most of the recent changes in rates were reductions, a couple of increases had also come through.

« Record number of pre-approvalsMexican stand-off in housing market »

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Mortgage Rates Table

Full Rates Table | Compare Rates

Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 4.55 2.25 2.59 2.89
ANZ 4.44 2.85 3.19 3.49
ANZ Special - 2.25 2.59 2.89
ASB Back My Build 1.79 - - -
ASB Bank 4.45 2.25 2.59 2.89
Basecorp Finance 5.49 - - -
Bluestone 3.49 3.34 2.99 3.34
BNZ - Classic - 2.25 2.55 2.79
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 4.60 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 4.55 2.85 3.15 3.39
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - TotalMoney 4.55 - - -
CFML Loans 4.95 - - -
China Construction Bank 4.49 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
Credit Union Auckland 5.45 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
Credit Union South 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 2.95 3.45 -
Heartland Bank - Online ▼1.95 ▼1.85 2.35 2.45
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 3.40 3.50 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.25 2.35 2.65
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - 2.25 - -
ICBC 3.69 2.25 2.35 2.65
Kainga Ora 4.43 2.67 2.97 3.13
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - 2.25 - -
Kiwibank 3.40 3.20 3.40 3.64
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40 - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.40 2.35 2.55 2.79
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 3.20 3.24 -
Pepper Essential 4.79 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Resimac 3.39 3.35 2.99 3.35
SBS Bank 4.54 2.69 2.99 3.29
SBS Bank Special - 2.19 2.49 2.79
Select Home Loans 3.49 3.34 2.99 3.34
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 2.09 - -
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 2.25 2.59 2.79
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 2.75 3.09 3.29
TSB Bank 5.34 3.05 3.29 3.59
TSB Special 4.54 2.25 2.49 2.79
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.55 3.49 -
Westpac 4.59 2.85 3.19 3.49
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
Westpac Special - 2.25 2.59 2.89
Median 4.55 2.68 2.99 2.89

Last updated: 17 May 2021 9:05am

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