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Mortgage Rates Daily Commentary
Monday 11 November 2019  Add your comment
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Breakeven analysis - how it works

Before jumping into long-term fixed rates, it is useful to undertake a simple break-even analysis to see whether it is worth it according to ANZ.

Thursday, September 23rd 2010, 12:57PM 4 Comments

In its Property Focus ANZ says breakeven analysis is a simple tool to help with decisions such as fix or float, and if I fixed what term should I have?Like most decisions there are no hard and fast rules - a lot depends on your individual circumstances.

But ANZ says it is often staggered by the lack of analysis that goes into the fixing decision.

Break-even analysis is a simple tool to help with that decision.

In the context of mortgage rates, it is the calculation of a set of future mortgage rates that are  mathematically implied by the set of current interest rates.

For example, if the one-year interest rate is 5.50% and the two-year rate is 6.25%, we can use this to imply a breakeven one-year rate in one-year's time of 7.00%.

In other words, if we choose to fix for one-year at 5.50%, and in one-year's time we then refix at a rate less than 7.00%, we will have made a better decision than fixing for two-years at 6.25%, and vice versa.

Because of the effect of compounding, it is not equal to exactly 7.00%, but it is very close, and the rough rule of thumb goes like this: two-years at the two-year rate = 2 x 6.25% = 12.5%.

Therefore, if we know two-years will cost 12.50% interest in total, what does that imply for the second year? The answer is: 12.50% in total less the first year at 5.50% = 12.50% - 5.50% = 7.00%.

Of course a lot of people don't view it that way. They make the error in thinking that because the rate you might face in a years time could be above 6.25%, you'll be worse off, when the break-even is in fact 7%.

Given this, consider the current set of fixed mortgage rates as follows:

One thing is immediately obvious with the breakeven levels for the current set of fixed rates six monthly for the next two years - and that is that all breakeven rates are higher than current rates.

This is intuitive, because when long term rates are higher than short term rates, that implies that either the market expects interest rates to rise over time (so they charge more to lend for longer); or they need a premium to lend for longer; or both.

It isn't possible to separate the two, and while there is nothing a borrower can do to avoid the term premium (which is set by the market), it is still useful to know how breakevens compare against your view.

The latest breakeven tableis in Latest Trends and ANZ explains what it means for  borrowers.

 

« Floating mortgages on hold Taking the hassle out of switching banks »

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Comments from our readers

On 23 September 2010 at 2:37 pm Brendan said:
This article is great. It refers to lots of useful tools, but then provides no links as to where to find them.

If this calculation is so useful, why is not on anz's calculator page.
http://www.anz.co.nz/calc/default.asp
On 23 September 2010 at 10:06 pm regan thomas said:
try here Brendan

http://www.anz.co.nz/resources/d/3/d3a9040043b50ee9b1dcbf1884fd2a24/PropertyFocus-20102308.pdf

Scroll to page 6
On 28 September 2010 at 9:29 am Murray Chong said:
This is an excellent way to explain to clients of what term they should fix their mortgage at
It becomes very clear to them once it is explained correctly to them and i also note in my notes the figure it should be so they know if they have made a gain when their fixed rate expires.
On 29 September 2010 at 9:50 am Darcy Ungaro said:
This is an excellent explanation of a concept that we have used for a while now when explaining options to clients. It should be pointed out of course that the rates used here are examples only, and not actual rates offered by ANZ at this time.
Commenting is closed

 

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Mortgage Rates Table

Full Rates Table | Compare Rates

Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
ANZ 5.19 4.05 3.95 4.49
ANZ Special - 3.55 3.45 3.99
ASB Bank 5.20 4.05 3.95 4.39
ASB Bank Special - 3.55 3.45 3.89
BNZ - Classic - 3.55 3.45 3.99
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.90 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 5.35 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 5.30 4.45 4.35 4.55
BNZ - TotalMoney 5.30 - - -
China Construction Bank 5.50 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 3.19 3.19 3.19
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Credit Union Auckland 5.95 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 6.15 4.95 4.95 -
Credit Union North 6.45 - - -
Credit Union South 6.45 - - -
Finance Direct - - - -
First Credit Union 5.85 3.99 4.49 -
Heartland 6.70 7.00 7.25 7.85
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 5.75 4.80 4.95 -
HSBC Premier 5.24 3.35 3.35 3.35
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.15 3.18 3.18 3.20
Kainga Ora 5.18 4.04 3.95 4.39
Kiwibank 5.80 4.30 4.20 4.64
Kiwibank - Capped - - - -
Kiwibank - Offset 5.15 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 3.55 3.45 3.89
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Napier Building Society - - - -
Nelson Building Society 5.70 4.25 4.15 -
Pepper Money Near Prime 5.64 - 5.44 5.44
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Pepper Money Prime 5.18 - 4.98 4.98
Pepper Money Specialist 7.59 - 7.39 7.39
Resimac 4.50 4.86 3.89 3.94
RESIMAC Special - - - -
SBS Bank 5.29 4.85 5.05 5.49
SBS Bank Special - ▼3.55 3.39 3.89
Sovereign 5.30 4.15 4.29 4.55
Sovereign Special - 3.65 3.75 4.05
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 5.15 3.49 3.59 3.89
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 5.15 3.99 4.09 4.39
TSB Bank 6.09 4.35 4.25 4.69
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
TSB Special 5.29 3.55 3.45 3.89
Wairarapa Building Society 5.70 4.85 4.99 -
Westpac 5.34 4.15 4.09 4.49
Westpac - Offset 5.34 - - -
Westpac Special - 3.55 3.45 3.99
Median 5.34 4.04 4.09 4.39

Last updated: 11 November 2019 4:01pm

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