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ANZ, Kiwibank cut mortgage rates, and more to come


House_sales_chart_2Major banks have dropped home loan rates, with more cuts on the horizon as official interest rates are tipped to head lower next month.

Over the last three months, market-leading mortgage rates have fallen by as much as a quarter of a percentage point.

This week the country's biggest bank, ANZ, cut all its standard mortgage rates, some by as much as three quarters of a percentage point.


The bank was following the lead of Kiwibank, which reduced three of its fixed rates and is leading the market with its one year term of 5.39 per cent.

The last major shake-up to the mortgage market was in February, when HSBC cut its "special" fixed rates across the board to 5.29 per cent.

Those rates are still among the lowest being advertised, but come with several terms and conditions attached.

Borrowers need at least 20 per cent equity and have to have their salary credited to a HSBC transaction account.

They also need a minimum combined home loan of $500,000, or $100,000 in savings and investments to qualify as an HSBC premier customer.

For standard home loans, The Co-operative Bank and the BNZ are leading the market.

Massey University banking expert David Tripe said there was scope for more rate cuts to come from some banks, as lenders had benefited from lower funding costs.

"I think we've actually seen a bit of fat trimming over the last couple of months, but it will take a little while to filter through."

Floating mortgage rates have not moved over the past three months, with Westpac still leading the banking pack at 6.59 per cent.

However, the Reserve Bank's official cash rate, which is closely tied to floating rates, is now poised to move down again.

ANZ economists Cameron Bagrie and Philip Borkin said the drop would happen sooner rather than later, forecasting cuts in both June and July.

Major changes to the property market announced last week by both the Reserve Bank and the Government had reinforced that view, the bank economists said.Major banks have dropped home loan rates, with more cuts on the horizon as official interest rates are tipped to head lower next month.

Over the last three months, market-leading mortgage rates have fallen by as much as a quarter of a percentage point.

This week the country's biggest bank, ANZ, cut all its standard mortgage rates, some by as much as three quarters of a percentage point.

The bank was following the lead of Kiwibank, which reduced three of its fixed rates and is leading the market with its one year term of 5.39 per cent.

The last major shake-up to the mortgage market was in February, when HSBC cut its "special" fixed rates across the board to 5.29 per cent.

Those rates are still among the lowest being advertised, but come with several terms and conditions attached.

Borrowers need at least 20 per cent equity and have to have their salary credited to a HSBC transaction account.

They also need a minimum combined home loan of $500,000, or $100,000 in savings and investments to qualify as an HSBC premier customer.

For standard home loans, The Co-operative Bank and the BNZ are leading the market.

Massey University banking expert David Tripe said there was scope for more rate cuts to come from some banks, as lenders had benefited from lower funding costs.

"I think we've actually seen a bit of fat trimming over the last couple of months, but it will take a little while to filter through."

Floating mortgage rates have not moved over the past three months, with Westpac still leading the banking pack at 6.59 per cent.

However, the Reserve Bank's official cash rate, which is closely tied to floating rates, is now poised to move down again.

ANZ economists Cameron Bagrie and Philip Borkin said the drop would happen sooner rather than later, forecasting cuts in both June and July.

Major changes to the property market announced last week by both the Reserve Bank and the Government had reinforced that view, the bank economists said.
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