World Economy

NZ Mortgage Rates At 60-Year Low

NZ Mortgage Rates At 60-Year LowNZ Mortgage Rates At 60-Year Low

Mortgage rates in New Zealand hit a 60-year low as banks vie to undercut each other. Bank New Zealand Monday shaved 30 basis points off its two-year fixed rate, down to 4.69 per cent.

Statistics New Zealand data shows commercial banks’ mortgage rates have not been so low since 1955. BNZ’s move follows the Reserve Bank’s cut to the official cash rate (OCR) by 25 basis points to 3% last Thursday. BNZ’s new rate undercuts SBS Bank’s 4.85% 18 month rate, reported.

It said the rate was available to BNZ customers who had at least 20% equity in their property and who had a BNZ account receiving salary or wages.

Massey University banking expert David Tripe said BNZ’s new rate was “probably somewhere near where rates ought to be. Rates haven’t been coming down to the extent that they ought to as funding costs have fallen. I’ve been saying for some time that there’s some scope for fixed rates to come down, because they haven’t come down as much as they might have.”

Mortgage broker Bruce Patten said BNZ’s move was good for consumers. “I think it’s just the beginning of some more to come given the recent rate drops and expectations of further rate drops. All I would say to people is ‘don’t get sucked in by what appears to be good now when it could get even better’. The banks are really just trying to lock in and secure their funding with some good rates, I wouldn’t necessarily be drawn on what might look good now.”

Across the ditch, mortgage hunters could get fixed, 5-year rates as low as 4.39, Patten said.

If the OCR dropped to 2%, as some economists were predicting, the mortgage rates could drop down closer to 4% or even sub-four, Patten said.