Westpac has matched BNZ this morning, adopting the record low two year 'special' mortgage rate of 4.69%.
On Monday, BNZ launched its new two year 'special' at the unusually low rate and the market has been waiting to see the responses by its rivals.
The Westpac move comes with similar conditions as BNZ.
Westpac has also cut its unique capped rates, dropping them to 6.15% from 6.40% for one and two year contacts.
But it is the two year 'special' rate where all the attention is now.
Most other banks are substantially exposed to this offer because it is lower than any other by about 20 bps and that is enough to garner substantial attention by borrowers and mortgage brokers.
Although major rivals like ANZ, ASB and Kiwibank are targeting their one year 'specials' these are still at 4.89%, substantially above the BNZ - and now Westpac - benchmark.
Even the challenger banks are on the back foot, rate-wise. Although it should be remembered that the main banks impose substantial conditions to get their latest offers, conditions like having to have credit cards and/or insurance or KiwiSaver products. The challenger banks generally do not require such add-ons and their rate offers may be much more competitive on a total-cost basis as a result.
Also, neither BNZ nor Westpac offer any sort of non-rate incentive for their 4.69% rate while their rivals do.
Almost all home loan competition is now back focused on the interest rate. Non-rate incentives have essentially dried up although there are still some worthwhile but targeted incentives available. You can see see the current non-rate home loan incentives here.
The new floating and fixed mortgage rates compare this morning as follows:
|below 80% LVR||Floating||1 yr||18mth||2 yrs||3 yrs||5 yrs|