The mortgage rate arm-wrestle has further to go.
Late on Monday ANZ announced a -10 bps reduction in its one year fixed carded rate, taking its 'special' down to 4.35%.
This is lower than the rates announced last week by both Westpac and BNZ who opted for 4.39% for that term.
The new ANZ rate is also lower than ASB's 4.39% eighteen month fixed rate.
And at 4.35% it is the lowest of any rate offered by any bank for any fixed term, apart from HSBC Premier's 4.19%.
But at this level, it comes with a sting for term deposit investors. ANZ is reducing their 3 month, six month and nine month rates by -5 and -10 bps at the same time. These new levels are below almost all comparative rates offered by all their main rivals.
The competitive instinct by banks is getting more intense for home loan business.
Further, Kiwibank has re-opened the advertised cash-back option with a $2,000 offer that will run until March 4, 2018.
Cash-backs had slipped off the radar, only used in the final stages of off-card negotiation in response to competitive pressures. But they are now back, on the table and above board.
This new round of visible public competition comes as re-sales activity in real estate markets are struggling to generate usual high-season volumes. That leaves banks with zero-sum options as far as achieving their planned mortgage book growth.
And that can only be good for borrowers who may be getting deals with finer margins.
Margins are being squeezed because wholesale interest rates are not really shifting at the short end where one and two year home loans are funded. Only be reducing term deposit rates can they protect those margins.
If you are in the market for a mortgage, or a rollover, now could be a good time to negotiate.
If you have completed a recent transaction, especially one where you ended up with a below-rate-card deal, we would love to hear about it in the comment section below.
Here is the full snapshot of the fixed-term rates on offer from the key retail banks.
|below 80% LVR||6 mths||1 yr||18 mth||2 yrs||3 yrs||4 yrs||5 yrs|
|as at February 12, 2018||%||%||%||%||%||%||%|
In addition to the above table, BNZ has a fixed seven year rate which is 6.15%.
And TSB still has a ten year fixed rate of 6.20%.