Westpac is now the sixth
fifth bank to offer the market a key mortgage rate under 4%.
With the peak home selling season within a month of ending, banks are rushing to ensure their best offer is on the table.
Westpac has had a 3.99% offer before, but with four others featuring that rate - or lower in the case of HSBC - now is the time to 'not miss out'.
Westpac's latest offer starts Friday, March 22.
But it requires a minimum of 20% equity - like every rival - and a transactional account at Westpac with salary paid into that account. Business and investment purposed Choices loans and Package customers are excluded however.
None of these recent changes go anywhere near to challenging the new low rates being offered by HSBC Premier. But HSBC Premier rates come with some relatively high qualification requirements.
Here is a link to Wednesday's similar cuts by ASB and TSB. ICIB also is offering a 3.99% rate for one year.
Since the beginning of February, wholesale swap rates have moved little at the short end of one and two year durations. The one year swap rate is down only -6 bps and another -4 bps fall has occurred for two years. Since the beginning of 2019 the fall is -10 bps. More details of this bear flattening are here.
But the main cost driver for banks is their cost of deposit funds. While these have slipped minorly at a handful of banks (about -5 bps) for most, these haven't moved at all. Given that more than 70% of bank funding is based on retail deposits, this doesn't support lower costs and therefore lower mortgage rates. Separately, Westpac today trimmed -5 bps off its eight month 'special term deposit offer, taking it to 3.40%.
Here is the full snapshot of the advertised 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 March 22, 2019||%||%||%||%||%||%||%|
In addition to the above table, BNZ has a fixed seven year rate of 5.95%.