Kiwibank slashes six-month mortgage rate

By Ben Chapman-Smith

Kiwibank says its new six-month interest rate is the lowest in its 11-year history. Photo / NZH
Kiwibank says its new six-month interest rate is the lowest in its 11-year history. Photo / NZH

Kiwibank has today launched a six-month fixed home loan rate of 4.79 per cent, the bank's lowest rate in its 11-year history.

The new rate is a cut of 0.46 percentage points - down from 5.25 per cent - and is being offered as a "limited time special".

The bank said the rate is not restricted to new customers, has no minimum lending requirement and no debt/equity restrictions.

Kiwibank chief executive Paul Brock said the current home loan market is very competitive and the Kiwibank offer could be the lowest rate offered by any bank for many decades.

SBS Bank is offering the next most competitive six-month rate of 5.10 per cent, and the median across the major banks is 5.25 per cent.

On Monday, Westpac cut its one-year rate from 5.25 per cent to 4.89 per cent, its three-year rate from 5.90 per cent to 5.39 per cent, and its five-year rate from 5.99 per cent to 5.75 per cent.

Late last month, ASB cut three of its fixed home loan rates by 0.15 per cent, while lifting its two-year rate by 0.20 per cent.

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler last week kept the official cash rate at 2.5 per cent, but singled out rising house prices as a threat to the country's financial stability.

"The bank does not want to see financial stability or inflation risks accentuated by housing demand getting too far ahead of supply," Wheeler said.

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