Mortgage rates have dropped again.

SBS Bank is offering a 4.85 per cent rate for an 18-month term - the lowest deal around. Several major banks announced low one-year rates and longer-term mortgage rate cuts over the past week.

ANZ, ASB and Kiwibank are now all offering a 4.89 per cent fixed rate for one year.

Following SBS' special, Westpac announced its own deal yesterday for a two-year period of 4.89 per cent.


Eligibility includes a minimum 20 per cent equity, salary credited to one of the bank's transaction accounts, taking out a credit card with the bank and having a specified Westpac insurance product.

Auckland mortgage broker Elliot Lord, of SuperCity Mortgages, said experts expected rates to keep falling over the next few months.

"The swap rates - what the banks borrow the money from the international market at - those rates have been coming down. So, accordingly, the banks are able to pass those savings on to customers by way of lower interest rates.

"We're seeing even fixed three-year rates in the high fours. Floating rates are still a full percentage point higher. So over the next three to six months ... a number of the banks' chief economists are predicting that those floating rates might come down further, too, because they're closer tied to the official cash rate."

Mr Lord said home buyers were now able to fix for one to three years for under 5 per cent.

Real Estate Institute of NZ figures yesterday showed Auckland's median house price jumped from $600,000 last June to $755,000 last month - up about $3000 a week.

Just over 7400 homes were sold countrywide last month - up 29.2 per cent on the same time last year.

Lending rate picks


• Westpac: 4.89% over 18 months.
• SBS/HBS Bank: 4.85% over 18 months.
• ANZ: 4.89% over 1 year.
• ASB: 4.89% over 1 year.
• BNZ: 4.99% over 2 years.
• Kiwibank: 4.89% over 1 year.