Fixed home loan rates are unlikely to fall much further regardless of what happens to the official cash rate brokers say.

The Reserve Bank left the official cash rate on hold at 2.75 per cent today pausing its rate cutting moves.

Since June the central bank has slashed the cash rate from 3.5 per cent.

Economists are picking there could be one more cut before the end of the year at the Reserve Bank's December 10 briefing.


But mortgage brokers doubt interest rates will continue to fall below their current record breaking levels.

"I think interest rates are pretty much at their bottom," said John Bolton, managing director at Auckland-based mortgage broker Squirrel.

Read also:
OCR left unchanged at 2.75 per cent
Treasury wants loan to income cap to cool Auckland's heated property market

Bolton said if the Reserve Bank made another cut this year it would bring the official cash rate down to 2.5 per cent - the same level it was at when New Zealand was being hit by the fall-out from the Christchurch earthquakes.

"We have had the OCR down at this level before but the rates are not as good as they are now."

Sub-5 per cent rates have become the norm in the mortgage market this year with home-owners able to secure a one year special rate for as low as 4.35 per cent.

Bolton said the reason banks were able to drop their rates so low now was because of the amount of money being printed overseas and the ability for New Zealand banks to borrow cheaply.

But he said overseas borrowing rates were not likely to fall further so fixed term mortgage rates were set to stabilise.


"I think the rates are pretty stable, even from a competitive perspective. The housing market has also slowed down a bit," he said.

Karen Tatterson, a mortgage adviser with Loan Market said she believed banks were unlikely to go much lower.

"I think that banks are probably almost at a level - it's the lowest they have been in 30 years - that is as low as they can go."

Tatterson said while it was possible a bank could come out with a sub-4 per cent rate to increase competition she "wouldn't put money on it".

It was also getting harder to negotiate a rate that was lower than the advertised rate, she said.

I think interest rates are pretty much at their bottom.

"The advertised rates are now the end rates. At the moment we are finding we are not getting so much negotiation."

Tatterson said those looking to re-fix their mortgage or take out a new loan could afford to wait a week or so after the OCR announcement to see what would happen to the rates.

But she said it was not all about getting the lowest rate - the right loan structure was also important.

One client she advised recently took a loan over just six months because of their personal circumstances even though it was at a higher interest rate than a one year fixed term.

For others fixing over five years might be the better option if a couple were dropping down to one income to start a family.

She encouraged those who were able to grab a lower rate to continue paying the same dollar amount on their mortgage to try and pay off the debt sooner.

Jeff Royle, a mortgage adviser at iLender, said he believed home-buyers had probably seen the end of the cost-cutting moves by banks.

"I think in terms of over all rates, unless there is a significant change...I think we are probably as low as we will go."

Royle said floating rates would respond to a cut but any changes to the six month, one or two year rates were likely to be marginal.

There was unlikely to be any change to rates that were three years fixed or longer, he predicted.

He was advising clients to think about how much extra they could put towards their mortgage over the next two years and to put that amount on a floating rate to pay off as soon as possible to "kill the debt" while rates were low.

The remainder could be put on a fixed term.