27 Jul 2008

More banks lower mortgage rates

2:39 pm on 27 July 2008

Four major banks have lowered mortgage interest rates following the Reserve Bank's decision on Thursday to lower the Official Cash Rate to 8%.

ANZ and the National Bank have reduced their one year rates by 0.2 of a percentage point to 9.2%, and their two year rates by a quarter of a percentage point to 8.95%.

This follows similar moves by ASB on Thursday and Westpac on Friday.

Kiwibank dropped its rates three weeks ago and says that was in anticipation of the Reserve Bank's move.

Southland Building Society and the TSB have said they expect to reduce their mortgage rates within the next two weeks.

The Reserve Bank's cut in the Official Cash Rate was the first in five years.

Governor Allan Bollard said on Thursday that "there is a risk that the domestic economy will slow further" over the rest of the year.

Property market

Real Estate Institute president Murray Cleland says unless larger cuts are made to interest rates, the residential property market will remain depressed.

Dr Bollard said on Thursday rates could be cut further if inflation pressures continue to fall and there is not a rapid decline in the New Zealand dollar.

However, Mr Cleland, says he cannot see any major change for property owners in the next three to four months without additional substantial cuts.

He says homeowners should expect further easing in house prices and will have to negotiate to get the sale they are after.