Bank releases NZ's first sub 2 percent mortgage rate

Heartland Bank has released the lowest home loan rate in New Zealand history.

The bank today announced a one-year fixed loan rate at 1.99 per cent.

To be eligible for Heartland Home Loans, customers must be refinancing or purchasing a standalone house on a single section in a major New Zealand centre, have a deposit or equity of at least 20 percent and intend to live in the home.

In addition to this record-low rate, Heartland is also offering a fixed two-year rate of 2.35 percent and a three-year rate of 2.45 percent.

With the Official Cash Rate currently sitting at a record low of .25 percent, banks have been dropping their home loan rates lower and lower.

Heartland Bank chief executive Jeff Greenslade attributed the bank's digital strategy.

"Digitalisation means a low cost of onboarding, which can be passed on to borrowers. It also means speed – an answer can be given in minutes, so customers don't have to endure the lengthy processes of mainstream banks," Greenslade said.

"Moreover, Heartland's group structure provides it with broad funding flexibility."

Heartland says that this offer will only be available for a limited time.

This will no doubt place added pressure on the nation's other banks to also drop their home loan rates.

In October, SBS bank upped the competitive stakes with a rate of 2.49 percent for 18 months, two years or three years.


But really, why? Rate cuts are a nonsense. They have impacted negatively on the community. Housing is meant to be cheaper with lower interest rates, but every time the rate is reduced, the price of housing increases by a like amount. Even in normal times, interest should be somewhere around 6-8%. This would give self-funded retirees some comfort and they would commence spending. Low interest rates get people trapped into housing loans they can ill afford.


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