November 24, 2021 The Reserve Bank today raised the official exchange rate from 0.25% to 0.75%. The 25 basis point hike was the first for the RBNZ in seven years.
ANZ Bank followed the ASB as the first major banks to increase variable rates on mortgage loans after Reserve Bank announced it would increase the official cash rate from 0.5% to 0.75% today hui.
ASB said it decided to go through 0.15%, increasing its variable mortgage rate from 4.45 to 4.6% and its orbit rate from 4.55 to 4.7%.
A special rate for new construction called Back my Build would also drop from 2.04% to 2.29%.
ANZ followed shortly after, saying it would increase the rates on its floating and flexible home loans by 0.20%. Interest rates will also rise on a number of savings and calling accounts, the bank said.
Craig Sims, executive managing director of ASB’s retail banking, said the bank suspended its hike in variable rates after the October OCR hike, but today’s increase would be partially passed on to customers due to changing market conditions.
The new variable rate would be effective for new loans from December 1 and applied to existing loans from December 8.
In October, ASB pledged to defer any increase in OCR for the remainder of 2021 at its base commercial rate in recognition of the difficult business conditions many small business owners are currently facing.
Good news for savers, the bank said it will also increase deposit rates on its Savings Plus and Headstart accounts, raising them by 0.25% and raising the maximum interest rate to 0.65%.
The increase for Headstart accounts will apply from December 1 while customers with Savings Plus accounts will have to wait until January 1, 2022.
Ben Kelleher, ANZ chief executive for personal banking, said the economic conditions that supported historically low interest rates have changed and the RBNZ was one of the first central banks to start tightening its monetary policy since the start of the pandemic in the face of inflation.
“For some time now, we have been encouraging our clients to take advantage of the low interest rate environment and pay off as much of their debt as possible,” Kelleher said.
“We have seen a continued increase in fixed rate mortgages, with approximately 90% of our home loan balances now at fixed rate. “
The Reserve Bank’s forecast shows that it will take the cash rate to a high of around 2.5% by the end of 2023.
CoreLogic’s chief real estate economist Kelvin Davidson said the implications for the residential real estate market are clear – paternal mortgage interest rates are coming.
“With most short-term fixed rates now pushing towards (or above) the 4% mark, we have already seen them roughly double from previous lows, and numbers of 5% or more would not be. not a surprise. in the next 6 to 12 months either. “
While still small by past standards, Davidson said many borrowers on one-year terms could see a big change in mortgage costs.
He pointed to data from the Reserve Bank which showed that $ 227.8 billion in mortgages were either floating or due for renewal next year.
“This equates to 71% of all loans – a lot of financing which, when re-secured, will likely result in larger mortgage payments and therefore less disposable income.”
But at least one real estate company is arguing that the rate hike will not dampen the enthusiasm of tenants wishing to buy.
Tim Kearins, owners of Century 21 New Zealand, said it was because for first-time buyers paying for a mortgage was still comparable or cheaper than paying record rents.
“People are realizing that they can either buy and set their interest rate at 4.5%, or wait and pay 6%, or 33.3% more.”
Kearins said rents were rising as demand remained high and supply was falling.
“Real estate prices also continue to rise. However, at least now we are seeing many more townhouses hitting the market, providing first-time homebuyers with a relatively affordable entry point. “
He said his agency was seeing a sharp increase in registrations as Covid-19 restrictions began to lift.
“This latest Reserve Bank increase will not deter Kiwis from buying property and securing good fixed rates. Home ownership remains a safe bet in the long run. It is a proven way to save money. ‘Help maintain people’s standard of living and way of life later in life, “Kearins said. noted.