Westpac New Zealand has launched a new ‘special’ one year fixed-term rate of 2.29% per annum - one of the lowest one-year terms currently being offered on the market.
The rate is the lowest being offered among New Zealand’s main banks, and is beaten only by Heartland Bank - Online’s 1.99% rate, and HSBC Premier’s 2.25% rate.
The new rate is available to owner-occupiers with a minimum 20% equity, and general manager of consumer banking and wealth Gina Dellabarca says it should help Kiwis realise their New Year’s Resolutions of getting on to the property ladder. She says that customers looking to renew their loans will also be able to generate significant savings, as interest payments have dropped dramatically since as little as two years ago.
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“Two years ago, the same special home loan rate over the same term was 4.15%,” Dellabarca commented.
“It would have cost $1,119 a fortnight to service a $500,000 mortgage over 30 years. Now, the lower interest rate means the same repayment would be $885 a fortnight – a saving of $6,084 over a year.”
“We especially look forward to talking to first home buyers about how we can support them to reach their home ownership goals and this rate can certainly help them,” she added.
“We assisted first home buyers into more than 5,300 new homes in the 12 months to September 2020, a 7% increase on the previous year with many accessing their KiwiSaver first home-buyer withdrawal option to help them with their deposit.”
Dellabarca said that home ownership has been a “hot topic” among the public over the Christmas and New Year period, and believes that dropping interest rates will help more New Zealanders move forward with their property goals in 2021.
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She added that, to date, most existing customers have moved off payment deferrals and are now back to full repayments on their mortgages.
“We have provided repayment reductions and deferral assistance to a total of 22,855 home loan and personal loan customers,” Dellabarca said.
“The majority of these customers have resumed payments. There are still 2,559 customers in the assistance programme.
“We’re keen to talk to both existing and new customers about this exciting new rate through our mobile mortgage team or our in-branch or contact centre banking specialists.”