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Next round of cuts underway

Weekly home loan report

Tuesday 4th April 2006

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Weekly Home Loan report: The next round of home loan rate cuts have started to kick in with some significant falls across the market.

On Saturday BNZ and Bank Direct cut their rates, they were followed by Westpac on Monday and the bank trimmed a little more off some rates again today. Its two largest decreases being the 30-month and four year rates which are down 41 points and 35 points respectively.

Amongst the banks ASB and TSB have also lowered rates.

While it was the turn of banks to move first non-bank lenders stepped up to the plate today with a dozen of them trimming their fixed rates from one year through to the five-year term.

Since December rates have fallen around 55 basis points. Now sub-8% rates are de rigueur for terms of more than two years.

In the one-year market fixed rates are creeping closer to the 8% - currently six lenders are clustered around this point, with most of them above 8.10%.

While long-term rates have been falling they may not stay down for long. ASB Bank for one is suggesting the long-term rates will eventually rise due to higher global rates.

That is a cue for people who prefer these longer-term rates to pick up what's on offer at the moment.

In the five-year term rates range from Bank Direct at 7.40% through to 7.99% and 8.20% for Resi and GEM Home Loans. The banks are at the low end of the range with offers around the 7.50% mark.

Borrowers who don't want to lock in a long-term rate should consider going for a short-term rate.

As could be expected floating rates remain unchanged and will do so until we see the Reserve Bank decrease its official cash rate.

For the record the mainstream banks are at the top of the range offering rates of 9.50-9.55%, but many other lenders are offering variable rates in the low-9% area.

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