4.29% now seems to be the favoured pitch point among bank pricing departments.
Today, BNZ raised two fixed rate ‘specials’ to that rate.
Yesterday, Kiwibank cut its three year offer to that rate.
(In fact, only ANZ among the majors doesn’t offer a 4.29% rate.)
BNZ’s changes today involve raising their 1 year fixed rate by +5 bps from 4.24% to 4.29%.
BNZ’s 2 year rate has been raised by +10 bps from 4.19% to 4.29%.
That aligns it with all their other main-bank rivals except ANZ who have a carded rate of 4.35%.
No other BNZ mortgage rates have been changed at this time.
The bank with the lowest one year rate offer remains Kiwibank at 4.19, joined at that rate by HSBC.
The bank with the lowest two year rate offer remains SBS Bank at 4.19%.
Wholesale swap rates are all at record low levels at present, opening the opportunity for banks to more finely price their fixed mortgage rates.
In fact, over the past 90 days, the wholesale swap rate has fallen from 2.31% to 2.06%, a -25 bps reduction.
Over the same period, the risk premiums have fallen as well. CDS spreads have fallen -20 bps as well.
Together, this has resulted in a -45 bps fall in bank wholesale money costs in 90 days.
But BNZ is not responding to the drop in wholesale funding costs, choosing rather to align its rates with its rivals. And so long as the bank with the largest volume (ANZ) does not shift lower, the rest will be happy to sit just under its rate levels.
Banks now seem to be competing for margin, having realised that most borrowers have few options, and the practical market share risks are low.
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In addition, BNZ has a fixed seven year rate of 5.55%, while TSB Bank offers a fixed ten year rate at 5.75%.