ASB offers special fixed rate

Nick Tuffley, Chief Economist, ASB Bank (TV3)

ASB Bank is offering a special two-year fixed rate of 5.95% a year for a limited period.

In common with other banks, ASB is hoping to tempt lenders to fixed terms ahead of anticipated interest rate rises.

Bank economists have all predicted imminent rises, with some of them appearing to advocate rises.

ASB’s new special two-year fixed rate of 5.95% compares with floating rates from banks at around 6.29%.

The new ASB two-year fixed rate of 5.95% is available for customers who have at least 20% equity, an ASB credit card and have their main transaction account with salary credit with ASB.

Last month, Westpac offered a special one year fixed rate of 5.39%.

About the same time BNZ changed its three-year fixed rate mortgage offer to 6.39%.

Meanwhile, a BNZ-REINZ monthly survey of real estate agents shows they believe the residential market is turning in favour of sellers.

A net 5% of the 469 responding agents think that it is once again a seller’s market compared with a net 16% in December and 17% in November who thought it was a buyer’s market.

The net percent of agents seeing a decline in the number of first home buyers has reduced from near 80% in November and December but at a net 40% agents are still seeing first home buyers stepping back from the market.

“The Reserve Bank’s credit controls have had a substantial impact on first home buyers – but not much of an impact on investors,” according to BNZ economist Tony Alexander.

Whereas in December a net 6% of responding agents said that they were seeing more investors, that reading has now jumped to a net 21%, which is above the 16% three year average though still down from 26% in September.

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