HSBC offers New Zealand's 'lowest-ever' mortgage rate

HSBC is offering its lowest-ever home loan rate to New Zealanders at just 3.69 percent per annum.

The "market-leading" rate is available for a two-year fixed home loan. It's the lowest rate that HSBC has ever offered in New Zealand, beating its previous low of 3.79 percent - which was the lowest fixed-rate home loan in more than 50 years.

"Feedback from our customers clearly demonstrates that a sharper two-year term would be even more attractive," said Chris Russell, CEO of HSBC New Zealand.

"We are pleased to respond by offering our customers our lowest-ever home loan rate of 3.69 perent p.a. for a two-year fixed home loan, half a percent below the market."

In comparison, KiwiBank offers a two-year fixed rate of 4.19 percent per annum, and ASB and ANZ offer 4.29 percent per annum.

The home loan rate is only being offered for a limited time to HSBC Premier customers, and to be eligible you'll need a minimum home loan of NZ$500,000, or NZ$100,000 in savings and investments with HSBC.

It comes as the housing market starts to slow, with Barfoot & Thompson announcing its Auckland February sale numbers were the lowest for a month since December 2008 at the high point of the global financial crisis.

There were 474 sales for the company in February, which Barfoot & Thompson manager director Peter Thompson said showed the market was failing to gain momentum.

"In the first two months of the year, sales numbers at 1,127 are down 10.4 percent on what they were for the first two months of last year," he said.

"The market is progressively hardening into a buyers' market with a number of vendors preferring to take their property off the market when they cannot achieve their asking price."

In February, a ASB Housing Confidence Survey found that, for the first time in more than five years, more respondents thought it was a good time to buy than a bad time.