Interest rates drop tempting homeowners to break fixed mortgages

If you've got a floating home loan, paying it off is getting a whole lot cheaper. 

Kiwibank, BNZ and now ANZ have dropped their interest rates to record lows, signalling a mortgage war between companies.

ANZ's Retail and Business Banking managing director Ben Kelleher says it has a special of 2.79 percent - a rate that is "certainly lower" than what it's had in the market.

This low-interest rate is tempting homeowners to pay a penalty to break their fixed mortgages to save some extra cash.

"Our phones have been running hot for a lot of our home lenders," Kelleher says.

But is it worth it? If your house cost $600,000 and you're locked into a 4.75 percent home loan rate, you're paying around $1900 per month. To break that could cost you around $6000. Once you switch to a lower interest rate, your monthly mortgage drops, saving you, in this example, $158 per month. This means it'll take you two years to pay off that penalty.

Who the low-interest rates work in favour of are new home buyers, according to Infometrics senior economist Brad Olsen.

"It's a really good time to get into the market if you're a first home buyer. It's as cheap as it ever is to borrow," Olsen says.

And he predicts it will only get better.

"I do start to wonder when you would see a 2 percent or lower [interest rate]. That's never been on the cards before but that's looking likely."

But with no crystal ball to know if that will happen, the suggestion is to ask mortgage professionals for advice to understand what's best for you.