Housing: Mortgage rates to rise again, fears recent home buyers at risk

Mortgage rates are set to start rising again as soon as next year, meaning thousands of home buyers who've recently bought into the housing hype could be at risk.

The Reserve Bank expects to start hiking the wholesale rate as soon as next year, which will take it from Thursday's record low to nearly two percent by June 2024.

"That could be somewhere in the region of $6000 to $6500 in extra interest costs [every year]," says John Carran, chief economist at Jarden.

He says rate hikes would hurt heavily leveraged first-home buyers. 

"There will certainly be a burden on some households when rates rise," Carran adds.

Banks dished out $1.8 billion to first-home buyers in March alone. About half of those mortgages are considered risky because they're five times or more than a borrower's income.

Housing: Mortgage rates to rise again, fears recent home buyers at risk
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Aucklander Lana Miller is fearful of the size of her mortgage after she managed to put down a 20 percent deposit on her first home earlier this year.

"I'm a little bit nervous, you know, being a single income buyer, having to do the whole thing by myself," she says.

She moves into her two-bedroom villa in Glenbrook, an hour southwest of Auckland, in July and she's yet to fix her mortgage interest rate.

"Well, the less the better would be great," she says.

But it might not stay low for long once the hike begins.

Rate increases will only happen if the economy keeps up its COVID comeback, but crazy growth won't be coming from house prices, according to the Reserve Bank and Treasury. 

They now both expect prices to come crashing back to earth - a blow for those who just got on the property ladder.