ASB lowers mortgage rates after release of inflation data

ASB has lowered its mortgage rates by as much as 20 basis points. 

New mortgage loans linked to the bank decreased to as little 6.55 percent for four and five-year rates, down from 6.75 percent. 

ASB's three-year rates had slumped to 6.65 percent from 6.75 percent. 

The move by one of New Zealand's largest banks comes after Wednesday data confirmed inflation had fallen to 4.7 percent - in line with economists' expectations but still above the Reserve Bank's target of between 1 and 3 percent.  

Major New Zealand lenders, including ASB, last lowered mortgage rates in December - after the central bank held the official cash rate

Interest rates in New Zealand had been on the rise amid aggressive monetary policy, as inflation spiralled out of control.  

Higher interest rates forced a decline in sky-high house prices, which had since largely stalled.