SBS Bank offering one-year home loan rate of 6.14 pct for first-home buyers, ahead of official cash rate announcement

  • 19/05/2024

One of New Zealand's smallest banks in New Zealand, SBS Bank, is offering a competitive price on interest rates for first-home buyers.

The bank's offering a one-year home loan rate of 6.14 percent, a price that'll likely grab the attention of Kiwis shopping for a deal amid the high cost of living and eye-watering interest rates. 

But experts don't think the big players will be rushing to match the rate, despite it being slashed by 100 basis points compared to what other banks are offering.

That's because the deal comes with some catches.

SBS's rate only applies to those who can rack together a deposit of 20 percent or more, or those who are purchasing through Kainga Ora's First Home Loan scheme which underwrites the loan so only a 5 percent deposit is required. 

As well, the offering means the maximum cashback was $4000, including the borrower moving their KiwiSaver.

So, while some buyers may be going with higher interest rates elsewhere, it means they might have an easier application process and better cashback offers.

It also comes as major banks cut their rates this week.

ASB, one of New Zealand's largest lenders, on Thursday joined two other major banks in lowering its home loan rates.  

BNZ and Kiwibank had pulled down their home loan rates earlier in the week, and ASB had only made cuts to six-month, one-year and four-year terms last week.  

The drops come as the Reserve Bank is expected to hold its official cash rate at 5.5 percent on Wednesday - which would mark nearly a year of steady monetary policy.