What’s happening with NZ interest rates?
Filed under: Banks, Cost of living, Economics, General Budgeting, Interest Rates, Credit Cards & Mortgages in NZ
Well, the short version is: they are going up!
The longer version is that it looks like we are the only sodding country whose central bank seems to want to increase base interest rates!
If you pop onto the HiFX website, they keep a running sidebar of Base interest rate announcements around the world. Not only do we still seem to have nearly the highest rates (other than Australia lol) but ours is going up when the others are holding.
Incidentally, thats also the page that tells you how bad the exchange rate is right now. Sorry.
There is some sort of good news in the papers today, it seems that Bollard – the governor of the Reserve Bank, may actually be stopping with these silly rises, because – guess what – the economy isn’t actually picking up as well as it needs to (well Helloooo! My Mortgage is getting more expensive – where the hell do you think Ive got any money to go out and buy stuff with!). And apparently – the employment figures here were supposed to improve , and they actually worsened. Now, Mr Bollard hasn’t actually said himself that he wont be raising interest rates – the “economists” have said that they think the chance is now 25% instead of 75% that he will raise them. But that’s the way it works – economists blather on for weeks before an announcement is due, telling us what the Governor is going to say, which always makes me wonder why the governor bothers with the announcements in the first place.
Theres a wonderfully obtuse piece of prose in the article which I just had to share:
“If the economy pushes along at near-potential rates of growth, the cash rate must head back towards neutral. Neutral is not 3 per cent,” said BNZ head of research Stephen Topliss.
I have absolutely no idea what the hell that means lol. What on earth is a “near-potential rate of growth”?
So what’s the bottom line?
Well, mortgages are more expensive. Floating rates are around the 6.15% – 6.75% range, up from about 5.5%. 2 years rates are around 6.75% and 5 year rates are around 7.75% for standard mortgages. The 5 year rates seem to be fairly steady at the moment, but the floating and 2 year rates have increased with the 2 rate rises.
Even if Mr Bollard doesn’t increase the OCR on the 16th September – I would be looking at factoring in some more rises if you are looking at needing to buy a home in New Zealand in the near future. He still seems intent of costing us a small fortune in interest and refusing to let us get ahead financially.