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Canstar releases home loan star ratings report

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

CANSTAR releases annual home loan star ratings report today, assessing 95 home loans from 10 lenders.

After a three-year breather, the cash rate is finally on the rise again, with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announcing a 0.25% increase to 2.75% in March. Combined with last year’s high-LVR volume capping, loan conditions are becoming more challenging for would-be and recent buyers. Nevertheless there are healthy savings for borrowers who are prepared to negotiate, with analysis of 95 home loans by financial research and ratings organisation, CANSTAR, finding a difference of 59 basis points on current floating home loan rates.

On a $300,000 home loan over 30 years, a 59 basis point difference equates to potential interest cost savings of $93,000 over the life of the loan, as well as potentially cutting the term of the loan by more than four years.

"I think it can be a shock for home buyers when they realise the total cost of their mortgage over the long term," said Derek Bonnar, CANSTAR General Manager - New Zealand. "Even in our current low-interest environment, the difference between the highest and lowest floating mortgage rate equates to $113 per month on a $300,000 loan and potentially much greater savings if borrowers negotiate the lower rate but keep their repayments at the same level."

"The interest rate on your home loan remains one of the biggest factors affecting the cost of the loan over its lifespan," said Mr Bonnar. "For households, keeping their repayments slightly higher when negotiating a low rate could potentially mean a fantastic overseas holiday, or retiring a year earlier. It is well worth the effort."

CANSTAR makes home loan comparison easy. The Home Loan Star Ratings, released today, compares 95 home loans from 10 lenders across five categories of floating, fixed rate and line of credit loans for both residential and investment purposes. The star rating report is a useful way for mortgage holders to assess how their current lender compares, as well as to narrow down products worth investigating further.

"Across the five loan categories assessed, several mortgage providers stood out as offering 5-star value," says Mr Bonnar. "These included Kiwibank, achieving a 5-star rating in four of the loan categories, followed closely by Westpac, with a 5-star rating in three categories. SBS Bank achieved 5-star ratings in both the Residential Fixed and Investment Fixed categories and ANZ were 5-star rated in the Line of Credit category."

"The best value mortgage for each home owner is going to depend on their individual situation, but with potentially many thousands of dollars to save, taking the time to shop around is a great return on investment."

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