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Fixed Mortgage Interest Rates Slowly Firm

March 18, 2002

Fixed Mortgage Interest Rates Slowly Firm, Floating Rates Remain Stable

Fixed mortgage interest rates have continued to slowly rise, reflecting the fact that the home mortgage market is preparing for a tightening of monetary policy. The majority of economists expect The Reserve Bank to raise the Official Cash Rate over it’s next three OCR reviews, Mr Rex Hadley, National President of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand said today.

He said, “In the face of threatened worldwide recession, The Reserve Bank lowered the OCR to stimulate the economy. Now that there is strong evidence that international markets have recovered and that the New Zealand economy is strengthening, it is likely the OCR will firm over the next six months, and with it, interest rates.”

“For the second month running, lending institutions have increased fixed rates by 0.10 to 0.30 per cent, and floating rates remain completely unchanged, ranging between 6.24 and 6.70 per cent.

As of March 10, one year fixed rates range between 6.10 and 7.00 per cent, compared with 5.95 and 6.70 per cent to February 10; two year rates range between 6.95 and 7.65 compared to 6.80 and 7.45 per cent last month; three year fixed rates range between 7.40 to 8.00, compared to 7.25 to 7.82 per cent last month; while four and five year rates range between 7.89 to 8.30 per cent, compared to 7.49 to 8.05 per cent last month.

-ENDS-

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