The current talking point this morning is of course, the Reserve Bank and its decision to cut the official cash rate 25 basis points to 2%. That was expected. Just as predictable was the news that banks aren't going to pass on the full cut to customers. ANZ, our biggest bank, confirmed that pretty much immediately with a five basis point cut to its floating rate.
It would be interesting to see what Prime Minister John Key says after making these comments earlier in the week.
Out of interest Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler has just said: "We would like to see most of (the OCR cut) passed on."
What is really interesting though is that two providers have today come out and targeted first home buyers using KiwiSaver.
ANZ is offering a 20 basis point discount on its floating rate to these people. Meanwhile RESIMAC is working with Grosvenor Financial Services to target this market too.
I guess most mortgage advisers haven't heard of, or know much about, Grosvenor. It's been around for 16 years and provides services to financial advisers, as well as managed funds and KiwiSaver.
Grosvenor will essentially become an aggregator for RESIMAC and offer home loans to its advisers. What is really interesting about this is that investment funds can be used as security. (There is another twist around commission structures - more on that later).
My question for you today: With house prices near their peak in this cycle should we be encouraging first home buyers into the market at this point in the cycle?
You can email answers to me using firstname.lastname@example.org
In other news we have an update on ASB's profitability. The bank has now racked up six consecutive profit increases and is inching closer to $1 billion annual profit. In our interview with chief executive Barbara Chapman she discusses the Auckland housing market and potential new Reserve Bank lending restrictions. Here's what she said.