In the years before pandemic-induced, ultra-low interest rates, cash incentives from banks to lure new home loan customers were commonplace. And now rates are back up to pre-GFC highs, some banks have reinstated their financial sweeteners. Canstar explores the mortgage cashbacks on offer, and checks to see how the deals stack up.
While some banks make a big show of their first home buyer deals, it’s worth noting that regardless of whether you’re buying a first home, or refinancing, it always pays to shop around and compare deals.
Banks’ websites usually just advertise their standard mortgage rates, not the best deals they offer to customers with 20% deposits and good credit ratings. And, in the same way, banks don’t show their hands when it comes to their cashback deals.
Canstar’s research has found that all the big banks, and the smaller NZ ones, are offering cashback deals of around 0.7% to 1% on new residential lending.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get… so always push for the best deal possible.
However, three banks are currently advertising cashback deals specifically for first home buyers (FHBs). And credit union Unity is offering cash to any punters taking out a new mortgage with them:
The ANZ’s cashback offer is for FHBs taking out new home loans of a minimum $100,000. There’s a cashback of $5000, as long as you keep your mortgage with the ANZ for at least three years.
The ASB is also handing over cash to FHBs: $3000, if you take out a home loan of $250,000 or more with the bank for at least three years.
SBS: Canstar’s Bank of the Year: First Home Buyers 2023
This year is the second year in a row that SBS Bank has won our Bank of the Year: First Home Buyers award. Once again, the lender’s fantastic FirstHome Combo deal and market-leading interest rates helped place it above the competition.
SBS Bank’s FirstHome Combo offers a range of benefits for customers who bundle all their banking, insurance and KiwiSaver products with the financial provider, including a $2000 cashback:
- $2000 cash to help cover the costs connected to purchasing your first home
- Interest rate of 6.19% p.a. fixed for one year. Or, if you’re building, a discount of 2.55% on the bank’s standard floating rate
- $1000 to help cover your first year’s home and contents insurance premiums on policies with SBS Insurance
- Interest-free balance transfer up to $2000 for 24 months on an SBS Visa Credit Card
- $1000 top-up for Lifestages KiwiSaver Scheme account(s)
Credit union Unity is offering a $3000 cashback on new lending of $250,000 and above. Again, you’ve got to keep your mortgage with Unity for three years to keep all of the cash, and other T&Cs apply.
Compare Travel Money Cards
Headed off overseas and looking for the best in money cards? Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular cards in New Zealand:
The display order does not reflect any ranking or rating by Canstar.
This information is not an endorsement by Canstar of travel money cards or any specific provider. Information correct as of 20/09/23. For full pricing details see individual providers’ websites.
Mortgage Cashbacks: Are they Worth It?
Free cash is great. But banks are not renowned for giving away anything for free. So before you get excited about a 1% cashback, it’s worth considering what it’s likely to cost you.
Most of the 1% cashback deals require you to be locked into a mortgage with the bank for a set period. You get the cash upfront, and the bank then spreads the cost of that cash lump sum over the next three to four years. And if you refinance during that period, you have to repay a percentage of your cashback.
You should also factor in the interest rate you are paying on the cashback mortgage. Is it higher than what’s available elsewhere? If you are receiving a 1% cashback over four years, is the interest rate 0.25% higher than you could secure elsewhere?
At this point, it’s worth pointing out that the average difference between the lowest and highest interest rates on Canstar’s database, across all fixed mortgages, from one to five years, is 1.6%. So, ultimately, choosing a lower overall rate, rather than the enticement of a cashback, could work out a better deal.
Compare with Canstar for the Lowest Mortgage Rates
While low rates and cashbacks impact the cost of a home loan, when Canstar compares and rates mortgages and mortgage lenders, our expert researchers look at each home loan and awards points for the array of features it offers and its comparative price, which includes rates and fees.
The best products then receive our 5-Star Ratings for Outstanding Value. We place a lot of importance on our ratings, which is why the comparison grids below are sorted first by Star Rating, highest to lowest. However, if you want to compare by lowest rates instead, just click through to access our full mortgage rate comparison tables.
The table below displays some of the 2-year fixed-rate home loans on our database (some may have links to lenders’ websites) that are available for first home buyers. This table is sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest), followed by company name (alphabetical). Products shown are principal and interest home loans available for a loan amount of $500K in Auckland. Before committing to a particular home loan product, check upfront with your lender and read the applicable loan documentation to confirm whether the terms of the loan meet your needs and repayment capacity. Use Canstar’s home loan selector to view a wider range of home loan products. Canstar may earn a fee for referrals.
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce has three decades’ experience as a journalist and has worked for major media companies in the UK and Australasia, including ACP, Bauer Media Group, Fairfax, Pacific Magazines, News Corp and TVNZ. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.
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