Westpac loaded up on home loans in the Dec Qtr after a quiet period

Westpac charged back into the mortgage market in the December quarter, lending a net $874.4 million in new housing loans after a quiet September quarter when it lent just $88.2 million in new housing loans, according to the Reserve Bank's bank financial strength dashboard.

That made Westpac the second largest player in the market in the latest quarter behind only ANZ Bank NZ which lent a net $1.26 billion in new loans, although that was a pullback from $1.49 billion in the September quarter.

ANZ, the largest bank, was by far the biggest mortgage lender in calendar 2023 with a net $4.23 billion in new loans, well in front of the next largest lender, Bank of New Zealand with $2.77 billion. BNZ's new home loans in the December quarter were a net $652.8 million.

Westpac's net new mortgage lending for the year was $1.5 billion.

ANZ's market share grew from 30.31% to 30.47% over the year, Westpac's fell from 19.23% to 19.01% and BNZ's grew from 16.48% to 16.72%.

As we already knew from their first-half results released last month, the government-owned Kiwibank was a large presence in the market during the December quarter, while ASB's mortgage book went backwards for a second successive quarter.

Kiwibank was the third largest lender in the quarter with a net $737.1 million in net new loans, taking its net new mortgage lending to $1.74 billion for calendar 2023 and making it the third largest player for the year as well.

Kiwibank's market share by year's end was 7.4%, up from 7.14% a year earlier.

ASB's mortgage book shrank by $312 million in the December quarter after shrinking by $152.2 million in the June quarter.

For calendar year, ASB's book grew a meagre $146.4 million and its market share fell from 21.72% to 21.02%.

ASB's market share loss clearly reflected its decision to charge above-market interest rates.

Its current rates are much more “in the middle of the pack”, with its six-month rate of 7.39% matching the six-month rates of BNZ, Kiwibank, Westpac, TSB and Co-operative Bank, although above ANZ's 7.35%.

ASB's one-year fixed rate now is also 7.39%, matching TSB and ANZ but above Kiwibank's 7.35% and the 7.29% offered by BNZ, Co-operative Bank and Westpac.

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