Mortgage News November 27, 2020
Household Trends for the 2020s

The modern household continues to evolve, with interior design and lifestyle experts forecasting future trends based on demographic changes. The 2020s is well underway, and despite an incredibly challenging start, new lifestyle trends are starting to emerge. The global pandemic will obviously influence how we live and work in the years ahead, as will considerations around living space, multi-functionality, technology, and accessibility. Let's take a look at the changing shape of the modern home and what it means for your family.


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The Health Benefits of Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is often linked with good health outcomes, with an optimistic outlook known to improve stress management, enhance mental health, limit memory decline, and even reduce heart disease. While thinking of unicorns and rainbows probably won't cure all your ills, there is definitive scientific evidence highlighting the power of positive thought. While the exact mechanisms behind this phenomenon remain unknown, an optimistic outlook seems to influence the mind-body connection and reduce the harmful effects of stress on the body.


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Government Under Pressure from House Prices

The New Zealand Government is under renewed pressure due to unsustainable house prices and relentless property growth during uncertain times. With house prices forecast to rise 15% next year alone, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been forced to defend her policies from all sides. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) expects house price inflation to reach 9.6% for the year, and Kiwibank economists say the housing market is not consistent with an economy in the midst of a 100-year recession. While answers seem hard to come by, high-risk investor lending and cheap no-strings funding for banks seem unlikely to help.


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Prices High but Top-Heavy

House prices in New Zealand remain stubbornly high, especially given the challenges of the surrounding economic environment. According to Westpac economists, prices are expected to rise 15% in the next year alone, with RBNZ predictions slightly lower with around 10% growth forecast. The rate of domestic property growth is largely based on location, however, with prices much healthier in some parts of the country. According to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), we can expect strong national movement to continue throughout 2021, along with significant discrepancies between cities, regions, and suburbs.


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Water Found on the Moon

After years of searching, NASA has found evidence of liquid water on the Moon. Two separate studies have been published in recent days, with water found deep in polar craters and predicted in polar "cold traps". While scientists have long suspected there to be water on the Moon, it is now almost certain and possibly much more widespread than previously thought. These new findings have a number of positive implications for the future of lunar exploration, with water possibly useful for resource extraction and rocket fuel among other applications.


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First Home Buyers Stake a Claim

House prices in New Zealand continue to rise amidst a backdrop of global economic uncertainty. Despite rocketing prices, however, first-home buyers have entered the market in record numbers across the country. According to figures from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), first-home buyers have been taking out home loans at a rate of $1.3 billion-a-month over recent months. Accounting for a massive 25% of all residential property sales, first-home buyers have recorded their biggest share of the housing market in at least 15 years.


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Economic Forecasts Improve

New Zealand's economic outlook is getting brighter by the day, with gloomy post-COVID predictions fading slightly as the months progress. While the global economy remains in turmoil, there are positive signs for New Zealand's future. Retail spending is up, shares are rising, and key economic indicators are pointing towards a faster recovery than expected. The booming housing market will continue to boost confidence across the country, with unemployment set to rise but not as fast as originally expected. 


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Medical Apps on the Rise

COVID-19 has changed everything in 2020, with social distancing, isolation, and lockdowns the new normal for millions of people around the world. Placed front-and-centre in this global crisis, the healthcare sector continues to evolve to meet the numerous challenges posed by the pandemic. Remote medical apps and self-monitoring services represent a new and exciting development, as COVID and healthcare patients around the world continue to get the help they need at home.


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Returning to the Moon

Man first went to the moon in 1969, and the Apollo lunar flights ended way back in 1972. Over the last 48 years, there has been little interest in going back to the moon, with money and politics mostly responsible for the lack of ambition. All that is about to change, however, with the NASA Artemis Plan focused on putting men and women back on the moon in 2024. This time around could be very different, as key commercial and international partnerships define the scope and scale of the next phase of space exploration.


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The Next Generation of Householding Gaming

The next generation of household gaming is almost here, with both Microsoft and Sony set to drop their new consoles after a very long wait. The Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are set to launch by the end of the year, as keen gamers do their research and save their funds in anticipation. There’s a lot of things to factor in when making your decision, from power and storage space to hardware preferences, subscriptions, and game exclusives. Let's take a look at the Xbox Series X and PS5 and what it means for your Christmas budget. 


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> In This Issue...
1. Household Trends for the 2020s
2. The Health Benefits of Positive Thinking
3. Government Under Pressure from House Prices
4. Prices High but Top-Heavy
5. Water Found on the Moon
6. First Home Buyers Stake a Claim
7. Economic Forecasts Improve
8. Medical Apps on the Rise
9. Returning to the Moon
10. The Next Generation of Householding Gaming

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