Mortgage News June 03, 2020
BNZ Predict Decline in House Prices

The widespread economic downturn from coronavirus is likely to have a significant effect on the New Zealand housing market. While it's still early days, leading economists are predicting price declines well above 10% for both residential and commercial property. The construction sector is also likely to weaken, with declining GDP growth, rising unemployment, and lower population growth shrinking demand as many Kiwis face an uncertain future.


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Banks offer Historic Interest Rate Lows

Coronavirus continues to affect the New Zealand housing market, with prices expected to fall, people struggling to pay rent, and mortgage payments deferred in record numbers. The nation's largest banks have come to the party by dropping interest rates in an effort to bring in new customers. Kiwibank was the first lender to offer a historic low rate, with ASB following quickly and both ANZ and Westpac also dropping their two-year fixed home loan rate to under 3%. While the Reserve Bank of New Zealand left the official cash rate at 0.25% in its latest announcement, further rate cuts and quantitative easing measures both remain on the table.


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The Quarantine on Consumption

Coronavirus has changed everything, which gives us a rare opportunity to re-evaluate our existing way of life. Social isolation is the new normal, more people are working from home, and even a trip to the supermarket is a major social outing. When something of this magnitude affects the entire world, there is an opportunity to emerge from the storm with changed habits and different values. A prolonged global recession is almost guaranteed, and some commentators are even looking ahead to an extended "quarantine of consumption".


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Mental Health Challenges in a Strange New World

Along with the acute health effects of COVID-19, the pandemic is associated with a number of long-term mental health challenges. Long periods of isolation, lack of activity, and large-scale anxiety are having a profound effect on people with existing mental health conditions. Worrying new symptoms are also arising for people without a history of mental illness, as everyone struggles with the harsh realities of a strange new world. Self-care and mindfulness have a huge role to play as we transition to a new kind of "normal", with human connections and physical activity also key.


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Which Industries are Winning During Isolation

Coronavirus continues to have a devastating impact on industries around the world. Entire sectors are failing, millions of people have lost their jobs, and global governments have unveiled their biggest stimulus packages in history. Amidst all the chaos and destruction, however, some industry sectors are flourishing like never before. From healthcare and logistics to e-commerce and video conferencing, let's take a look at some of the winners from COVID-19.


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House Prices Likely to Fall

New Zealand house prices are likely to fall as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact domestic and global markets. While real estate assets are large, robust, and somewhat resilient, the current situation will be a huge test. Unemployment is just one of many factors likely to affect the market, with tourism, rental prices, and wider business confidence also likely to have a negative impact. Overall, house prices are likely to fall over coming months, with the speed and extent of the decline directly linked to the state of the global pandemic.


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Agriculture & the Recovery

Every sector of the New Zealand economy has been affected by coronavirus, and for the vast majority, the economic impacts have been severely negative. Businesses are closed, tourism is non-existent, and goods are moving through borders at a much slower rate than normal. In times like these, New Zealand is forced to rely on its most traditional and resilient industries, with a healthy dairy trade central to getting our economy back on solid ground.


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Keeping in Touch with Friends Remotely

As everyone becomes accustomed to staying at home, keeping in touch with friends and family is more important than ever. While handshakes are well-and-truly out of fashion and hugs are reserved to members of your family unit, there are lots of digital tools that help us to stay connected and keep in touch despite iso-life. From Facebook and Twitter to Skype and Webex, digital tools help us to work, play, and communicate easier than ever before.


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How to keep fit at home

The coronavirus is affecting every aspect of life, from work to play to exercise and fun. While going outside to exercise is one of the few things allowed at the moment, not everyone likes walking down empty streets or trying to avoid people while jogging. Gyms are off-limits, team sports are cancelled, and even beaches are a no-go area in many suburbs. While you should try to exercise outdoors while you can, it's also important to step outside your comfort zone and keep fit at home.


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Getting Creative with your Kids at Home

With many people in full lockdown mode due to the coronavirus, lots of us are stuck inside with the kids. While this situation can certainly be challenging and doesn't always run smoothly, there's a lot you can do to keep your kids entertained. Creative projects are a great way to spend some time, with even the simplest ideas likely to be embraced by your kids during this strange time. From recycled art projects and exercise play through to time-honoured board games, getting your kids away from their screens demands a little creativity.


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> In This Issue...
1. BNZ Predict Decline in House Prices
2. Banks offer Historic Interest Rate Lows
3. The Quarantine on Consumption
4. Mental Health Challenges in a Strange New World
5. Which Industries are Winning During Isolation
6. House Prices Likely to Fall
7. Agriculture & the Recovery
8. Keeping in Touch with Friends Remotely
9. How to keep fit at home
10. Getting Creative with your Kids at Home

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