Mortgage News October 21, 2018
The Real State of House Sales

Property sales activity is down across New Zealand, with low listings and stagnant prices also pointing towards a market slowdown. According to data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), September saw the fewest number of sales recorded nationally since January. Over the last 12 months, sales activity has dropped 3.3 percent outside Auckland and 2.1 percent in Auckland, bringing the nationwide decrease to 3.0 percent over the year.


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How to Improve Your Memory

As the years roll by and the wrinkles start to develop, we have more to look back on but less faculty for doing so. While decreasing memory as we get older might seem like one of life's tricks, there are lots of things we can do to improve our recall and upgrade our state of mind. Memory is a complicated process that’s made up of numerous brain activities, which means this task can be tackled in a few different ways.


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How Low Will the Kiwi Dollar Go?

The Kiwi dollar dropped to a significant 2.5 year low last week against the greenback, sinking to 64.26 US cents on the back of rising US interest rates and weak domestic data. While the dollar has seen a spirited rise since then, coming back to its mid-September levels, many experts are forecasting the Kiwi to fall even further in the weeks and months ahead. How low the Kiwi goes will depend on US-China trade tensions, the health of the domestic economy, and whether or not the market has fully priced in the Federal Reserve's tightening cycle.


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Spring Cleaning that Counts

Spring is well and truly here, with more light in the day both increasing the warmth of your home and highlighting the dust in its corners. More than just a bridge between winter and summer, spring is a time to start fresh, a time to hit the reset button on everything that has been and lay the foundations for a better tomorrow. Spring cleaning is well-established across much of the world, with this practical and effective ritual helping you to take stock and get your home ready for the summer ahead.


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World's Most Expensive Art

The world of fine art is shrouded in mystery, especially when it comes to the top end of the market. While most of the world's famous masterpieces are owned by museums in Europe and rarely sold, there is an active private auction market for some high profile works. In order to determine the value of a piece of art, it's important to differentiate between museum paintings and those owned by private collectors. While old master works in museums are valued extremely high, most of them will never be available for private sale.


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The State of NZ Household Debt

New Zealand households, like much of the world, are struggling with unsustainable levels of debt. While the New Zealand economy is in pretty good shape, the household debt to income ratio has risen from less than 60 percent in the early 1990s to 166 percent today. While it's yet to exceed the all-time high of 166.2 percent recorded in the second quarter of 2017, the ratio is stabilising rather than retreating. The situation in New Zealand mirrors what's happening in the rest of the world, with global debt levels higher today than they were during the credit crisis of 2008. 


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Plans to Unlock Affordable Housing

The Government continues its attempt to unlock affordable housing across New Zealand, with homes from the KiwiBuild scheme already on the block in Auckland and new plans to build 10,000 homes as part of the Mt Roskill redevelopment project. All in all, the Government has committed $2 billion for KiwiBuild, as it aims to deliver 100,000 "modest starter" homes for first-home buyers over the next decade. The private sector is also starting to join the party, with ASB set to provide 95 percent housing loans to qualified KiwiBuild buyers.  


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Household Composition Around the World

Not all household are the same, with vast differences between household size and composition around the world. According to the latest 'Database of Household Size and Composition' report from the United Nations, the average household size ranges from less than three people to more than six depending on where you live. While rising living standards across the world have led to a decrease in household size over the last few years, an ageing global population is creating additional household stress in some countries.


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Rising Cases of Anxiety

There is a rising anxiety epidemic sweeping across the world, with this silent mental health disorder affecting people of all ages, genders and races. According to one recent poll, adults in the United States are increasingly anxious about the world around them. The situation in Australia and New Zealand is not much better, with children as young as four diagnosed with anxiety and women particularly at risk. While rising levels of anxiety are a worry for us all, if harnessed properly, some people think anxiety could also be a power for good.


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Plans for Space Elevator

A space elevator has long been proposed as an affordable way to transport people and goods beyond Earth's atmosphere. While most of the work in this field has been in the realms of theory or science fiction, Japanese scientists have taken the first small steps into making this vision a reality. Researchers have just launched two tiny satellites to the International Space Station in an effort to test any changes in movement and orientation that could possibly affect future elevator transport.


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> In This Issue...
1. The Real State of House Sales
2. How to Improve Your Memory
3. How Low Will the Kiwi Dollar Go?
4. Spring Cleaning that Counts
5. World's Most Expensive Art
6. The State of NZ Household Debt
7. Plans to Unlock Affordable Housing
8. Household Composition Around the World
9. Rising Cases of Anxiety
10. Plans for Space Elevator

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