Mortgage News September 23, 2018
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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Investor Confidence Down

Investor confidence has slipped across New Zealand, thanks in part to pessimism about returns on investment from term deposits. According to the latest ASB Investor Confidence Report, there has been a downward shift in this measure since the start of 2017, with investor confidence falling from 21 percent to 16 percent over the last quarter alone. While overall sentiment is still significantly higher than the recent low of 3 percent recorded at the start of 2016, expectations could drop further if housing fails to provide the same returns as previous years.


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Foreigners Banned from Buying Property

The New Zealand Government has passed a new law that bans foreigners from buying property. In an effort to tackle unsustainable house price growth in Auckland, the Labour-led Government has completed its election campaign pledge and banned many non-residents from buying existing homes. With median house prices already starting to slip, this move could deepen and lengthen the housing market correction and make it easier for new buyers to enter the market.


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Dealing with Household Clutter

In a modern world that is increasingly full and materialistic, it's no wonder that we find ourselves surrounded by more and more clutter. While the first and most powerful step in de-cluttering involves buying less stuff, there are lots of practical things you can do to organise your existing possessions and make more sense of your personal space. Whether it's putting away the laundry before it piles up or taking time to clean up after the kids, it's important to value your space and have a regular de-cluttering schedule if you want to avoid a messy and dysfunctional home.  


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Boosting your Metabolism

It's a common belief that speeding up your metabolism helps you to stay healthy, burn more calories, and improve your weight loss efforts. Even though there's a lot of truth to this statement, there are also a number of myths associated with metabolism and how it functions. While exercise, diet, and lifestyle factors can have a significant effect on your metabolism, your age and genetic makeup also have an important role to play.  


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Happiness & the Midlife Crisis

The midlife crisis has been partially explained in recent research, with our happiness said to follow a distinct U-shaped curve that bottoms out in our 40s. While only about 10 percent of men, and even fewer women, actually experience a full-blown midlife crisis, our middle years are the time when our happiness is tested the most. There is some good news, however, with the general unhappiness experienced in our 40s and early 50s almost always improving in the decades that follow.


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> In This Issue...
1. The State of NZ Household Debt
2. Plans to Unlock Affordable Housing
3. Household Composition Around the World
4. Rising Cases of Anxiety
5. Plans for Space Elevator
6. Investor Confidence Down
7. Foreigners Banned from Buying Property
8. Dealing with Household Clutter
9. Boosting your Metabolism
10. Happiness & the Midlife Crisis

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