Mortgage News May 12, 2021
Government Attempts to Help First Home Buyers

The New Zealand government has made big moves to dampen property prices. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Labour colleagues are hoping to bring stability to the housing market and get more first time buyers into homes. Instead of climbing the property ladder, this newly articulated approach is about making houses more affordable by valuing them as "homes" rather than investments. The family home will be unaffected by the changes, with a 10-year limit creating a new threshold for speculative market behaviour. 


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New Hobbies for Winter

As the cold winter months draw closer, it's a great time to develop a new hobby. Whether you want to get outside and brave the fresh air or snuggle down in the warmth of a blanket, winter is a great time to discover new interests and spend time doing the things you love. From solo activities to new hobbies with partners and friends, let's take a look at some fun activities you can enjoy over the coming months.   
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Migration Figures Drop Sharply

Migration numbers are significantly down in New Zealand, as COVID-19 puts the handbrake on long-term international arrivals and global tourist movements. New Zealand's overall population growth from migration was down 95% in February 2021 when compared to February 2020, with this huge drop putting pressure on multiple domestic sectors. As the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble kicks into gear and global vaccination rates grow slowly each month, Kiwi airports are likely to see a little more traffic in coming months.


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Exercise Doesn't Have to be Boring

As we get ready for the coming winter, it's a great time to ingrain new health and lifestyle habits. Contrary to popular belief, exercise doesn't have to be boring. From yoga classes in front of the TV to ocean swimming and beyond, fun fitness activities help you to get off the couch and live a more productive lifestyle. Let's take a look at some novel ways to get fit in 2021, after all, fitness is so much easier when it's fun.  


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How Humans Developed Big Brains

Human beings have bigger brains than our animal cousins, with the size and complexity of our neural network responsible for continual leaps of evolution. While multiple studies have been carried out on the human brain, new research has uncovered the actual biological switch that may be responsible for our collective growth as a species. When 'brain organoids' were grown in the lab from humans, gorillas, and chimpanzees, scientists could influence the amount of growth and complexity. It seems the human brain is more patient during the early stages of growth, which gives it more time and space to develop complexity down the track.


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Market Reaches Record Highs

The New Zealand property market continues to surge ahead at record pace. A combination of low interest rates, insufficient housing supply, and tax incentives have put additional pressure on what was an already heated market. In the four month period ending February 2021, average property prices rose by $74,388 across the country. While this is great news for many, property owners are making record profits at the expense of housing affordability and increased rental stress. 


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Construction Costs Higher Than Australia

Construction challenges are rising in New Zealand, as the impacts of COVID-19 continue to affect the residential and commercial building sectors. The cost of labour and materials is higher than Australia according to experts, as the industry struggles with the price and availability of key resources. Along with the pandemic, the industry is facing increased demand for materials and freight due to record building consent numbers in Auckland and other heated markets.  


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Interior Trends for the Coming Winter

As we head into winter, 2021, there's never been a better time to refresh your home. While the last few months have been challenging for everyone, COVID-19 has helped to put many things into perspective. With people around the world spending more time at home, there has been an uptake in domestic energy and a renewed focus on the art of interior design. Let's take a look at some of the exciting new design trends that are ready to rock your world over the 2021 winter and beyond.


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Royal Families Around the World

The British royal family have been getting lots of headlines lately, with Queen Elizabeth II and her brood the most visible face of modern monarchy. The House of Windsor is not the only reigning family, however, with 26 unique monarchies and 44 sovereign states (including Australia and New Zealand) existing in the world today. From the extravagance of the house of Al-Saud in Saudi Arabia to the relative modesty of the King of Norway, let's take a look at the current shape of monarchy across the globe.


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The Right Fruit & Veg Mix

We have always understood the importance of fruit and vegetables to human health. Along with sleep, water, and exercise, fruit and veg consumption has been a consistent element in health messaging around the world. However, despite the recognised benefits of fresh produce, the recommended amount and ratio of fruit and veg intake has been far from consistent. A huge new global study has shed light on the issue. Five daily servings of fruit and vegetables is the recommended amount, with the ideal ratio being two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables.  


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> In This Issue...
1. Government Attempts to Help First Home Buyers
2. New Hobbies for Winter
3. Migration Figures Drop Sharply
4. Exercise Doesn't Have to be Boring
5. How Humans Developed Big Brains
6. Market Reaches Record Highs
7. Construction Costs Higher Than Australia
8. Interior Trends for the Coming Winter
9. Royal Families Around the World
10. The Right Fruit & Veg Mix

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