Mortgage News February 19, 2019
First Home Buyer Numbers on the Rise

First home buyers are on the rise across New Zealand, with new buyers enjoying a record share of mortgage money despite a recent drop in overall housing finance. According to figures from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), national mortgage values were worth $5.371 billion in December 2018, which is $300 million more than a year ago and $850 million down from November. First home buyers made up 17.2 percent of the overall market with $924 million borrowed over the month, which is the highest level recorded since RBNZ started publishing data back in August 2014.


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Renewable Energy Around the World

When it comes to the design and implementation of renewable energy solutions, not all countries are created equal. From solar and wind power through to hydro and geothermal energy solutions, some nations are doing much more than others in the movement towards a low-carbon future. According to the Climate Council, Sweden is aiming to be the world's first 100 percent renewable country when it comes to electricity generation, with other ambitious green nations including Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Scotland, Germany, and Uruguay.


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World's Smallest Animals

For better and worse, humans have undoubtedly taken over planet Earth. Our use of tools and knack for self-awareness has given us an edge over the rest of the animal kingdom, to the point where many other species are under threat as the result of our existence. While our ability to learn, be creative, and solve problems is impressive and unsurpassed, a number of other species also show remarkable signs of intelligence. Let's take a look at the world's smartest animals and see how their intelligence differs from ours.


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The Environmental Impacts of Eating Less Meat

This is the first part of a two part discussion. What we eat has a huge effect on the world around us, with our diet closely linked with global farming practices and the health of environmental systems. With agriculture responsible for up to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, and most of these emissions coming from red meat production, simple changes to our diet could have a huge impact on the world around us. According to a new report published in The Lancet, eating less meat is critical if we want better personal health and improved environmental outcomes. Let's analyse the rather persuasive environmental argument, and leave the health argument to part two of this article.


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Rich Kiwis Getting Richer

The richest people in New Zealand continue to get richer, with the collective wealth of the country's two billionaires increasing by NZ$1.1 billion at the same time as the poorest 50 percent of the population decreased their wealth by NZ$1.3 billion. The growing gap between the rich and poor was illustrated in an Oxfam report entitled 'Public Good or Private Wealth', which the non-profit organisation release each year as a way to highlight growing wealth inequality during the World Economic Forum.


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Getting Healthier in Less Time

While everyone wants to be fitter and healthier, having enough discipline to reach your goals can be challenging. Rather than attempting 10,000 steps each and every day or trying to change your entire diet, perhaps there's a faster way to get healthy without disrupting your daily life. From high intensity interval training (HIIT) through to intermittent fasting (IF), the new paradigm is based on dynamic changes that stretch important cellular repair processes and imitate natural cycles.


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Market Slow but Getting Busier

New Zealand housing values have grown at their slowest rate since 2012, especially in the heated Auckland market where a negative growth rate has been recorded. The country is unlikely to suffer the same steep drops as Australia, however, with the average nationwide value still managing to hit a fresh high in December 2018 of $682,938. In fact, a busy start to 2019 has been predicted by some experts, thanks in part to more relaxed loan-to-value ratio (LVR) lending rules and competitive economic conditions.


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White Noise for Your Home

The sound of silence may not be what it seems, with white noise allowing us to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of natural environments in any location. If you've ever turned on a fan to enjoy a sleep-in or spent time camping next to a wandering creek, then you'll understand just how Zen white noise can be. While these analogue noise sources are still available, white noise apps are making it easier than ever before to tune out the world and enjoy the real sound of silence.


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The Wonders of Being Bored

With Christmas over, school holidays here, and people getting back to work, sometimes it seems like boredom is the enemy. According to a new study from the University of Waterloo in Canada, however, boredom can be a wondrous state that's full of potential for new and amazing things. While the negative feelings that often accompany boredom are there for a reason, you can learn to see it as a call to action rather than a reason to get anxious or depressed.


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> In This Issue...
1. First Home Buyer Numbers on the Rise
2. Renewable Energy Around the World
3. World's Smallest Animals
4. The Environmental Impacts of Eating Less Meat
5. Rich Kiwis Getting Richer
6. Getting Healthier in Less Time
7. Market Slow but Getting Busier
8. White Noise for Your Home
9. The Wonders of Being Bored

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