Mortgage News July 12, 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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> 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

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