Mortgage News February 19, 2018
Housing and the Election

The New Zealand election is just days away, with housing one of the key issues addressed by politicians over the course of the election campaign. The main political parties have outlined a number of new and existing policies related to housing supply and affordability, including policies related to new developments, first-home ownership, property tax, foreign buyer rules, and plans to increase housing supply in Auckland and other high-demand areas. Let's take a look at how the major and minor parties plan to tackle some of the most significant issues facing New Zealand.


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The Heat is off Auckland

Conditions continue to cool in the Auckland property market, with prices down despite a recent softening in house building activity and dwelling consent numbers. Slight drops in value and sales volumes have not changed the long-term picture, however, with widespread unaffordability likely to remain. While the heat is off Auckland for the time being, tight conditions are expected to endure due to ongoing supply problems and high net migration.


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City Parks for the Urban Household

The health benefits of nature are well known, with people who spend time in natural environments less likely to be anxious or depressed than those who never leave the urban jungle. It's not possible for everyone to live by the ocean or hide away on the top of a mountain, however, so city planners are learning to improve the mental state of residents by adding pockets of nature that copy the wider world. By incorporating insights from science and psychology into their work, urban designers can create future cities that work with nature instead of fighting against it.


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Does Moderate Drinking Cause Harm

Excessive alcohol consumption has been associated with a wide range of negative health outcomes, from the physical effects of liver disease through to brain damage and depression. While everyone is aware of the dangers of heavy drinking, the truth about moderate drinking can be much harder to discern. Can one or two drinks at the end of the day really be OK, or is the idea that low-level drinking is good for your health actually a myth? 


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Rise of the Robots

Robotic technology continues to make headlines, as artificial intelligence and innovative hardware converge in clever and surprising ways. From mechanical factory workers and robotic surgeons through to moving sex dolls and robotic vacuum cleaners, automation has become a big part of our everyday life. The rise of the robots is not without its problems, however, as experts warn of job losses, moral uncertainty, and the unintended consequences of emergent systems.


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> In This Issue...
1. Housing and the Election
2. The Heat is off Auckland
3. City Parks for the Urban Household
4. Does Moderate Drinking Cause Harm
5. Rise of the Robots

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