Mortgage News April 27, 2019
Payday Loans Causing Problems

Home loans and other forms of finance seem to be getting harder to access, with lenders pointing towards a responsible lending code based on increased documentation and minimised risk. According to non-prime lenders and finance brokers who specialise in debt consolidation, loan applications are often rejected if the borrower has a history of payday loans, which are often seen as a sign of financial problems.


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Housing Market Blues

The New Zealand housing market is feeling the blues, with house sales falling and prices dropping in Auckland and other key markets. After years of unrestrained growth fuelled by demand, the number of homes being sold around the country is on a steep decline. Wider economic conditions and difficulty getting finance are both affecting the numbers, with Auckland sales down almost 20 percent over the year and national figures down by more than 10 percent.


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The Pros and Cons of Routine

Whether we like it or not, ritualised activities are an important part of our lives, from our morning cup of coffee through to our daily commute and favourite television show. Depending on who you ask, the routine activities which help to define our lives are either an important psychological safety net or an overbearing source of confinement. The truth, like most things in life, is that routine can either be healthy or unhealthy depending on frequency and context.


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Exercise Beats Diet for Weight Loss

Whether it's more access to processed food or an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, many countries around the world have seen a rise in obesity levels over the last few decades. While diet is often promoted as the best way to lose weight, a new study from the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center (AHWC) suggests exercise is a more critical factor for healthy weight maintenance.


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The New Midlife Crisis

Having a midlife crisis used to mean buying a red sports car or making rash and impulsive decisions. While you can still see lots of 50 year old men with dyed hair on the back of brand new Harley Davidsons, the 21st century midlife crisis is just as likely to be defined by renewed athleticism and an extreme approach to personal fitness. From the rise of Ironman events and extreme marathons through to the growth of the personal fitness industry, let's take a look at what it means to be middle aged in 2019.


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Proposed Kiwisaver Tax Changes

Proposed changes to KiwiSaver have been designed to redistribute wealth across New Zealand, with the Tax Working Group working on new initiatives to boost savings for low and middle income earners while reducing them for higher income earners. People earning up to $70,000 a year are likely to see benefits under the proposal, most of which will outweigh the extra taxation. Despite these intentions, not everyone is on-board with the proposals, with some critics warning of new complications and unintended consequences. 


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House Sales Slump

Property sales volumes continue to drop across New Zealand, with the housing market downturn leading vendors and investors to take a ‘wait and see’ approach. Sales volumes were very weak in February results, at a time when the market is usually running hot. Auckland is leading the downturn, with New Zealand's biggest real estate market recording its lowest number of sales in any non-January month since 2010. There are many reasons for the current level of caution, including growing uncertainty around Capital Gains Tax reforms, unrealistic price expectations, and a more difficult lending environment.


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How to Stop Using Plastics

Plastic is absolutely everywhere, with plastic bottles, bags, and packaging posing a very real threat to marine life and sensitive global ecosystems. Due to its extreme durability, plastic products last for centuries and often end up in landfill or floating around in the ocean. Despite efforts being made to reduce plastics by eliminating single-use plastic bags, there is still so much we can do as individuals to reduce our plastic consumption and become part of the solution rather than the problem. 


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Technology Predictions That Will Never Happen

The introduction of new technologies has a huge effect on the world, with mechanisation, computerisation, and the Internet changing every aspect of global culture. As forward-thinking humans, we like to make predictions about possible new technologies and how they will shape the world around us. While science fiction books and futurologists have made some very accurate predictions, there are lots of other examples that were way off the mark. From hoverboards and jetpacks through to teleportation and free energy devices, let's take a look at some tech predictions that are unlikely to ever happen.


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The Health Impacts of Eating Less Meat

This article is part two of a two part discussion. What we eat has a huge effect on our personal health and the health of the entire planet. With obesity on the rise across the western world and many people struggling to meet their diet and exercise goals, perhaps there's an easy way to improve our health and well-being. According to a new report published in The Lancet, eating less meat is crucial if we want better environmental outcomes and improved personal health. We have already looked at the environmental angle of this report in part one of this article, now let's analyse this important issue from a health perspective.


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> In This Issue...
1. Payday Loans Causing Problems
2. Housing Market Blues
3. The Pros and Cons of Routine
4. Exercise Beats Diet for Weight Loss
5. The New Midlife Crisis
6. Proposed Kiwisaver Tax Changes
7. House Sales Slump
8. How to Stop Using Plastics
9. Technology Predictions That Will Never Happen
10. The Health Impacts of Eating Less Meat

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