||Government Looks at Interest Free Mortgages
In an effort to tackle the housing
affordability crisis, the New Zealand Government is considering an interest
free loan scheme for first-home buyers. The shared equity scheme could save
first-home buyers up to $100 a week compared to a commercial mortgage, with
officials working on the scheme alongside its Kiwibuild programme, which is
planning to build 10,000 houses a year at up to $650,000 each. With New
Zealand's housing shortage continuing to worsen by the month, this could be a
great way to boost home ownership rates in certain demographics.
||Rents Continue to Rise as House Prices Fall
Lack of growth in the housing market
continues to effect residential rents, which are now outpacing wage growth in
Auckland and Wellington. For the first time in a while, gross rental yields are
rising in more areas than they are falling across New Zealand, as investors
seek to capitalise on their properties without relying on capital gains. There
are some significant regional differences, however, with rents in Canterbury
hardly moving as wages continue to rise.
||Which Household Appliances Use the Most Energy
Whether it's cooking our food, washing our
clothes, or keeping us entertained at night, electricity is needed for all
aspects of modern life. Power bills are a huge expense for most people, with
domestic appliances accounting for 33 percent of all household energy
consumption. Other big contributors include water and cooling at 40 percent,
and water heating at 21 percent. Electricity is charged in kilowatts per hour
(kWh) units, with some appliances much more expensive to run than others. Let's
take a look at some of the best, and some of the worst offenders.
||Do Smart Drugs Work
Have you ever thought about taking drugs to
make you smarter or help you perform better at work? Smart drugs include all
compounds that are capable of enhancing cognitive function, including
stimulants like caffeine and Ritalin and nootropic substances such as piracetam
and modafinil. While some of these substances have been found to improve
memory, motivation and creativity in scientific studies, they can be dangerous
when abused or taken without a prescription.
||World's Best Road Trips
There's nothing better than a good road
trip to clear out the cobwebs. Fresh air and majestic scenery inspire the
imagination like nothing else, helping you to break the bonds of familiarity
and giving you a new lease on life. From far away journeys like Route 66 in the
United States and Ticlio Pass in Peru through to the Great Ocean Road in
Australia and Milford Road in New Zealand, let's take a look at some of the
world's most amazing road trips.
||Trump vs China - What does it mean for New Zealand
The looming trade war between the United
States and China will have an effect well beyond the two countries' borders,
with New Zealand likely to be caught in the middle. While not directly
involved, trading nations like New Zealand could be adversely affected by the
rise of protectionism, and the general undermining of the World Trade
Organisation. While American and Chinese consumers will take most of the heat,
the war of attrition between the two trading giants will also affect global
markets and the principles of international trade.
||Prices Flat Heading into Winter
New Zealand property values are flat
heading into winter, as stock levels rise, time on market increases, and
Auckland becomes a buyer's market for the first time in years. While the
Wellington market is still strong and certain regional markets are performing
well, Christchurch is down and national figures are cooling. According to
Quotable Value (QV), the average value of all residential dwellings throughout
the country was $677,618 in March, up 7.3 percent compared to March last year.
||Turn your home into a gym
When it comes to exercise, procrastination
is all too easy due to the mental and physical barriers that we put in place.
People who want to get fit are often told to join a gym or buy an expensive
piece of workout equipment - things that cost more time and money than most
people have. There is a solution, however, working out at home. By turning your
home into a gym and getting inspired by your domestic environment, you can
break down the barriers that have been holding you back for so long.
||Health Benefits of Dogs
From Miniature Poodles and Chihuahuas
through to German Shepherds and Great Danes, there’s a reason why dogs are
called man's best friend. Whether you want to get active, improve your social
life, or reduce your stress levels, dogs can do wonders for your health and
wellbeing. Owning a dog has even been linked to having a longer life, so what
are you waiting for, grab your collar and lead or head down to the local pet
shop and introduce yourself to your new best friend.
||Life on Venus?
After decades of searching for signs of
life in the stars, the very thing we've been looking for may have been on our
galactic doorstep all along. A recent article in the Astrobiology journal
suggests there may be life in the clouds of Venus. An international team of
scientists, including researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison,
have used evidence from new Venus footage to make these speculations. While
Venus’ atmosphere has everything micro-organisms would need to survive, the
study authors won't know what's really going on until they send a floating
aircraft to comb the skies of Venus.
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