Mortgage News October 27, 2020
First Home Buyers Stake a Claim

House prices in New Zealand continue to rise amidst a backdrop of global economic uncertainty. Despite rocketing prices, however, first-home buyers have entered the market in record numbers across the country. According to figures from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), first-home buyers have been taking out home loans at a rate of $1.3 billion-a-month over recent months. Accounting for a massive 25% of all residential property sales, first-home buyers have recorded their biggest share of the housing market in at least 15 years.


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Economic Forecasts Improve

New Zealand's economic outlook is getting brighter by the day, with gloomy post-COVID predictions fading slightly as the months progress. While the global economy remains in turmoil, there are positive signs for New Zealand's future. Retail spending is up, shares are rising, and key economic indicators are pointing towards a faster recovery than expected. The booming housing market will continue to boost confidence across the country, with unemployment set to rise but not as fast as originally expected. 


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Medical Apps on the Rise

COVID-19 has changed everything in 2020, with social distancing, isolation, and lockdowns the new normal for millions of people around the world. Placed front-and-centre in this global crisis, the healthcare sector continues to evolve to meet the numerous challenges posed by the pandemic. Remote medical apps and self-monitoring services represent a new and exciting development, as COVID and healthcare patients around the world continue to get the help they need at home.


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Returning to the Moon

Man first went to the moon in 1969, and the Apollo lunar flights ended way back in 1972. Over the last 48 years, there has been little interest in going back to the moon, with money and politics mostly responsible for the lack of ambition. All that is about to change, however, with the NASA Artemis Plan focused on putting men and women back on the moon in 2024. This time around could be very different, as key commercial and international partnerships define the scope and scale of the next phase of space exploration.


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The Next Generation of Householding Gaming

The next generation of household gaming is almost here, with both Microsoft and Sony set to drop their new consoles after a very long wait. The Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are set to launch by the end of the year, as keen gamers do their research and save their funds in anticipation. There’s a lot of things to factor in when making your decision, from power and storage space to hardware preferences, subscriptions, and game exclusives. Let's take a look at the Xbox Series X and PS5 and what it means for your Christmas budget. 


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The Global Vaccine Race

The global search for a COVID-19 vaccine is well underway, with research taking place across the world and at least six advanced clinical trials likely by the end of the year. The first human trials began way back in May and the promising Oxford vaccine has already proved an immune response in trial participants. Research and deals into potential vaccine options continues across the world, as a number of conventional and new approaches reach an exciting new phase.


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Record Housing Stock Lows

The New Zealand property market is faring well during the pandemic, with low housing stock numbers and wider economic support measures helping to buffer house price growth. To make sense of this unexpected positivity, it's important to understand how much the New Zealand housing market is driven by the discrepancy between supply and demand. Even in the current environment with zero migration, record lows in housing stock continue to push prices higher.


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Online Retail Sales Surge

Household spending habits have changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic due to lockdowns and social distancing. While most businesses in Australia and New Zealand are struggling to pay the bills, online retail sales are booming as people migrate from the high street to the virtual shopfront. Online retail sales were up 62.6% for the year in Australia, with online sales also emerging as a big winner in the New Zealand economy. 


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Median Incomes Fall for First Time

COVID-19 and associated lockdown measures have seen more than a few records come tumbling down, as median incomes fall for the first time in New Zealand. While those lucky enough to have a job saw relatively healthy wage growth over the June 2020 quarter, there was a sharp rise in underemployment and paid employees with no hours. Different industries and demographics faced unique effects, with younger Kiwis more adversely affected along with people working in retail, hospitality, and accommodation. 


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Fixing Bikes & Lives

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to isolation and loneliness for many, as mental health services around the world struggle to cope with increased rates of anxiety and depression. The insular nature of the virus has seen people look inwards and change the way they interact with the world around them. From exercise routines to home cooking and binge TV, people have been looking for new ways to add joy to their lives in a strange new world. Cycling has enjoyed an unexpected surge during the pandemic, with people riding and fixing bikes for fun, exercise, and therapy.


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> In This Issue...
1. First Home Buyers Stake a Claim
2. Economic Forecasts Improve
3. Medical Apps on the Rise
4. Returning to the Moon
5. The Next Generation of Householding Gaming
6. The Global Vaccine Race
7. Record Housing Stock Lows
8. Online Retail Sales Surge
9. Median Incomes Fall for First Time
10. Fixing Bikes & Lives

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