Mortgage News May 28, 2018
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. 


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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. 


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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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> In This Issue...
1. Government Looks at Interest Free Mortgages
2. Rents Continue to Rise as House Prices Fall
3. Which Household Appliances Use the Most Energy
4. Do Smart Drugs Work
5. World's Best Road Trips
6. Trump vs China - What does it mean for New Zealand
7. Prices Flat Heading into Winter
8. Turn your home into a gym
9. Health Benefits of Dogs
10. Life on Venus?

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