Mortgage News February 27, 2020
Healthy Sales & Listings in the New Year

The Auckland property market has seen a sharp rise in both sales and new listings since the start of 2020. Overall market conditions remain confident, with prices holding firm and growing slightly near recent highs alongside healthy sales and stock numbers. According to data from Barfoot & Thompson, the median selling price for an Auckland home was $885,000 in January, and the average selling price was $951,631.


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The Economic Reality of the Coronavirus

The economic consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) could end up being almost as damaging as the infection itself. While Chinese factories are back at work, and financial markets seem mostly undeterred, entire Chinese cities remain in lock down and trade has been severely disrupted across the country. Quarantines aimed at containing the disease have severely handicapped the Chinese economy, with knock-on effects already being felt throughout the world.


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Coping & Thiriving in a New School

While it may be the only constant in life, change can be difficult and stressful for people of all ages. Whether it's entering high school or relocating to a new city, moving to a new school is a big deal. However, despite the inherent challenges that always accompany change, being surrounded by new places and faces also presents an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Let's take a look at some valuable tips to help your kids thrive in a new school environment.


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The Importance of Mental Endurance

While it's not "all in your head", physical fitness and athletic performance are widely dependent on mental endurance. Feeling stressed and mentally drained can have a huge effect on how you perform physically, with mental fatigue likely to decrease your motivation, increase the time you take to recover, and impact your lifestyle choices. According to a new University of Queensland study, the brain may play a more important role in physical fitness than first thought.


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Diagnosing Rare Diseases with "The Crowd"

As crowdsourcing gets more popular as a sourcing model for goods and services, the world has started to embrace "the crowd" as a way to divide work and achieve better results. The power of the collective mind has been tested in a recent experiment, and documented in a TV series based on a New York Times Magazine column. When local specialists are unable to diagnose rare medical conditions, cases are turned over to "the crowd" to amazing results.


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LVR Restrictions Could Tighten

The New Zealand property market is showing new signs of life, as low interest rates and relatively relaxed loan-to-value ratio (LVR) limits work their magic across the country. Even Auckland's struggling market is finally back in the black, with Wellington and select regional markets forging ahead at great speed. While many people across the country are welcoming the new normal, according to ANZ, the Reserve Bank could tighten LVR restrictions if the market shows any real signs of taking off.


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NZ Renters Struggling

Renters continue to struggle across New Zealand, with limited housing stock and rising prices putting renewed pressure on the rental market. According to the latest data from Statistics NZ, rental prices were up 3.4% in December compared to the year before. While renters in Auckland had a reprieve in 2019 due to the ongoing market slump, rental prices in Wellington and many regional markets climbed dramatically.


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Are We Ready for a Shorter Working Day

The modern working day almost seems set in stone, with eight solid hours each day and 40 long hours stretched out over the week. Some forward-thinking organisations are trying to change the status quo, however, with time-limited working weeks and shorter days both trialled over recent years. As workloads shift and lifestyles become increasingly stretched, it turns out that working less may be the best way to accomplish more.


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Stairs & Hills for Health

When it comes to exercise, the steepness of the slope has a huge effect on the final outcome. Rather than working out for hours in a flat and stable environment, fitness lovers are doing more with less by learning to enjoy the climb. Whether it's taking the stairs to work or choosing the hilly section for your evening run, the underlying principle of high intensity interval training (HIIT) can be applied to any situation where there is a curve.


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Chinese Advances on AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to shape our future, with everything from workplace productivity to military might influenced by the intersection of technology and cognition. While the long-term outcomes of AI remain completely unknown, key advances in smart computing are already having a profound effect on how we work and play. China is gaining an edge in this brave new world, with other nations increasingly interested, and concerned, about the influence of AI beyond national borders and recognised systems of control.


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> In This Issue...
1. Healthy Sales & Listings in the New Year
2. The Economic Reality of the Coronavirus
3. Coping & Thiriving in a New School
4. The Importance of Mental Endurance
5. Diagnosing Rare Diseases with "The Crowd"
6. LVR Restrictions Could Tighten
7. NZ Renters Struggling
8. Are We Ready for a Shorter Working Day
9. Stairs & Hills for Health
10. Chinese Advances on AI

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