Thursday news in brief

Thursday 13 April 2017

Life is busy and it’s easy to miss some of the stories that hit the news. So here’s a brief rundown of some of the stories that might have slipped by you this week…

Buying a home has always been hard

House prices nationwide may be reaching eye-watering levels, but a new study by the NZ Property Investors Federation shows that buying a house has always been hard – albeit for different reasons.

The study looked at the situation faced by first home buyers in each decade from 1985 to 2015 and examined how long it took to save for a deposit and how much income it took to service the mortgage.

NZPIF executive officer Andrew King said they found house prices had increased much faster than incomes, but this was offset by lower mortgage interest rates and other factors like Kiwisaver, rental prices and lower income tax rates.

It was easier to save a deposit in 1985 but harder to service the mortgage than in 2015, and, surprisingly, it was harder to save a deposit in 2005 than in 2015, he said. "Commentators who state that it has never been less affordable to get into your first home are wrong.”

Read more:

Auckland no longer least affordable 

Many Kiwis would up their mortgage terms to cover rates rises

Rising interest rates mean increasing mortgage payments and it seems that an increase of $120 a fortnight would be the point at which most people start to feel the pinch, according to BNZ.

The bank’s latest Financial Futures Research found that, in the face of such an increase, one in five mortgage holders would extend the term of their mortgage so their payment amount stays the same. Nearly one in three would reduce money spent on utilities like insurance, petrol, heating and power.

BNZ’s director of retail and marketing, Paul Carter, said it was concerning that so many people would take the apparently easy option of adding a few more years on the mortgage – especially when the changes talked about were not big.

Mortgage holders should consider some ‘what ifs’ and small sacrifices, he said. “It’s important to look at the big picture when it comes to finances, because a restructure or a slight tweak to your weekly budget or mortgage structure could have a big impact in the long run.”

Read more:

Rates rises are not prompting action 

Don’t deal with kitset building company

Consumers are being warned not to deal with Get Design and Sales*, a kitset building company, following complaints from customers left thousands of dollars out of pocket after the company failed to supply materials.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin said several consumers have already taken the company to the Disputes Tribunal and, despite the tribunal ordering Get Design and Sales to provide refunds, it has failed to comply.

One customer is still owed more than $12,000, while another is still owed $12,295. In both cases, the company didn’t supply materials already paid for and required to complete construction of Get Design and Sales products.

Chetwin said Consumer NZ will be filing complaints with the Companies Office and the Commerce Commission about the company’s conduct.

* Get Design and Sales operates websites mydiy.co.nz, kiwi-built.co.nz and econobach.co.nz.

Read more:

Tread carefully with building products 

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