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Mortgage Advice Blog

Get the latest news and tips about mortgage finance and the property market. Scott Miller, mortgage broker from Advanced Mortgage Solutions comments on housing and lending.

Advanced Mortgage Solutions | Property Gazette - March

Published by Scott Miller on Tuesday, March 01, 2011 in

Interest Rate Outlook

Current Interest Rates

Rates offered are the best of standard, carded interest rates available and do not reflect any discounts your Advisor may be able to obtain for your client. Rates correct as at 01/3/11.



6 Month Fixed


1 Year Fixed


2 Year Fixed


3 Year Fixed


5 Year Fixed


   Where do we start? After the disaster of the devastating earthquake in Christchurch last week it seems insignificant to be putting pen to paper about interest but perhaps our best lesson is learned from those most affected with Christchurch simply rolling its sleeves up and getting on with what needs to be done. Our hearts go out to all of those affected.

Just as the earthquake of 4 September disturbed economic activity for some time, so too will this one - probably with greater effect, which means the near zero growth we think occurred during the December quarter is going to be not much bettered in the first quarter of this year (if in fact there is any growth at all).

The interruption to growth is so large that we now see little chance that the Reserve Bank will feel the economy is strong enough to withstand any interest rate rises this year and it is more than likely that we will see interest rates remain flat throughout 2011. While some Economists are promoting a possible interest rate cut when the Reserve Bank meets again on March 10 we do not buy into this theory with no real immediate gain to be felt from this in the area it’s most needed - the Christchurch economy.

The reduced outlook for interest rates implies the Kiwi dollar will stay slightly lower than would otherwise have been the case, especially as inflation appears to be picking up in the UK and Europe raising the chances that interest rates will be increased in those economies this year.

The light trying to shine through the smoke & dust of the quake is the diary sector with Fonterra revising up their forecast pay-out for this season from $7.30 up to $8.00. This payout will incorporate the traditional milk solids pay-out of $7.50 plus a distributable profit range of 40-50 cents, which will boast the rural sector into spending, helping our economy to grow. The above all points to our recommended borrowing strategy changing somewhat from previous months whereby we can now see little chance of interest rate rises this year. As such we are currently recommending that taking the floating interest rate probably makes most sense both now and for the foreseeable future, additionally we note these rates are currently the cheapest on offer in the market in the very low 6% range.

What's Hot

We have seen a further loosening of credit criteria in the early part of 2011 with another two of our core lenders setting clear parameters allowing lending up to 95% LVR for owner occupied purchases. While certain criteria must be meet for applicants to qualify (such as stability of employment and minimum income levels) this is certainly a good sign and further emphasises the increasing appetite of the banks.

Deal of the Month

We had a nice deal approved last month assisting one of our referrers into an investment property with only putting 15% deposit down. To date banks have requested a minimum 20% deposit on investment properties but due to the overall strength of our client we were able to assist. - Call us we deliver!

22 Feb 2011 - Christchurch Earthquake

Published by Scott Miller on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 in

    As you will have heard by now Christchurch has had another massive earthquake. When you include the first earthquake on September 4th 2010 it makes this the fourth major earthquake in Christchurch within 6 months.

Having been through each of these earthquakes I can honestly say that todays was the most powerful in regards to outright damage. The epicentre of today's earthquake was centred in Lyttelton (about 6kms from Christchurch), whereas the initial earthquake in Sept.'10 was centred just outside of Darfield (about 40kms from Christchurch). The other difference this time around is instead of the earthquake centre being relatively deep in its origin, today's earthquake was only 5kms below the surface.

As I write this we are continuing to be shaken by aftershocks but these are not as violent as this afternoons.

I have taken some photos of the damage sustained to our home and its surroundings. Please feel free to click the link below to be taken through to pictures on my Facebook account.




I would like to pass on our thoughts and best wishes to those who have been affected by the Christchurch earthquake. We would also like to offer assistance to any who require help. Please feel free to call us on 980 4541 if you think we can assist in any way.

AMS is open and operating and ready to answer any of your questions. We are expecting an influx of calls and enquiries so please be patient if we are unable to answer your enquiry straight away as we will get back to everyone.

AMS Property Gazette - February

Published by Scott Miller on Thursday, February 10, 2011 in


Please find my new look Property Gazette below. As always I have tried to deliver only the relevant market and policy information to help you keep up to date. I appreciate the monthly feed back and questions that arise from each newsletter and I'm sure this will be no different.


Interest Rate Outlook

Current Interest Rates

Rates offered are the best of standard, carded interest rates available and do not reflect any discounts your Advisor may be able to obtain for your client. Rates correct as at 01/2/11.

Variable            6.10%

6 Month Fixed   6.10%

1 Year Fixed      6.19%

2 Year Fixed      6.45%

3 Year Fixed      6.85%

5 Year Fixed      7.50%


Captain, we need more power! The New Zealand economy is currently like an overloaded Jet Plane trying to take off, we have a full load and our momentum is pushing us down the runway slowly gathering speed but we just need to lighten the load slightly by releasing some of the burdening economic constraints holding us down or consumers need to start spending more to give us the extra power to take off!


You can feel that it will not take much of a push to get us off the ground but where exactly will this push come from? While housing still remains subdued it is showing signs of recovering with activity continuing right up to Christmas in 2010 and we get the feel the traditional slow Kiwi start to the year has not been as sluggish as historically, the question is how long will the momentum take and will it be strong enough to lift us off the ground (where we have been for some time now)....


From Advanced Mortgage Solutions view point, the reality is that New Zealand & globally we have had to go through a sustained period of balance sheet recovery as consumers 'pull their heads in' and readjust to actually living within their means as opposed to the debt fuelled, false economic growth through the first 8 years of this century. This readjustment has been good for us and New Zealand has stood up to the readjustment better than most. The basket case economies of the US & Europe with particular disasters in Ireland, Spain & Portugal have not eventuated here & as subdued as we have been we are very lucky to have actually not sunken to the terrible lows felt across the aforementioned countries.


The back half of 2011 will be strong for us as the influx of money spent through the economy from RWC & Earthquake recovery starts to lubricate the pistons of our plane faster, perhaps lifting us off the runway! In terms of a borrowing strategy in these sluggish times we still suggest that with an expected increase in interest rates in the back half of 2011 we favour looking at the well priced 1-2 year fixed option as giving better value than a floating rate (which is sure to rise by 0.50-1% through this year).


The difference between floating and 1 year fixed is only 0.25% and to 2 years fixed 0.45%, as such the basic maths suggests that either of these rates offers better value than the floating rate which we believe will be sitting at around 6.95% by the year's end. However fixing past 2 years doesn't make a lot of sense as the 3 year plus rates start @ 7.10% & increase out to 7.70% long term with the price difference making them too expensive, unless of course you want to guarantee certainty for the a sustained period in which case you have to be prepared to pay a premium.


What's Hot

Some of the banks! The Christmas break has been kind to some of the grumpy old men who sit in senior credit positions within our banks and we are seeing a continuing trend of slowly but surely banks starting to release the shackles credit wise. This is the lubrication our economy needs and we are now getting clients set that we couldn't 12 months ago. Help your clients, refer them to us for advice.


Deal of the Month

With January traditionally being our slowest month of the year we didn't have anything spectacularly unusual jump out of the box but we do continue to help numerous clients finance themselves into properties with as little as 5% deposit from genuine savings. - Call us we deliver!



The AMS Property Gazette - November

Published by Scott Miller on Sunday, November 14, 2010 in

       Another busy month has gone by and we are only a month and a half away from entering a new year. October saw interest rates remain unchanged by the Reserve Bank Official Cash rate announcement in the last week of the month. This was widely tipped to happen so no real surprises there. We did however get a bit of a surprise in the unemployment figures which dropped by .5%. This is a good result and has been accompanied by many of green arrow stories, with the one acceptation being the Kiwi fruit PSA canker disease.

New Zealand lenders have continued to relax their lending criteria’s around owner occupied purchases. This is great news for first home buyers or people looking to upgrade or down size their existing homes. What is a little disappointing is these improvements have not flowed through to their rental and property investment policies yet, with most lenders still wanting a 20% deposit for standalone rental property purchasers. This of course can be circumvented by using your own home as security bringing the required deposit down to 10%.

Interest Rate Outlook

I believe there is now a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m pretty sure it is not an oncoming train. While economic conditions currently remain subdued, there is a lot that points toward a strong recovery in 2011.

While we are in a period of reasonably flat growth at the moment, many of the important variables required to stimulate market activity are lining up. Firstly, interest rate have stabilised and is giving the market some confidence, for the first time in over two years we are now seeing banks loosen their lending criteria and return with an appetite to lend new money.

With money well priced and the banks keen to again lend I can see that 2011 will provide the right environment for further recovery as the property market looks to rebound from the depressed period of the past two years. Overall households h
ave focussed on clearing debt during this period and many will see the above conditions as ideal to release some of their frustration and take advantage of their improved overall position to move back into property investment, particularly as lenders relax their lending criteria around investment property.

The Reserve Bank has given every indication that interest rates will be held at their current low levels for the immediate future and I do not expect to see any increases in the OCR until March or April 2011. Given current rates have stabilised, it makes choosing the best interest rate option a little more tricky, variable rates are stable and the difference between variable and mid -term fixed rates such as 2 years are around 0.45% with variable rates the cheaper. This makes it a 50/50 call on what decisions is best to take, with people often finding the answer by aligning their personal circumstances with the best interest rate structure available.

The AMS Property Gazette - October

Published by Scott Miller on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 in


 September was quite a month.

Christchurch was hit by a magnitude 7.1earthquake, Southland had the worst snow storms for decades, Wellington witnessed a head-on train crash, and the scariest thing of all.... I had my 42nd birthday. But despite these life changing events there was not a single loss of life, and in fact, it appears something good will come out of all of these events. Along with an already busy month there have been significant changes to New Zealand's lending landscape.

After a long absence it looks as though the old 'bank wars' are back. Over the last month we have seen a number of 'spring' promotions which have resulted in seeing lenders relaxing their existing lending policies and we now have the real possibility of receiving huge contributions to legals when purchasing a property.

Owner Occupied Property

New Zealand lenders are now looking at property  being purchase for home ownership (owner occupied property) to need as little as a 10% deposit (up to 90% loan to value ratio), allowing first time buyers and people looking to upgrade their existing homes an opportunity to place as little as 10% of the purchase price as a deposit. Lenders policy at this level of LVR is still a little more stringent, but when you think that as little as 10 months ago there was only 2 lenders seriously looking at 90% deals (and on a case by case basis) you can see how much change their has been in lenders thinking.

Rental Property

There has also been some relaxing around purchasing rental property. With one lender in New Zealand they will now look at lending up to 90% on standalone rental purchases - Please contact Advanced Mortgage Solutions here to find out more. This is just one example of improved lending criteria. Almost all lenders have shown improvements in their appetite for rental purchases with many now looking at 80%+ LVR's on a case by case basis.

Contributions to legals

To add more good news to the story all the mainstream lenders are now offering contributions to legal costs for people looking to purchase property up to $1,000.00, and in Christchurch as a sign of good faith this is increased to $1,500.00, to help cover structural engineering costs. In all my time as a Mortgage Broker I have never seen so many incentives given in order to attract customers.


As always I am here to workshop deals with you. If you are looking to purchase a house for yourself or looking to purchase a rental property I firmly believe now is a very good time to buy. House prices are low and it appears we are at the bottom of another property cycle, this coupled with low interest rates and a bank war provides the perfect time to purchase property. Please also let me know if you have a home loan coming up for renewal so I can contact the bank and organise a range of discounted rates for you to choose from.

Kind regards

Scott Miller

P.s Find a number of short video's to help with better understanding bank policies, what interest rates are doing and a brief look into some of the different strategies available when looking to invest. Please click on the link below to have a look.

Where is the OCR and Business lending heading?

Published by Scott Miller on Friday, September 24, 2010 in


   Dr Bollards announcement of the official cash rate (OCR) on 16th September came as no surprise. It had been well mooted coming up to the announcement that the OCR would remain unchanged at 3%. What did come as more of a surprise was the tone of his message around where he saw the OCR’s movements in the near future. Some could argue that he had made a complete U-turn on earlier comments he had made. It was only at the July (29th) OCR announcement that it was indicated for the foreseeable future the OCR would rise .25% every 3 out of 4 announcements until the OCR reached a level of around 5.75% - 6.25% where it would stop for a period of time before slowly dropping away again. Now it appears the OCR will not rise again this year (with two announcements left this year: 28th October & 9 December), and will only slowly rise throughout next year stopping at a high point of around 4.5% - 4.75% in the middle of 2012. The reasons given for this change in forecasting was mainly put down to two things 1) A slower than expected improvement in the world’s economy. 2) A slower underlying improvement of the New Zealand export lead recovery.


Business finance has been on the improve for almost a year now. By the end of 2009 we started to see the taps slowly turned on after 18 months of them being firmly shut off. The momentum started with increases in overdrafts and acceptances of top-ups, and then gained further ground with residential purchases off full financials, and has now come almost full circle with finance being found to purchase of existing businesses or to start capital up new ventures. Levels of ‘easy’ money are some way off the crazy days of 2007 and early 2008, but in the same breath are far removed from the dark days of late 2008 and 2009. Now if a deal stacks up it has a good chance of being approved whereas 18 months ago it could have been the deal of the century and declined before it was even looked at.

The AMS Property Gazette - September

Published by Scott Miller on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 in

  In this month's edition of the AMS Gazette I would like to begin by saying thank you to all the support and well wishes I have received since the earthquake on 4th September. It was a shock to we woken up at 4.30 in the morning to what sounded like a Boeing 747 landing in my driveway while being shaken so hard I thought my fillings would fall out. Thankfully my wife Barbora who is employed by Air New Zealand was working out of Rotorua and missed the original earthquake. Maddison however, our four year old Fox Terrier has not stopped shaking and is ready pack her bags and move to another city.
As the earthquake has mainly affected the Canterbury region I am going to cover some of the things Cantabrians should consider doing in regards to their mortgages and home loans.

So what to do next if you live in Canterbury.

Many of you will have already done the right thing and contacted the EQC to lodge a claim. Don't worry if you have not already done this as the EQC have come out and said you have 3 months from the 4th September to contact them. Just remember that once you have made your claim you cannot add further damage at a later date. So make sure you have a good look around your properties, so when the assessor arrives to look around your properties you can show him/her all the earthquake damage.

Mortgage Holidays - If you feel you need a mortgage holiday contact me and I will help with organising it. I have heard directly from all the major lenders and am fully briefed on how to make an application.

NB - You do not have to have lost your job or have extensive damage to your family home to get a Mortgage Repayment Holiday, if you want one you can have one. Each lender has slight differences in the processes of applying for a repayment holiday. There are also slight differences in the available structures you can use depending on which lender you have your mortgage with. Some for example will allow your mortgages maturity date to be moved out so when you return to paying your mortgage there is no change to amount you pay, other lenders unfortunately do not have this option. Please contact Advanced Mortgage Solutions here to get assistance with your application. Alternatively feel free to call me on 980 4541.

Please be aware these facilities are only available for people who live or have property in Canterbury - outside of this region it is (as far as the banks concerned) business as usual.

News Outside of Canterbury

Interest Rates - This Thursday's Official Cash Rate announcement is expected to see interest rates remain unchanged. With recent world events, namely the speed, or the lack of speed in which the world is recovering from the recession, it is believed interest rates will not go up again this year. There is in fact a good chance of medium to long term interest rates to fall slightly - Watch this space.

House Prices - House prices around New Zealand appear to have come down a little over the last month or so. The number of houses for sale are lower than anticipated for this time of year, with commentators arguing that many people are now holding off to take advantage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. This is a hard one to call - personally I think if we have a long warm summer we could see house prices recover and feed nicely into the World Cup frenzy. Like with interest rates above time will tell.

As I sign off I would like to wish all of those affected by last week’s earthquake the best of health and wellbeing - if I can be of any assistance please feel free to contact me.

Kind regards

Scott Miller

P.s Find a number of short video's to help with better understanding bank policies, what interest rates are doing and a brief look into some of the different strategies available when looking to invest. Please click on the link below to have a look.

* Please note that at this time this service is only available from landlines.

This publication has been provided for general information only. Although every effort has been made to ensure this publication is accurate the contents should not be relied upon or used as a basis for entering into any products described in this publication.

The AMS Property Gazette - August

Published by Scott Miller on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 in
Get The Best Home Loan - Interest Rates Advice - Mortgage Broker

Recently there has been a large increase in new and existing clients asking for assistance with their home loans and mortgages. With this in mind and to help further assist to our clients outside of Christchurch, Advanced Mortgage Solutions is pleased to announce the introduction of a toll free number.

0508 HOME LOAN or 0508 4663 5626*

If a toll call is required to talk to us please feel free to use this new number at anytime. We are currently updating our logo's and email footers to incorporate the new number so please look out for them.

Interest Rate Outlook

Current Interest Rates

Rates offered are the best of standard, carded interest rates available and do not reflect any discounts your Advisor may be able to obtain for your client. Rates correct as at 01/8/10.



6 Month Fixed


1 Year Fixed


2 Year Fixed


3 Year Fixed


5 Year Fixed


New Zealand is actually making the slow and steady recovery we needed The problem is that media tends to focus on and highlight the negatives that continue to come out, whether it be the small interests rate increases we have expected (published as 'hikes' - far more dramatic!) Or the sluggish real estate market when in fact these factors are normal in a slow, bumpy recovery which looks and feels more like small waves in a bathtub than the negative sentiment the media promotes.

Yes we did get a 0.25% increase in the Official Cash Rate late in July but that was well and truly expected, guess what we will get another two to three similar moves before the end of the year, but remember the world economy was in such 'free fall' eighteen months ago that drastic measures were required and taken to protect us all from a depression like environment whereby rates were slashed to historic lows.

As such the next two or three increases do little other than restore us to a more 'normal' interest rate environment which is required to ensure that we don't return to a debt fueled recovery. Amazingly, we have yet to see the bank's react with an increase to their variable rates by passing on the 0.25% increase but as sure as the sun follows the moon you can expect that to land within the week.

This economic recovery is not about the housing market jumping back out of it's skin, it is being driven by slow, sustainable manufacturing growth, increased productivity and a reduction in household debt.

We continue to be restricted by a lack of available credit with banks remaining extremely conservative, in a bizarre sort of way this actually drives our business as more consumers who historically thought their bank was their friend have found out they are not so friendly and won't lend them the money they want to buy their new house, as such they find themselves at our door with far more options and our clients are constantly amazed that we can turn a bank 'no' into another bank 'yes'.

So, we get you the money, then the question becomes should I fix my interest rate or float? This is certainly a tough question in the current environment but with the difference between the floating rate and the 2 year fixed rate now looking at around 1% we do see more value n the mid- term rates of 2 year and suggest that this is a pretty safe place form many of our clients which may look pretty attractive in one year's time.

If you have a home loan coming up for renewal or just want some help with a loan please contact me by email here or get my contact details from here.

Kind regards

Scott Miller

P.s Find a number of short video's to help with better understanding bank policies, what interest rates are doing and a brief look into some of the different strategies available when looking to invest. Please click on the link below to have a look.

* Please note that at this time this service is only available from landlines.

This publication has been provided for general information only. Although every effort has been made to ensure this publication is accurate the contents should not be relied upon or used as a basis for entering into any products described in this publication.

The AMS Property Gazette - July

Published by Scott Miller on Sunday, July 11, 2010 in

The Budget

The budget has come and gone with little to no affect on existing investing strategies, and for those looking to purchase a family home for themselves nothing has changed at all. The biggest change came with the dismantling of the ability to claim depreciation from the building. Experts in this field have placed a weekly cost to the vendor of investment property to be around $30 - $40 pw for new houses and $20 - $30 for existing or secondhand houses. Of course depreciation is still available on chattels and it is expected the chattel valuers are going to become very popular and extremely busy over the coming years to help compensate the losses mentioned above.


Like above very little has changed here. As long as the property held within an LAQC (Loss Attributing Qualifying Company) is running at a loss ( When the mortgage, rates, insurance, and maintenance costs are higher than the rent received) and you are personally guaranteeing the loan against the property(s), nothing has changed in distributing those losses against your personal income.

Interest Rate Outlook

Current Interest Rates

Rates offered are the best of standard, carded interest rates available and do not reflect any discounts your Advisor may be able to obtain for your client. Rates correct as at 10/7/10.



6 Month Fixed


1 Year Fixed


2 Year Fixed


3 Year Fixed


5 Year Fixed


The easy decisions are over! After an almost continuous easing of interest rates over the past 2 years the worm has finally turned and we are now on the upward spiral.

Up until now it has been relatively easy to read the interest rate market and the majority of consumers have slowly unwound their fixed rates to enjoy the historic interest rate lows of the past year.

Now however, we are faced with the difficult decision of whether to lock interest rates in or stay floating.

Further confusing the matter, recent economic data does suggest that while interest rates will certainly continue to rise it may not be as fast as many first thought.

Consumers continue to look to get their household balance sheet in order, despite a recent spike in spending largely due to people looking to make any 'big ticket' item purchases pre the increase in GST in October.

Our appetite for borrowing remains subdued as where possible consumers look to pay down debt as opposed to increase it.

While this augers well for the future it does contribute to the sluggish recovery the economy is making.

This is further evidenced by the continual slow progress of the housing market which remains soft as the value of residential sections continue to drop, now down by 17% from their peak two years ago. Additionally, migration continues to slow from last years healthy increase of over 20,000.00, currently 2010 sees us on target to only increase by around 8,000 people which could yet be an optimistic figure as the buoyant Australian labour market continues to hold appeal for some Kiwis.

Interestingly, we have seen a substantial easing in long term rates from the major banks over the past week with decreases of as much as 0.65% off five year fixed rates and up to 0.45% off three year rates & two year rates down by around 0.30%. This move certainly sees the interest rate curve flatten substantially and provides far more appeal to the two & three year rate options which are now less than 1% - 1.25% higher than the low variable rate.

Currently a split on variable and two or three year money looks pretty appealing although if you are concerned about rate rises now may be a good time to lock in.

As always please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist you in finding ways to streamline your mortgage costs. This ranges from purchasing property right through to loan roll overs and top-ups.

Kind regards

Scott Miller

P.s I have started making a few short video's to help with better understanding bank policies, what interest rates are doing and a brief look into some of the different strategies available when looking to invest. Please click on the link below to have a look.

NOW - No Opportunity Wasted

Published by Scott Miller on Wednesday, June 02, 2010 in

                                                                                       Events and Seminars

This is serious... every property owner or investor should watch this video.

Make no mistake if you’re a property investor then after the recent budget you have 3 clear cut choices to make.

  1. You can give up
  2. You can give in
  3. Or you can give it your all!

Sadly most will choose the first 2... What about you though?

Will you quit like the rest? Or will you do whatever it takes to educate yourself on the opportunities the recent budget has given property investor just like you?

If you’re not a quitter then this video message is for you. Go to this website and watch this short video today... 

On this video you’ll discover how some property investing experts are using the financial changes made by National to their advantage already. In fact you’ll discover a strategy that can put $20K in your bank account up front plus pay you $200 per week in positive cash flow?

That’s right $20,000 up front and $200 per week in positive cash flow... sounds interesting doesn’t it?

And the best part is on this video you’ll discover an opportunity to learn how you can do the same from investing in the NZ property market right now. So what are you waiting for? Watch this short video today  

Make no mistake there always has been and always will be financial change. It’s not the financial change that this budget will bring that matters, it’s what you do about it that counts.

This two day event only costs $47.00 Book Now!!

It’s how you react that counts and remember you have 3 choices!

  1. You can give up
  2. You can give in
  3. Or you can give it your all!

If you’re not a quitter then seriously this video is for you

Happy property investing and whatever you do don’t quit!


Scott Miller

P.S. Remember it’s not what the “Government Fat Cats” having taken away from you that counts. What counts is how you deal with it and the opportunities you create from these same financial changes that counts!

Watch this video this video and get even with the “Government Fat Cats”

ALL this for only $47.00!!!

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