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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.

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.

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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.

May's Newsletter

Published by Scott Miller on Sunday, May 09, 2010 in



The last two months have seen many interesting developments in regards to property and of course this years budget is just around the corner.

The Budget

 

 

 

 

The first quarter of 2010 has seen the growth of late 2009 slow quite markedly. The issue is understanding why and how long this slowdown will last.

House prices have flattened this year adding weight to the concept that the growth of late 2009 was driven predominantly by lack of stock on the market not an economic rebound. While this continues to be the case the 'fear' that John Key has generated in the residential investment market due to his proposed tax changes to residential investment property has had a ‘lead weight' effect on property investment.

Our belief is that until budget 2010 is released in May and it is clearly understood what changes are being made to the tax laws around residential investment property most investors are sitting on their hands (and their cash) which will continue to hold the momentum the market had in late 2009 back. As such the average days to sell a property has lengthened to its highest level since June 2009 and is quite indicative of the true state of the housing market.

One highlight was today's unemployment figures announcement. There was an unprecedented 1%+ drop in the unemployment levels in New Zealand for the month of April. This has increased the possibility of an interest rate rise in June 2010 instead of the more widely predicted July increase. However Dr Bollard has indicated that he believes interest rates will rise at a much slower rate in similar situations in the past. I personally don't see this so much as a negative influence as much as I see this as a necessary part of the property sectors recovery.

Kiwis continue to deleverage their asset position (repay debt while interest rates are low) and this puts us in a good position for growth in the not too distant future (as in 2011) as pent up desire to invest and grow will at some stage be unleashed stimulating the economy. We cannot help but believe that the 2011 Ruby World Cup will be a strong catalyst for our 'real' rebound.

Our recommended borrowing strategy has not changed greatly in the past 6 months and at the risk of repeating ourselves we cannot recommend anything else other than floating rates or six - twelve month fixed as a preferred option. Variable rates remain at record lows, while most fixed rates have fallen in the past month they remain very high in relation to floating rates and this is more a sign of the market ‘overpricing' long term rates in the back half of 2009 which was driven by the price war the banks created for term deposits and not improvement in market conditions. Stick with the shorter term funding but keep your payments above the minimum required to repay, perhaps assuming rates of 1% higher than today.

Please find this useful link below and make your vote - it is best your voice is heard.

Do you support tax changes to investment property?        

YES  /   NO

Interest Rates

So with the new unemployment figures and the direction in which they are heading together with the contents of the Budget (which is due to released on 20th May), will impact the Reserve Bank’s review of the Official Cash Rate early next month. The consensus is now that the Reserve Bank will start increasing rates as early as June. Increases are expected to be in small increments of around quarter of a percent.  How many we have will depend on how strong our economic recovery is. 

As mentioned above a drop in unemployment is a strong indication that the economy is improving. The other significant event that is severely affecting the international financial markets, is the debt crisis in Greece and Portugal and whether it will extend to other larger European countries such as Spain, UK and Italy. This crisis has been the cause of the rapid appreciation of our currency particularly against the Euro which is now up over 10% over the past month to 0.56.  This has had a major effect on world equity markets which are wobbling - some are down over 3% this week. Two years ago, as the global financial crisis was unfolding, individual governments were sorting out the banking system. Now the world bankers will have to focus their attention on sorting out some individual countries.

Tip of the month:

 

 

 

 

 

{tag_recipientfirstname} if your home loans are on floating I believe it is time to look at your fixing options. Interest rates are going to go up and although Dr Bollards intention is to increase them slowly you never know what might happen. Feel free to contact me or email me to go over the best interest rate solutions for your needs.


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