Winter, storms in the North Island, Covid-19, wage subsidies, and an election looming. For many people there is a lot of uncertainty. Uncertainty can create anxiety, so if you would like to talk through your finances and some options please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
The election is going to create even more uncertainty as people and businesses plan for what may be ahead. At this stage of the election process there should have been a lot more talk about the policies of the different parties, and yet the focus recently has been on so many other things.
For this reason, we must take charge of our own situations as much as possible. We can only deal with what is, and what we know. Make plans for what you know and make provisions for possibilities, and focus on following through on your plans.
The ANZ New Zealand Business Outlook survey shows that while those surveyed overall still have concerns about the current economic environment, many are thinking that things are looking better than they had thought when compared to the previous month. This sign of a bounce back is significant at a time of extreme uncertainty.
By now you will have received your Government Contribution for your KiwiSaver, and you should be checking to make sure that you are going to be on track for receiving your full contribution for next year. By paying $20.06 into your KiwiSaver each week you will ensure that you receive the full contribution.
KiwiSaver fund providers have been working with people in hardship who have lost their jobs and are working to encourage people not to withdraw funds unless it is a total last resort. When you remove funds from your KiwiSaver you are not only decreasing your balance, you are also removing the opportunity the withdrawn funds would have to create a return. Withdrawing funds to help you purchase a home makes sense as you have an asset at the end of the withdrawal process.
If you think you may need to make a hardship withdrawal please get in touch so we can work through other options.
Property listings continue to remain low by comparison to previous years, with people looking to stick with what they have and do renovations rather than look for the next ‘ideal’ property. First Home buyers continue to enjoy the low interest rates and with the help of the Home Start Grants and their KiwiSaver are securing their first homes. There is fierce competition in the market with limited listings based on commentary from real estate agents. Good properties go quickly and often with multiple offers.
Areas affected by the lack of international tourism have seen many short term rentals move to long term rentals, and with the mortgage relief due to be coming to an end in the next couple of months, this will be the time to watch for properties coming on to the market due to stressed owners.
Banks and Finance
Interest rates continue to stay low and the banks continue to be cautious. There is talk of the mortgage relief options being extended but even if the Reserve Bank makes these an option the Banks will still need to review the risk to the individuals that need the relief. The Reserve Bank has indicated that the announcements will be coming in the next few days.
If you are paying more than 4% interest on your loans it is worth having a conversation with us as you may be able to make some cost savings and help your cashflow by refinancing. We can take you through the options.
A number of banks and lenders are reviewing their processes and criteria for debt consolidation and making it easier for clients to access funds for debt consolidation. So, if you have credit cards or debts that need to be repaid there are options out there. It can be scary dealing with this and with our no judgement approach to cleaning up some past spending we can help you get on top of the debts.
First home buyers continue to get finance and are very active in the market, as mentioned in the Property Market section above.
What’s happening at Building on Basics, and with Elise.
We are working on revamping our website and will be looking for people to do reviews – particularly Google reviews which help our rankings when people are searching for financial and mortgage advise, and Facebook reviews also. We would very much appreciate your help with this, and will even go so far as to give away some wine to a reviewer! Details below. We will also be contacting some of you for Client Stories, these will go on our website. It will be very helpful for visitors to the site to get a real sense of how we work, and how it’s a bit different to working with your ‘regular’ mortgage broker or financial adviser.
Janneke has started her assignments and is loving the study and looking forward to using this new knowledge. Elise had her first mini break in far too long, and went to explore Kaikoura. Chilling out with the fur seals and enjoying the ‘fresh’ (read super chilly) air was just what she needed!
As a team we are working through the compliance requirements to get ready for the new act which comes into effect March 2021. Theo is overseeing it all and is pretty happy with how it’s progressing. He thinks we could work on having more office snacks though.
Elise and the team