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Cairns Lockie Mortgage Commentary

Cairns Lockie Mortgage Commentary

Issue 2005/4 24 March 2005

Welcome to the fourth Cairns Lockie Mortgage Commentary for 2005. This is a fortnightly electronic newsletter, which aims to keep you informed on developments at Cairns Lockie, Mortgage Bankers and the mortgage market in general. Previous issues of this commentary can be found on our website http://www.emortgage.co.nz/newsletters.htm

The Money Market

This morning (8am on 24 March 2005) the money markets were at the following levels:

Official cash rate 6.75% 90 day bill rate 7.05 (up from 7.03%) 1 year swap rate 7.12 (up from 7.08%) 3 year swap rate 7.02 (up from 6.96%) 10 year bond rate 6.23 (up from 6.22%) Kiwi dollar 0.7286 (down from 0.7425)

Our current mortgage interest rates are as follows Variable rate 8.65% No Financials Home Loan 9.25 Jumbo Loan 8.65 Quick Start Home Loan 7.40 One-year fixed rate 7.83 Two-year fixed rate 7.79 Three-year fixed rate 7.99 Five-year fixed rate 7.99 Line of credit facility 8.75

House sales volumes run high

After a slow January, February saw a record number for that month of 10,231 houses being sold throughout the country. This was well up on January's total of 7,078. That's really surprising since, with recent interest rate increases, you would expect a declining number of sales. This current February was better than the same month in the past three years. In February 2004, 9,940 houses were sold and this was up on both 2003, when 9,624 houses were sold, and 2002 when 8,733 houses were sold. Of the houses sold in February, 78% were for less than $400,000 and 7% were for more than $600,000. Real estate agents are saying that March is shaping up to be similar to February, although sales are expected to slow a bit towards the end of the month due to the Easter holidays.

Housing boom in China

We often hear about the soaring price of the housing in places like Auckland, Sydney or the UK, but one country, as you may expect, which is experiencing a housing boom is China. On the figures available, the average house price in China rose 4.4% last year, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. That was up on the previous year's increase of 10.6%. Owning a home in a still a nominally communistic country is fast becoming a priority.

Record housing price in Khandallah

A luxury Khandallah house was recently sold for $3.55 million, double its capital value. This is believed to be a record price for a house in the Wellington region. Last year a house was sold in Plimmerton, north of Wellington, for $2.4 million and some apartments in Oriental Bay in Central Wellington have sold, we understand, for about $3 million. The Khandallah property is on Clive Road, was built in the 1930's, has five bedrooms, a tennis court, a wine cellar and a swimming pool. One of its biggest selling features was its panoramic harbour view.

Second mortgages

We currently have funds available to advance on smaller second mortgages. These can be ideal for short-term advances for such things as home improvements. They are funded through our fully-owned subsidiary, General Finance Limited. For those with funds to invest, General Finance has just increased its deposit rates. Our flagship rate is now 10% for a two-year term. Other terms and rates are available. Please do not hesitate to contact us for an investment statement or a prospectus if you have funds to invest.

We wish all our subscribers a relaxing break over Easter.

ENDS

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