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Cairns Lockie Mortgage Commentary

Cairns Lockie Mortgage Commentary

Issue 2007 / 16 14 September 2007

Welcome to the sixteenth fortnightly Cairns Lockie Mortgage Commentary for 2007. We aim to keep you informed on developments at Cairns Lockie, Home Loans and the mortgage market in general. Previous issues of this commentary can be found on our website

The Money Market

This morning (8am on 14 September 2007) the money markets were at the following levels:

Official cash rate 8.25% (unchanged)
90 day bill rate 8.84 (up from 8.68)
1 year swap rate 8.55 (up from 8.46)
3 year swap rate 7.92 (down from 8.02)
10 year bond rate 6.13 (down from 6.28)
Kiwi dollar 0.7090 (up from 0.7036)

Interest Rates Remain Unchanged

The Reserve Bank yesterday reviewed the Official Cash Rate and left interest rates as they were. So far this year we have had four interest rate increases. The Governor highlighted a number of negative sentiments, including a credit squeeze which will likely dampen consumer spending. Household mortgage growth is beginning to slow. On the positive side, the good outlook for the dairy industry and with our exchange rate depreciating over the past two months, returns from the exporting sector will increase. Overall a neutral position is required. This is good with those with mortgages as it brings some stability to this market.

Rates - a Never Ending Cost Increase for Homeowners

One form of taxation that is increasingly hitting homeowners is rates. Over the past 10 years the average rate increase across the country has been 48% according to local Government sources. Some areas such as Auckland and Northland have been above this average. These figures are well above the rate of inflation. High rates hit particular groups of homeowners hard, such as retired people on fixed incomes, first home buyers and those on lower incomes. Rates will be an election issue in the local body elections which are being held next month. There are ways of reducing the burden of rates, such as charging all Government institutions such as universities, schools, hospitals and Government departments. The users of these facilities require footpaths, street lighting, sewerage and water that are provided by local Councils. The Government should pay rates like another other businesses. Secondly GST needs to be removed from rates. When you pay your income tax through PAYE, for example, GST is not charged on this. Rates should be treated the same way. If both these changes were implemented future rates increases would be lower and much closer to the rate of inflation.

Mortgage Brokers Conference a Success for Us

Last week on Thursday and Friday we were a participant in the mortgage brokers conference in Rotorua. There were many industry related issues discussed. We would like to congratulate the winner of the mortgage broker of the year, Suzie Oliver, from the North Shore here in Auckland, the first runner up Paul Fuller and the second runner up Lynn Houghton. We would also like to congratulate Bruce Harnell from Loan Market on winning our prize, a Teac ipod dock/clock radio. Overall a successful event.

Outlook for the Housing Market is Still Positive

At the moment there is a bit of gloom in the media about the outlook for housing. It was interesting to hear the Chief Economist for the Bank of New Zealand, Tony Alexander, saying that only a world recession would actually see house prices fall in this country. He also says the chances of a world recession are remote. He details a number of factors supporting the housing market: we will continue to have a tight labour market with low unemployment; there is a group of potential homeowners that are wanting to buy; next year is election year and generally there will be some financial stimulus with both major political parties likely to pursue tax cuts allowing more money to flow into the housing sector. Therefore the medium outlook for housing remains positive.

Our current mortgage interest rates are as follows:

Variable rate 10.20%

No Financials Home Loan 10.80

Jumbo Loan 10.20

One-year fixed rate 9.85 (up from 9.75)
Two-year fixed rate 9.39
Three-year fixed rate 9.39
Five-year fixed rate 9.42

Line of credit facility 10.05



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