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Rising OCR Sees Borrowers Head To Brokers

23 November 

“First-home buyers struggling to get finance, or a good rate, are starting to pick up the phone to mortgage brokers. I suspect we’ll see more of that in the coming months as the pressure comes on,” says Tim Kearins, Owner of Century 21 New Zealand.

Tim Kearins, Owner of Century 21 New Zealand

His comments follow the Reserve Bank today lifting the Official Cash Rate by 75 basis points, taking it to 4.25%, its highest level since 2008.

The Century 21 leader says those trying to secure a mortgage for the first time, or increase their borrowing, are increasingly looking beyond the big banks.

“More often than not, mortgage brokers can deliver competitive rates and greater borrowing flexibility than the traditional lenders. First-home buyers are waking up to this, not to mention the fact that brokers do much of the running around,” says Mr Kearins.

Century 21 New Zealand has recently opened a new franchised office in Auckland’s Epsom, when many other real estate brands are shrinking or closing offices.

“What’s helped us this year is having Century 21 Financial. It’s a compelling point of difference in New Zealand’s real estate marketplace. Its Managing Director Julius Capilitan is getting busier, delivering for C21NZ clients up and down the country,” says Mr Kearins.

While it is deeply troubling for many homeowners that interest rates are heading north, for now they’re not out of the ordinary when reviewing past decades.

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“Historically, six or seven percent rates have been about the average for Kiwi borrowers, and that’s where the one and two-year rates currently sit. Going forward the banks will do all they can to sharpen their pencils, but more borrowers will also be turning to brokers,” he says.

The realty boss says in challenging environments, the right agent and agency become critical. What’s more, every property C21NZ list is promoted to the world, with Century 21’s global website easily translated into 19 different languages.

Mr Kearins is also keen to remind prospective vendors that now is not the time to sell privately, despite the temptation to save commission costs.

In late 2020, REINZ released extensive industry analysis that showed homeowners who use a real estate agent can expect to get on average 15% more for their property than they would by selling it privately.


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