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A look at how much Covid-19 support property owners are receiving through low interest rates versus what non-property owners are receiving from the Government

A look at how much Covid-19 support property owners are receiving through low interest rates versus what non-property owners are receiving from the Government

By Jenée Tibshraeny

Residential property owners are among the largest beneficiaries of government-related support provided during this pandemic.

Mortgage holders are receiving around $2.3 billion of relief on their repayments over the course of a year, thanks to the Reserve Bank’s (RBNZ) efforts to lower interest rates.

This figure is the difference between applying the current average 2-year mortgage rate (2.72%) to the value of the country’s mortgage book ($285.6 billion), versus applying the average rate from back in January (3.54%).

So, $2.3 billion is a very rough estimate formulated for the purpose of trying to illustrate the magnitude of savings being given to mortgage holders.

The size of this saving is likely to increase, as interest rates are expected to keep falling and remain low for some time.

Mortgage rates

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A side-effect of it being cheaper to borrow and completely unlucrative to keep money in the bank, is that demand for property is expected to increase, making it more expensive.

The RBNZ's removal of loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions, which had forced banks to require borrowers to have certain-sized deposits, could also increase demand and thus prices.

There are a range of forecasts around what residential property prices will do. But should they increase by say 5% over the next year, the value of New Zealand’s $1.23 trillion housing stock would increase by $61.4 billion.

House prices have of course been on an upwards trajectory for some time - not only due to low interest rates, but also due to supply lagging demand.

What’s more, property owners won’t pocket that $61.4 billion unless they all sell-up, at which point they’d need to buy again in the same inflated market.

But should one try to crudely quantify how much the RBNZ’s Covid-19 response is worth to property owners, you land at a figure of $63.7 billion over a year ($61.4 billion capital gains plus $2.3 billion reduced interest payments).

What about people who don’t own property?

This begs the question; how much support are people who don’t own property getting?

It is impossible to say, but it’s worth noting that Treasury expects this Government’s Covid-19 response to eventually total $58.1 billion. This includes $14.1 billion of unallocated “rainy day” funding.

The bulk of the funding has gone towards helping businesses retain staff and keep the lights on.

For example, $14 billion of wage subsidy payments have been made.

The Crown has lent small businesses $1.6 billion via the Small Business Cashflow Loan scheme.

Businesses are benefiting to tune of a couple of billions of dollars from a lift in the provisional tax threshold, the reinstatement of building depreciation, and the writing off of interest on late tax payments.

Funding has also gone towards supporting the likes of Airways NZ, NZ Post and various tourism businesses. Meanwhile a $900 million loan has been offered to Air New Zealand.  

While the aim is to soften the expected spike in unemployment, a significant amount less has been allocated towards people who lose their jobs.

The net cost of the Covid Income Relief Payment has been in the 10s of millions of dollars. The payment, which is worth more than Jobseeker Support in most cases, is available for up to 12 weeks for people who lose their jobs. However it’s due to expire at the end of October.

The Government has also permanently increased main benefits by $25 a week, meaning a single, childless person will now receive $250 a week. 

New Zealand’s total welfare expense (excluding the wage subsidy and New Zealand Superannuation) is expected to increase by $1.6 billion in the year to June 2020 (to $13.7 billion), and by another $3.5 billion (to $17.2 billion) in the year to June 2021. 

The Government has also temporarily doubled the Winter Energy Payment, automatically available to beneficiaries, including super-annuitants.

This will provide some respite for older people trying to live off their savings.

Lower interest rates will cost savers about $2.5 billion over a year.

This estimate is the difference between applying the current average 2-year deposit rate (1.13%) to the $198.2 billion of deposits New Zealand households have, versus applying the rate from back in January (2.55%).

As per the mortgage calculation above, the overly-simplified calculation makes it a very rough estimate.

Term deposit rates

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The big difference between the Government and RBNZ’s response is that the RBNZ’s will be longer-lasting.

In other words, interest rates are expected to remain lower for longer (saving property owners, and costing savers, billions each year), while much of the additional support being provided by the Government is temporary. 

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Mortgage free home owners should all be given rate rebates during the Covid period.


Oh, yay. More welfare.

Property investors / owners have been the biggest recipients of this central welfare since the GFC, and they're being given more and more.

They've certainly no justification in objecting to dole for the poor, fees-free for students etc. That would be the ultimate hypocrisy.

By these factors, covid19 has cost 5,200,000 per death. By all estimates a small price to pay. I support dole for the poor and fees free for students etc. I think these measures should get NZ to increased prosperity and equality for all.


Haha jesus christ, "dole for the poor" to "increase prosperity". NZ is screwed with half the country thinking this way :P

The point is to highlight the absurdity of pushing so much welfare for the wealthy ($64 billion) alongside resentment of welfare for the poor. Neither is an economic recipe for success. (Perhaps the only one that can be - of those discussed - is investment in education.)

If your mortgage free Orr and Robertson want you to mortgage up and buy at least 2 rentals preferably in Auckland and preferably at less than 20% equity to aid recovery of the economy and create much needed growth!
If you cant pay the mortgagees at zero % interest eventually Orr and Robertson will come up with a NEW plan to save you and your rentals!

Kiwis have to be realistic. politicians who are in power, do all they can to get re-elected (save their job) and for that spending taxpayers money is the easiest way.
Poor electorate think that dole is free and is coming their way, actually, it ends up where it is intended.
people should vote out those who do business of politics (governing) and give chance to new parties. I am thinking about TOP party.

What is then gong to support the multitudes of marketers, PR consultants, pen-pushers, coordinators, HR managers, special project facilitators, strategy advisors, of Councils like the Auckland Council ??

You forgot to mention Panuku which is part of Auckland Council, - I understand that a significant number of staff Have been made redundant..... many of which are on salaries of $180k +.

I hope you are right.

Will this have any impact on productivity growth?

I won't say no to that!


Everything, absolutely, desperately, everything has been done to keep the NZ housing Ponzi inflated as long as possible, at all costs and regardless of the potential repercussion to the stability and the longer term soundness of the financial system and structural health of the real economy.


Nobody has a shred of doubt that either of our major parties will do anything but extend the existing housing and immigration ponzi schemes post-election.
Neither side has any inclination to do the right thing and therefore, one side counters every sensible argument on our economic reality with meaningless headline economic stats, while the other continually lowers the measurement bar to fake progress on qualitative metrics.

National will implement a booking system for managed isolation facilities to manage more arrivals into New Zealand safely.

National will prioritise returning Kiwis while enabling essential and skilled workers, students and, eventually, long-stay tourists to book a place in managed isolation facilities.


Lol, National will try anything to get the low-value immigration stream started again. I bet they can't wait to flood the country more skilled 'Managers' from countries like India so that they can man 'highly skilled roles' such as working at the local bottle store or petrol station.

That is pretty much exactly word for word what Judith said tonight.

we know that major parties wouldn't do anything and that is why it is time to bring new ones- TOP party. they have more common sense policies.


A patient in hospital, all their limbs in casts, every inch of skin bandaged, hooked to a ventilator, fed through IV, pumped full of drugs, needing the occasional resuscitation... and their relatives have the nerve to say they're "remarkably strong".
While the doctors just nod along, hiding their real thoughts on the matter.

Ah yes, remarkably resilient.

Reminds me of the plastered soldier from catch 22. Drip fed from the same jar as the kidney waste.

Running out of options unless they start paying people to buy property.


What a delight. Great to see calling a spade a spade journalism, not just repeating the narrative.

Much of the income support etc will also flow straight into the house-owning cohort, to pay rent as the biggest outlay for most people. If not paid by Govt, some tenants might have been unable to pay or left the tenancy.


A very significant number of the income-supported employees are home-owners
a significant number of the supported business-owners are also home-owners
In reality 70% of the NZD $14 billion income support flowed directly to home-owners

Triple-dipping if you own a rental and upped the rent so effectively getting a share of your tenant's income support. Unlikely but possible.

Quadruple dipping if you count lower interest rates so lower mortgage payments. Multiply this by 10 rentals and some of the richest are becoming mega rich thanks to the RBNZ.

$25 extra per week isn't going very far. I should have bought a house.



More precisely perhaps, capitalism for the poor (lost jobs, etc, disproportionately low wage, Maori, Pasifika, given enough money to hand over to the asset holders), and socialism for the rich (share/house asset holders, where all the QE flowed).

NZ may not have the extremities as the US, but they have a right government creating possibly the greatest inequality in a generation, and we have a left doing the same. Fascinating, from a political science perspective. As a human....

Calling Labor left is a stretch. They're all centerists. And the majority vote them in again and again...

Fair call. L & N both centre. Like others I reckon G should be a green party & split out socialist wing. (Many L & N voters would split vote for a real green party, could be 15-20%, in L or N Govt, & get things done as many kiwis would like, without NZF/ACT extreme policies & little green progress). I guessed G figure no place for openly socialist party, but with L screwing what was their base & massively favouring rich, maybe there's place for one. But for G to see it might need be tipped out to think strategically. My guess they'll squeak back in & stay inconsequential. A pity.


Hmmmm.. - central bank inspired casino economics to entrench the failed wealth affect for the already wealthy few to the detriment of the asset deficient many.

Talking of banks.... anyone else noticed how much Money the bankers seem to have lost/laundered recently. Last year it was $20 billion by Westpac. Now there is $2 Trillion missing/ can’t be accounted for in the US and on 10th September 2001 on the eve of 9/11 Donald Rumsfeld announced that The Pentagon was missing $2 trillion dollars. Why?

Given how little it costs the nation collectively it's amazing how much noise is generated by social welfare programs.

It's only $6k per employed person in NZ, not sure what % pays a net tax, or how to calculate, or if it is even relevant.


My advice to any young people is to beg borrow and steal, to just get on the ladder.

Once there, you are a protected species. Still better if you lever up more to buy multiple properties.

Exactly, good advice(apart from recommending stealing)
More importantly, work hard, work smart
Save carefully, invest wisely.
Seek good counsel


...and never, ever think or talk about risk!

Thought I covered that by advising to “invest wisely” and “seek good counsel”
Good grief man, your cynicism is paralysing
What’s your wise advice, that has caused your success?


My experience in NZ the 'invest wisely' and 'seek good counsel' means buy another rental after reading a oneroof article.

So you just need to be clear that by invest wisely you mean buying many different asset classes with different risk levels across many currencies/countries, using dollar cost averaging. That's what you mean right?

Yes I did.
Understand what you mean, you’re quite right about the unfortunate level of financial illiteracy in this country.

Oh how quickly you forget when you want to...
Your original comment was a reaction to this: "My advice to any young people is to beg borrow and steal, to just get on the ladder.
Once there, you are a protected species. Still better if you lever up more to buy multiple properties."
Your comment says this is good advice: "Exactly, good advice(apart from recommending stealing)"
So is leveraging up to get as many properties as possible a "wise investment" or not? Contradicting yourself a bit here mate...

You are the first one to mention “leveraging up to get as many properties as possible”
To “lever up more” is rather different.
This is where you def need “wise counsel” to “invest wisely” my young grasshopper. Good luck to you


My advice would be go to a country that values your productivity, rather than how it can exploit you for the asset class.


One thing is for sure that panademic has been a boom to housing sector and still govrtnment is doing more to support housing market than other businesses.

Just today on breakfast show, hospitality association in diwntown Auckland was asking for extended subsidy for loss of business due to lockdown but the government is nit ready to provide extra assistance but for housing market it exfended the moratge holiday till 31st March 2021 as been affected by lockdown so why dies nit the same logic applies to businesses that are being affected by lockdown.

Also if housing market is booming, is removal of LVR the right thing to do and are they not exposing depositor/banks - more risk as bubble is getting bigger and bigger.

What about the government's direct loans to businesses of up to 100k that bear no interest in the first year?
The $400 million tourism fund plus another $10 million going to polytechs and private institutions?
The special discounts being given out by Air NZ on domestic airfare is because of taxpayer-funded aviation schemes in hundreds of millions designed to kickstart regional tourism.
The government is also underwriting 80% of loans given out by private banks to businesses for Covid response.

I am not arguing whether these measures are enough or not but you didn't mention any of it. I believe businesses are still getting a better deal than the mortgage holders are with the holiday scheme, which BTW still bears interest. Wouldn't expect unbiased truth from breakfast show.


Major issue I have with this calculation is that great mass of the gain to house owners or mortgaged is in form of theoretical value of their house. Whereas what gov spent to keep wages paid etc, is income really in their pocket. Greatest contrast to me is that people who pay rent got v little, except protection against eviction and their potential for buying if prices accelerate faster than Raes are cut to increase affordability, is reduced.

This, they extended the mortgage deferrals but left the rent freeze finish this week. My rents skyrocketed from next week, as the landlord is in trouble with his loans and list his job. He has 6 rentals...


And it the non-homeowners and future homeowners who will have to pay for this via larger rents and house prices (=bigger mortgage payments).

Indirect payment is also made via taxpayers (but notably not property oweners/investors) towards the direct subsidies such as accommodation allowance and the increasing proportion of benefits that are used to pay rent.

If I was to design a rigged system, I don't think I could even make it this Machavellian.

I think this is a very cynical and insidious way of looking at the RBNZ's policies, and flat out dangerous as it takes a shot a their independence. They aren't providing support to mortgage holders, end of story.

One could say that the Taxpayer has received a support package on Crown debt via lower interest costs, which would be true, but the RBNZ has only had a small influence on the interest cost, and hasn't moved the interest cost from X to Z in price by itself.

The RBNZ targets the risk free term rates with their QE programs, they don't target mortgage rates. Banks set mortgage rates, and that is set by supply and demand in the term deposit market, and for BKBM it is set via wholesale interest margins which encompasses a wide range of variables, that come down to cost of foreign capital. BKBM wholesale margins have actually increased markedly since March, which in essence is to subsidize the Covid relief on residential mortgages (someone has to pay the interest bill).

RBNZ is totally separate to all of that, they don't control bank or offshore/bkbm wholesale margins. They explicitly control the overnight rate, and they influence Government term interest rates with QE; but don't control them.

This article is insidious and unprofessional. I'd say the RBNZ will be reluctant to give interviews again if they read this.


The RBNZ takes action knowing the results that will happen, and those results happen. Nothing much wrong with pointing it out.

And young Kiwis should know where their wealth is in effect being transferred to.

The wage subsidies have had an enormous effect on interest costs and residential mortgage lending.

RBNZ are just protecting their own eggs (the Crown and it's subsidiaries), by doing what they're asked under the PTA, if you have a problem with the RBNZ, take it up with the Crown, they set the PTA (and abuse it for that matter).

I would suggest that it's quite normal for people to complain not only to the legislative branch but also the executive branch. No reason not to provide advocacy to the RBNZ, given they also push the government through their own advocacy.

Porque no las dos?


I see you've down a bit of the RBNZ cool-aide. RBNZ is absolutely targeting retail mortgage rates. They've been strong arming the banks to lower lending rates all year. Indeed the RBNZ knows that banks set mortgage rates based on their funding costs which is exactly why they're going negative OCR and will do the Funding for Lending Program. Banks are warning about getting closer and closer to the zero interest bound on deposits and the risk that this funding source dries up quickly (why would I invest in a 0.10% TD?!) and thus mortgage rates have a floor. So what does the RBNZ do? Announce a package of negative rates and Funding for Lending Program so banks can source funding at close to OCR (probably -0.45%) for the long term (probably 3yrs) ... All in hopes that the stable negative cost of funding for banks will allow them to drop retail mortgage rates. So my friend despite what the RBNZ are telling you, they very much are focused on getting the banks to drop retail mortgage rates.

Hello Adrian

Listening to Ray Dalio earlier today talking about Recent events and the increases in property prices worldwide as everyone rushes to put their cash into property and take on ever increasingly large amounts of debt because you can’t lose with property. Question: what decade in history is most similar to what we are experiencing now? Answer: The 1930’s. We shall see.

Listening to Ray Dalio earlier today talking about Recent events and the increases in property prices worldwide as everyone rushes to put their cash into property and take on ever increasingly large amounts of debt because you can’t lose with property. Question: what decade in history is most similar to what we are experiencing now? Answer: The 1930’s. We shall see.

Dalio has warned that the asset classes that have been propped up by the debt orgy are those be wary of. Most NZers wouldn't know who Dalio is and many may of heard of him but don't really have any interest in what he says.

I do listen to Ray Dalio a bit (but he is too macro for me) as well as Howard Marks, Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Carl Ichan, Tom Russo and others. Your comment re most NZers may be right as most NZers appear to me to be financially illiterate so they would not be able to understand what the names above are even talking about if they listened to them talk in a long form interview or pod cast!

having reached zero bound and with population growth via migration on hold for the foreseeable, wages and hours worked down, unemployment on the rise and mortgage holidays and reporting soon to end what more support can be offered to maintain the ponzi scheme?....looking very much like the end of the road.

Have already given mortage defferal till March 2021 to support the ponzi.

" holidays and reporting soon to end ...."


All political parties have screwed FHB and will go on till.....

Don't get too rabid guys. Sometimes the current can only be diverted with a vision of what could be. Our politicians have an imagination deficit. They can't even lie well.


The saving of the debt fueled and pumping house prices has to stop. Removing LVR rules was a joke. Orr needs to GO. Its a hard lesson coming but the debt fueled need to live within their means. No matter how low or negative interest rates go one still has to pay back the principal!
When it all turns into a great big turd you don't want to be reliant on the kindness of friends let alone strangers. Strangers being the bank. As your friendly mortgage broker encouraging to borrow wont loose any sleep over sending your property to mortgagee auction. My advice is if you don't have at least 25% deposit keep saving and cut out the latest iPhone, car, clothes, handbag, 4k TV..... But from what I have researched delayed gratification cannot be taught.


We're setting ourselves up for potentially (a) decade/s of debt slavery and misery. Long term pain to avoid short term pain.

just checking -- when interest rates go back up -- will we consider it an extra $2.3 billion taxation on property owners ? or if they head back to 6% a $10 billion extra tax .... Especially considering that its the banks taking the hit and the banks making the obscene levels of profit- not a government subsidy at all ! In fact the Government is also significantly benefitting from the reduction in rates with its own interest and borrowing costs. Also the delays and relief are only that delays and a new improved form of can kicking - debt is either stationary - interest only - or increasing if total payment holidays

"when interest rates go back up" - big assumption there. It's not 'when', but 'if'

I'm no economist, but if the debt party dead cat has bounced 20 times, what miraculous source of growth do you foresee heading our way in order to generate inflation for interest rates to rise?


Why don't we get to vote for central bank policies? (50% rhetorical question, 50% serious...I understand their role/function/mandate...but I'm now questioning how corrupt our society is going to become - and the risk of revolt - unless the system changes)

Central bankers are playing god and having a massive impact on the quality of life for many yet there is no democratic way that I can vote for the policies they are pushing. What gives them that right, unless we freely acknowledge that we actually live under an undemocratic society where our wealth, ability to purchase a home, quality of livelihood is dictated by a communist type regime that is creating policies that are advancing the interests of one group of people (asset owners) over another? Is this a repressive communist system that we are living under where a state entity has such powers of god for which the people have no democratic system to have their say? Our society is very different to what I thought it was. We abuse China for having a communist system - yet our central banking system is no better. It economically punishes larges parts of our society and that part of society has no mechanism to protest or vote for change. How bizarre this all is...honestly....

The concept of maintaining price stability - if housing has become this far out of control - why can't we argue that they're failing to protect the interests of future NZ'ers via their own mandate and as such we should be allowed to vote against the monetary policies being implemented. I.e. no we don't want more QE and no we don't want interest rates dropped. How do we make this a democratic process so that all NZ'ers get their say?

True. Taking property prices out of the price stability picture has resulted in very poor performance in terms of real price stability. Prices that matter, the prices that are part of people's lives.

Yes. I didn't know this, but read it on Croaking Cassandra the other day:

Inflation measurement in NZ has not changed materially since the 90s , when house and land prices were taken out of the CPI and replaced with construction costs of new houses. - Michael Reddell

Imagine how different things would have been if house and land prices were still in the CPI. Maybe we would not of had the absurd situation of the Reserve Bank perpetually cutting interest rates in order to achieve some inflation, while the biggest consumer purchase most people will make in their lifetime is inflating at 10-15%.


Yes and the new build cost excludes the land price - i.e. where a significant amount of the price inflation is! So we keep saying we can't find any inflation, so we drop interest rates further, and land/property prices rise as we can service more debt...then we say we can't find any inflation, so we drop interest rates further, and land/property prices rise (and repeat) - then at some point in time, perhaps this year, we discover that we've actually had inflation but its gone into captial asset prices and not consumption prices - yet we measure CPI you guessed it, on consumption inflation. And we wonder why we have debt bubbles. Its not difficult and its going to look really bloody stupid when it all falls apart.

If we measure inflation based on money supply then perhaps we could get away from pumping asset bubbles while controlling consumption inflation at a fixed target.

Well, IO, you do pose the truly needed crystal clear questions. As usual, I might add. Can I suggest to David Chaston to take this particular comment of yours and frame it boldly at the entrance of It should be compulsory reading daily so in the near future no-one can say "but we could not possible have seen this sneaky inflation coming".
Of course, nobody in their right mind would suspect that perhaps it was bankers in the first place who may have suggested such innovative new and improved features of CPI measurements all around the world.

Imagine if NZ had worked for real economic policies aiming at productivity, rather than just the asset inflation pretense.

The premise of this article is wrong, yes we have lower interest rates now but also price to income ratios are record highs and mortgages are twice as long than they used to (since else they would be unserviceable) so one thing compensates the other and the affordability provided by lower rates becomes irrelevant if you compare to longer term trends.

Debt is not equal to money in your pocket, it is exactly the other way around.

The aggregate demand gap has to be filled somehow. Grant Robinson is on the back foot having to justify the increase in govt debt due to the wage subsidy. Having to say he has no intention of spending any more govt money than necessary shows you where he thinks the thinking of the bulk of the New Zealand population is right now.

It's a rare business person that doesn't rely on real estate to back their business in some form or another. Whether it is using their house as collateral for a mortgage or buying property when the going is good and selling it when there is a cashflow crunch, property cushions the business flow in New Zealand.

When the govt has missed the opportunity to close the aggregate demand gap at the right time then the Reserve Bank steps in. The Reserve Bank governor is doing his job as best he can. The govt is stuck in the position of not being politically able to spend money to close the aggregate demand gap (or even worse not seeing the need to close the gap) having missed the chance to do so when conditions were favourable.

The $NZ is at .67 to the $US, on an upwards trajectory which is not good for exporters. Hopefully it is a reflection of investors or returning Kiwis buying NZ dollars to spend in New Zealand rather than speculators betting that the govt will continue to be 'prudent managers' and not spend the bond money available to it to spend in the real economy. My real economy indicator share, the Port of Tauranga is at 7.35 - going down. Things are sagging.

We can only hope that the lag time of the effect of the speculative money going into housing is a short one and that this stimulus generates enough growth to cover the gaps in the rest of the economy before the economy starts rolling downhill. Or that whatever combination of govt we end up with after the election finds the fortitude to spend the necessary funds to fill the aggregate demand gap in the real economy until replacement industries appear/reappear to fill the gaps caused by Covid 19.

Good post, the RBNZ are doing a good job with the blunt tools they have. The housing market will be running hotter than they expected, but they will be fine with it. Protecting bank balance sheets will keep credit flowing, protecting consumer balance sheets will keep the retail spending going. This keeps people employed.

Did anyone here seriously believe the Govt was going to close the borders, shutter tourism and hospitality and not do all it could to help people through?

The NZD is the 10th most traded currency in the world. See RBNZ link. It going up or down has nothing to do with NZers returning home! Its traded (gambled) by the biggest cocaine addicts in the world on a daily basis. Economists will make up reasons for it going up or down but the idea that NZers returning home due to covid is not one of them. Even on this site there are articles show that we have net migration more people leaving than arriving. NZers moving home would not even move the needle on the NZD / USD fx rate....

Note the volatility to the USD is quite high over very short periods of time .6775 then down to .6655 in 24 hours and the same thing has repeated a number of times in the last week.

NZD remains 10th most traded currency Release date17 September 2019,Settlements%20(BIS)%20released%20today.
The New Zealand dollar (NZD) remains the tenth most traded currency globally, according to a global survey compiled by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) released today.

The time to stop this debt avalanche was 20-30 years ago. When it was possible to prevent a debt momentum to develop. There is no stopping it once in motion. The NZRB actions and choices are being criticized for obvious and valid reasons. But the consequences of doing other things is not considered adequately.

The way the world is today mean that the financial industries are using citizens as their human shields. It is impossible to harm them without first harming the people at present. We need to know how we can rescue ourselves first before we go kamikaze and say let debtors burn. When debtors burn, creditors burn too. when housing market collapse, it is no guarantee that the properties will go to those who do not have a house. Wealthy people without debt are actually best positioned to buy and further establish a land-owning class.

Uncertainty is so hard to deal with.

Amazing how all this is unfolding during an election year. I wonder if the govt's response (Nats OR Labs) would've been different had the pandemic occurred 'just after' an election year?????

Hey - can we please recognise who the real losers and winners are here.
It is NOT the non-property owners.
It is those with cash who are receiving low returns at the expense of mortgage holders.
If we are looking at age cohorts - it’s NOT the boomers with mortgage free homes and security of term deposits to fund their retirement.
The winners are those 35 to 50 year olds with mortgages who bought their houses 6 to 10 years ago and have seen their house appreciate considerably in value and their mortgage interest rates decrease considerably.
Millennials and frustrated FHB go attack ‘em.

Attack the winners?? Why not help the losers?

Adrian Orr must GO

Negative interest rates have not worked in the Europe or Japan. It will only kick the can down the road and shaft anyone who has saved money but it will boost house prices for a while. So RBNZ decides LETS DO THIS. Once the debt fueled get use to free money taking it away will be like trying to get a P addict off meth.....

House values at the moment are only worth as much as they are, because of the economy settings. eg a high flow of immigrants top buy houses, creating high demand, and pushing up house prices, mixed with ever decreasing interest rates, which allow people to service larger mortgages. Once something breaks like Covid could do, then those prices could change. We have reduced our inflow of people, and next maybe increasing unemployment. We have seen with the stock market, with interest rates diving, that people have been buying up shares and houses. But share prices have again fallen back a bit over recent weeks. It is all about what someone is prepared to pay for a house. Valutions are all very well as long as there are buyers out there prepared to pay that amount. But if those buyers dry up, and they can't afford to pay that amount, then a valuer won't pay a home owner instead.

Yip having read about and lived through bubbles in different parts of the world where prices have fallen 50% or more, you ask were the houses 100% over valued before the fall, or 50% under valued after the fall? How could 'prudent' investors mis-price an asset by a factor of 100%?

Then you realise they're all just speculating on further appreciation and nothing to do with long term fundamentals/ratios. Gambling with leverage/debt essentially. Introducing the NZ property market.....


Please stop playing the blame game on immigration, it is not even true that immigrants push prices up since most rent in higher than average density households. I know it is convenient to blame immigrants but truth is that most cannot afford buying a house since many come from lower incomes and have low paid jobs, it is the landlords who buy investment properties and then rent them who have actually pushed prices up.


Suppose we had never had any immigration and the New Zealand population was a million or 2 lower.
Are you saying that property prices would be just as high as they are now?

I dont think that passes the sniff test.


I suspect this is woke nonsense where one should not criticize immigrants or migration under any circumstances....

Do you think 5 million population is much for a country the size of NZ? Of course it is not, look at other countries the same size as the UK or Italy, property prices are inflated not because of population growth since land is plentiful but its use as a speculative asset.

land maybe plentiful but the ability to use for houses is not, District plans constraining minimum block sizes is a big factor.

This is a merely political issue not a resources one.

and of course those millions of extra people have had a seriously negative effect on homelessness, pollution, employment and water shortages.

B21, you are right in one sense - immigrants (the people) should not be blamed. But immigration settings should be. However you slice it, increasing the number of people who live here increases demand for accommodation, and in the absence of increased supply, this pushes up rents which in turn makes housing more attractive to investors and thus pushes up demand.

NZ has a distortion that significantly favors houses over other forms of investment. A Good article worth reading However, we tax offshore equity investments punitively whether direct or via kiwisaver on an UNREALISED BASIS. We tax the FX movements on foreign denominated investments on an UNREALISED BASIS.

Could you imagine the outrage if the property investors in Auckland since 2011 paid tax based on the increment in value of the properties each year when they were not even sold. But the 3.3 million in kiwisaver are oblivious to this stealth tax that is having a major impact on how much they have for retirement.

In addition Councils refuse to free up land to allow building of new residential areas and put ridiculous minimum plot size designation on lots of areas to stop new developments and have urban design zealots telling you what to do based on their green ideals.

So the combination of the tax distortion and Council's actions has a lot to do with it I think.

I agree with you al123, my point was they are not the only ones to blame yet the most extended narrative does that, which can be pretty dangerous.

A cynic would say because most migration is mopped up by Auckland, it tends to be invisible to those in Wellington and thus ignored. Same with housing issues. My only real hope is now that Wellington prices have gone ballistic, we may see some actual meaningful change.

The landlords who outbid first home buyers for entry level 3 bedroom properties, and cram 8 or so immigrants into them?

OK. let's not even mention immigration. If it sounds nicer and less confrontational let's just say that an annual 1% additional and preventable population growth will push house prices up whether these people actually purchase property or not. There would be fewer rental properties in circulation if we did not have to find housing for an additional 40 or 50K people each year. They all have to live somewhere but, IMO, for the sake of our young, it should be anywhere but NZ. Do we really believe Kiwis cannot be trained to pick fruit and drive farm machinery. Also just returned from Queenstown and was dismayed to find that about 90% of staff at restaurants, ski fields, pubs, gondola, cafes, bungy, zipline etc were non NZ born and yes I politely played the guess the country game with them to get the info. Even Jet Boating run by Ngai Tahu with 4 admin staff was 4 out of 4. Disgraceful!

This is a pretty irresponsible article, poorly researched, and highly inaccurate by its own admission.

Fine to claim this but back it up with some analysis and reasoning?