A review of things you need to know before you go home on Wednesday; mortgage rate changes; REINZ - February results; America's Cup venue; balance of payments; Indonesian President in NZ; bond offer; core banking system; rates lower; NZD higher

Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today:

TSB has updated its mortgage rates for standard and special rates. See rates here.

No changes here today.

The housing market bounced up in February with the volumes of homes sold running ahead of February last year and prices also improving versus January. The REINZ recorded 6373 residential property sales in February, up 1.2% compared to February last year, while the national median price was $530,000, compared to $520,000 in January. That puts it the national median price up by 3.9% compared to February last year. Homes also became slightly easier to sell, with the median days needed to make a sale dropping from 46 in January to 44 in February.

A new option, evolved from suggestions by local residents and interest group, may be the selected venue for the 36th America's Cup event in Auckland. It is the cheapest of the four options put forward and will deliver the smallest intrusion into the harbour. This is what Minister for Economic Development David Parker was trying to achieve. The option known as Point-Halsey utilises land on Wynyard Point and reduced to 45m the extension to Halsey Street Wharf. There would be no extension to Hobson Wharf. It provides for two double bases on Halsey, one of which will be Emirates Team New Zealand’s base and additional bases on Wynyard wharf as syndicates are confirmed. It requires a 9900 sqm extension into the harbour. The cost for this option is estimated to be $140 mln.

The current account balance for the December 2017 quarter printed at -$2.770 bln. This was made up of a goods trade deficit of -$1.195 bln, a services trade surplus of $1.074 bln, an investment income deficit of -$2.733 bln and incoming transfers of $83 mln. The capital account balance was -$19 mln. The net international investment position sits at -$155.202 bln with $251.580 bln international assets and -$406.782 international liabilities.

To mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and New Zealand, Indonesia's President Joko Widodo will be visiting New Zealand from 18 to 19 March, Jacinda Ardern announced today. Indonesia has the world's fourth largest population and third largest democracy. It is the largest economy in ASEAN. It is a major market for New Zealand meat, dairy and agriculture exports, with total two-way goods trade of NZ$1.76 billion in 2017. This visit is an opportunity to increase trade between New Zealand and Indonesia.

Rabobank has launched a new 3 year bond offer for $100 mln. The book build opens today and closes tomorrow. The bonds will be issued on 22 March 2018 with a guidance interest rate for the bond at 3m BKBM FRA + 0.75%. Minimum subscriptions are $750,000. The issuer ratings by Standard and Poor's is A+ with a positive outlook.

NZCU Baywide has launched a new core banking system that establishes a modern operational platform spread across the branch and nationwide online banking system. The multi-million dollar project brings the Credit Union on par with Tier One banks and gives it flexibility to grow its 30,000 strong customer base. They are already working on phase two of the project, which is modernising their internet and mobile banking platforms.

Wholesale swap rates are higher at the short end of the curve and lower at the long end with the 1 yr and 2 yr rate up +1 bps and the 4 yr rate being down -1 bps, 5yr down -2 bps and the 7 yr and 10 yr down -3 bps. The UST 10yr is down to 2.84% today (-4 bps). The Aussie Govt 10 yr is down -6 bps to 2.76%. The China 10 yr is down -1 bps at 3.86% while the NZ Govt 10 yr is down -3 bps to 2.95%. The 90 day bank bill rate is lower at 1.89%.

The bitcoin price is stable at US$9,212.

The NZD has traded slightly higher today to currently trade at 73.3 USc. On the cross rates we are at 93.3 AUc and at 59.2 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 at 74.2.

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End of day UTC
Source: CoinDesk

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From the article, this quote about the size of the Indonesian economy cannot possibly be correct: "Indonesia has the world's fourth largest population and the third largest economy". A quick search suggests that Japan has the 3rd largest economy.

It meant to read "... third largest democracy".


So there we have it. The people who benefit from NZ house prices are the "international investors" to whom we now owe $406.782 bn, of which $245 bn is household debt.

Why, exactly, has that been Labour and National's policy for at least the last 20 years? Up from $50 bn in 1999. These politicians and their bureaucrat masters are either nowhere near as clever as they claim or there is something dodgy going on. Which is it?

Can you please explain your analysis in simple terms for the common Joe to understand ? assets , liabilities , debt .

The total overseas debt, or liabilities, is published in the article. This used to be easily accessed at the RBNZ website as the E3 series, and the old data can be sourced there. If you also source the also discontinued M3 money supply you will see the two were a pretty close match. The RBNZ has been progressively obfuscating the data. Household debt is also available from the RBNZ, but interest.co have that in their charts page amongst a bunch of other really useful stuff.

Not all international investment goes into housing debt. The liabilities include all foreign investment from burger king to Toyota NZ. A sizeable portion of the household debt you speak of comes from loans that our banks have to find from overseas financial markets due to lack of net domestic savings. Most of it has nothing to do with foreigners buying NZ homes.

In terms of risk we need to remember it is the gross liabilities that need to be rolled over - not the net figure !

A big number and as Buffett has stated - markets ask the most demanding of questions in the most difficult of times.

We would still qualify as a small nation with highly indebted external accounts.

We have now run current account deficits for over 47 years - and that's why we need to flog our houses and companies to balance the books with debt up to our eyeballs.

Nice viewing from the Royal Commission in the homeland of our banking system. Nice watching the APRA spekesperson squirm.