A review of things you need to know before you go home on Friday; BNZ cuts some mortgage rates hard, SUVs rule, Heartland's new CFO, Aussie building consents plunge, swaps and NZD stable, & more

A review of things you need to know before you go home on Friday; BNZ cuts some mortgage rates hard, SUVs rule, Heartland's new CFO, Aussie building consents plunge, swaps and NZD stable, & more
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Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.

MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
BNZ has cut its 4 and 5 year fixed rates back to the same levels as two of its rivals.

TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
No changes to report.

UTES & SUVs RULE
The SUV market grows even as the overall car market stops growing, mirroring the rise and rise of the ute market. New Zealand's adoption of SUV's is higher than in many other countries

HEARTLAND NAMES NEW CFO
Heartland Group Holdings has appointed Cherise Barrie chief financial officer, subject to the Reserve Bank confirming non-objection. Barrie's a chartered accountant who has worked for Westpac NZ, Health Alliance NZ, Sovereign and ANZ. Myles Perry has been Heartland's acting CFO since David Mackrell left before Christmas to join NZME.

POSITION VACANT
We are looking for a part-time cartoonist who can caricature. If you would like to know more about what we need, please contact either Gareth Vaughan or David Chaston.

MARRIAGE OUT OF FAVOUR
The marriage rate in 2018 fell slightly to 10.8 couples marrying per 1,000 people eligible to marry or form a civil union. This is less than half the rate in 1988 and follows a general decline since the peak in 1971 when the marriage rate was 45.5 per 1,000.

STREWTH MATE
In Australia, sharply lower than expected residential building consent levels are raising some policy eyebrows. Total dwellings dropped by more than -15% in March, largely driven by falls in New South Wales (down more than -27%) and Victoria ( also down -27%). The rout was led by sharp drops for apartments and townhouses which fell more than -30%; detached house approvals decreased -3.2%. (Recall, yesterday, the New Zealand residential consent data showed an equivalent +7% year-on-year gain.)

LOCAL SWAP RATES
Local swap rates are little-changed today. The UST 10yr rate is at 2.55%, up +5 bps. Their 2-10 curve is at +20 bps and their negative 1-5 curve now at -6 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is down again today to 1.79% (unchanged), the China Govt 10yr is also unchanged at 3.42%, while the New Zealand Govt 10yr is up +1 bp at 1.92%. The 90 day bank bill rate is unchanged at 1.79%.

NZ DOLLAR HOLDS
The NZ dollar is marginally lower at 66.1 USc compared with this time yesterday. Against the Aussie we are fractionally firmer at 94.6 AUc. We are still at 59.2 euro cents. The TWI-5 is now at 71.2.

BITCOIN UP
Bitcoin is uo +2.4% today at US$5,454. Bitcoin is tracked in the chart below.

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Daily exchange rates

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USD 
NZD
End of day UTC
Source: CoinDesk

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...largely driven by falls in New South Wales (down more than -27%) and Victoria ( also down -27%).

This catastrophic decline means NSW has collapsed to the levels of Auckland's over-hyped current construction "boom" - both are now consenting about 70 units/100,000 people each month.

A useful sidebar to the Aussie housing debacle, from Joel Kotkin, over in City Journal (always worth a read). Also reflects rather badly on the Panuku 'master-planned' (usually to be read as 'impending fustercluck') development reported on in these pages.