Are We Entering a Buyers Market?

Firstly More Good News for Mortgage Rates

Last month we reported good news with drops in mortgage rates, and there’s more of the same this month. Most major banks have cut their fixed-term loan rates, some by quite considerable amounts. [source]

Why is it happening?

Well, competition appears to be biting at the banks. They seem to be generating better offers to increase their share of borrowers in a tight market. The ability to do this is helped by wholesale interest rates easing.

The rates for longer terms, including four- and five-year rates, have been cut, with borrowers happy to lock in longer terms in a bid to protect themselves from fluctuation.

Is this the right move?

If you can plan far enough ahead and know that you can cope with repayments for the next few years, then fixing for a longer term at a better rate can be a good idea.

But of course, you do risk floating and shorter-term rates falling and being stuck with something that becomes unfavourable.

The best thing to do is talk to us before you make any decisions, and we can help you see what’s best for your financial situation.

If you already have a mortgage but think you can get a better deal, we can talk you through your options for breaking your current loan and whether it’s worth it.

Is It Now a Buyers Market?

There’s good news if you are looking for a new home – it seems that buyers are now really in control of the market.

Prices are still dropping, and the number of homes available for sale is twice that of a year ago according to

That means more choice for buyers and the possibility of a bargain.

Vanessa Williams from says the scales have tipped. “Buyers’ FOMO (fear of missing out) is decreasing. The scales have tipped. Buyers now have the edge,” she said. [source].

Asking prices are still declining in all regions. The national average asking price on was down just under 9% last month. So, if you are considering buying, especially if this is a buyers market, now could be the time to do it.

Chat with us to see what your options could be.

First Home Buyers Seem to Be Faring Better Than Most

The latest figures from the Reserve Bank and the Real Estate Institute of NZ show that first-time buyers are still prevalent in the market.

While sales to first home buyers are down in line with the rest of the market, they haven’t fallen as much.

First home buyers accounted for almost 40% of residential sales in June.

Figures also suggest that first-home buyers haven’t reduced the amount they are willing to borrow or buy for, they are just getting better homes for the price. [source]

It’s been suggested that the statistics are because first home buyers are more likely to have stronger motivation to buy while existing homeowners who were thinking of trading up and property investors might be more likely to wait in the current market.

So, if you are a first-time buyer, then the current market might be a great time to get on the property ladder, and you might even be able to afford more than you thought.

It’s easy to get into a financial situation you can’t handle, though.

Talking things through with a mortgage advisor first is a good idea.

We can help you analyse your finances properly and give you a range of mortgage options, so you get a good deal.

The Government’s Clampdown on Foreign Buyers Looks to Be Having an Effect

In 2018, the government introduced new rules to restrict house sales for those who did not hold citizenship or residency.

Since then, purchases of homes by foreign buyers have dropped 91%.

In fact, in the June 2022 quarter, just 96 properties were bought by foreign owners compared to more than 1000 in the June 2018 quarter just before the new regulations came in. [source]

While this is good news for buyers with more properties likely to be available to local purchasers, it may not be such good news for sellers who often looked to foreign buyers to drive interest or raise prices.

Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom for sellers.

There are still motivated buyers out there, especially in the first home sector.

And if you are selling and buying in the same market, then the reduced purchase prices won’t have much of an impact on the final outcome.

If you have any concerns, the first thing to do is to speak with an expert mortgage advisor.

We can help you establish what you can achieve and how you can reach your property goals regardless of what the market is doing.

Contact us today.

If you have questions about any of the ideas raised here or just want financial advice you can trust, get in touch with Oliver Broomfield Mortgage & Insurances today.

Frequently Asked Questions

The advantage of using a mortgage adviser is that they can negotiate with a number of lenders to find the deal that best suits you. They do all the leg work for you, saving you time.

We help assess all your options, whereas the Bank is restricted by being only able to present one view.

While banks expect the client will negotiate with them, or accept the given rate, mortgage brokers are more likely to go to bat for you, to get a lower interest rate.

Our processes make financing your house purchase easy; providing quick personal service that takes the stress out of financing your home loan. With our wealth of experience in the finance industry, we know how to get the best deal for you.

Absolutely! We can still work with you using email, phone calls, and video calls. Whatever your financial situation is, we have a range of options to communicate with you whatever circumstances.

Yes, we have an online application system or a pdf form that can be completed. Supporting documents can either be uploaded directly into our system or emailed. We can use telephone, zoom, or email for further clarification or look at scenarios and receive and send information.

A home loan pre-approval is a conditional approval confirming that we can lend you a certain amount of money, provided the property you purchase meets the lender’s home loan criteria. It’s a good idea to ask us for a home loan pre-approval before you start house hunting. It will help you determine how much you can borrow and to give you some bargaining power when negotiating a purchase price.

Saving a deposit is probably the biggest hurdle for most first home buyers. First home buyers need to have saved at least 5% deposit with 20% or more being the optimum. Remember that this can be made up from a KiwiSaver first home withdrawal and some first home buyers may also be eligible for a HomeStart Grant. Gifts and deed of debts from friends and family are also common.

While there has been a lot of publicity about the need for home buyers to have a 20% deposit; there are still options available for you. We can talk you through what may be available to you including:

  • The ability to access low equity loans
  • Using your Kiwisaver contributions towards your deposit
  • Building your own home
  • Accessing parental assistance to increase your deposit.

The size of your deposit makes a big difference to the interest rate and the other costs you could potentially pay on your home loan. Generally, for lending where the deposit is less than 20%, the lender will also charge a Low Equity Fee (LEF) or Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). Interest rates may also be higher for loans with a low deposit.

Whilst assessing a loan application, banks will scrutinise your bank account (usually the most recent 3 months bank statements).

In particular, they are looking at how well (or not) you manage your account.

Do you have dishonors, and or unauthorised overdrafts?

The better your account conduct the better your chances!

The banks also want to make sure all expenses including fixed and discretionary costs are included in the mortgage application expenses.

This will be determined by your income, your capacity to repay the loan, and the property type along with the current lending restrictions imposed by the reserve bank. Contact us today to find out.

The income you will need to earn will depend on the size of the loan, the bigger your loan the more you will need to earn.

As a rule of thumb if you are a first home buyer who is currently renting and have also been able to save some money there is a good chance you will meet the banks’ income criteria.

A LIM report is a summary of information that the local Counsel hold on a property. The report covers off information regarding consents, permits, code of compliance, potential erosion, subsidence, flooding of any type and the possible presence of hazardous substances. private and public stormwater and sewerage drain, rates, including any overdue rates.

Your solicitor should review this document.

Absolutely, we do this every day for many existing clients. We can use our scenario calculator to ensure you meet lender criteria and affordability for yourself.

Yes, you can borrow money in New Zealand and may be able to borrow up to 80-90% of the purchase price of a home.

To be eligible to for the KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawal Scheme you must:

Be purchasing your first home;

  • Have been a member of KiwiSaver for a minimum of three years;
  • Have your KiwiSaver account with a KiwiSaver provider that allows saving withdrawals; and
  • Intend to live in the property for at least six months
  • We recommend that you contact your KiwiSaver provider and check their individual policy on withdrawals for first homes.
  • If you are eligible to withdraw money from your KiwiSaver, you may also be eligible for a first home deposit subsidy of up to $20,000.00 from Housing New Zealand – known as a HomeStart Grant.

Using a mortgage broker generally means no direct costs to you for their services but there are other unavoidable costs. These may include:

  • A Registered Valuation ($800 – $1,200)
  • Solicitor Costs ($800 – $1,500)
  • LIM report ($150 – $400)
  • Builder’s Report ($100 – $500)
  • Weather Tightness Report for Monoclad houses ($300 – $1,000)
  • Finance fee for non-bank lending (~1%)

Prices can vary. Always request a quote before ordering any of these services. 

The banks all have different policies and risk tolerances. Buyers can get frustrated and waste a lot of time going to banks that won’t suit their needs.

Using a mortgage broker gives you a view of all the banks and their policies. It means you find the right bank faster and with less stress. With a mortgage broker, getting a mortgage isn’t complicated.

It’s about proving you have enough deposit and enough income and then heading to the right bank with that information.

Some tips to making your mortgage application easier: get your documentation sorted early and keep your spending as low as possible in the 3 months leading up to your application.

We will always act in the best interest of the client and will ensure that any deal we broker is the best we can do for the client.

While there can be variances in the amount different lenders pay us we do not favour any particular lender for this reason.

We are also members of NZFSG & Financial Advice New Zealand both of which have ethics that we must adhere to.

We can also be audited at any time by the FMA (Financial Markets Authority)

No… The lenders that use our services see us as an efficient channel to obtain business from. They only pay us on success i.e. when the loan settles.

We sit alongside their other channels such as a bank branch or mobile manager.

The cost of obtaining business from a mortgage broker is comparable to these other channels the banks choose to use.

For this reason, it will cost you no more to use our services.

Mortgage advisers (often called mortgage brokers) are paid by the bank when a mortgage is drawn down.  If that mortgage is discharged (repaid and closed) within a short amount of time – typically 27 months – the broker must repay some or all of the commission (often referred to as a clawback).  In this instance, the mortgage broker has essentially done the work for no pay.

We reserve the right to charge for our time if a clawback is incurred.  The fee will be the estimated amount of hours the mortgage took at an hourly rate of $250 per hour.  Unlike other fees, such as Break Fees from the bank, we have capped the amount we can charge clients at $2,500.

If you are refinancing or selling your house, the best thing to do is immediately talk to your adviser and discuss if any clawback fees will be charged.

If the property is for you to live in, this is something you should discuss with your Lawyer at your initial meeting.  If it will be an Investment Property, you should discuss with your Accountant.  We would also suggest you find a property accountant, someone who deals in property all the time rather than just as a side part of their business.  

Refinancing creates an entirely new mortgage and an opportunity to restructure in a way that better suits your personal situation.

People refinance for lots of personal reasons, from changing circumstances to life goals and interest rates.

People often refinance with us because they want to get ahead faster and take advantage of the smart Go Home Loan structure and personalised support we offer.

The key to an effective loan structure is putting your savings and income into an account that helps reduce the daily interest costs of your mortgage, not a separate unlinked account.

Why? By combining all your income and savings against your Go Home loan, you’re making your money work harder for you.

A Go Home Loan is a much simpler mortgage structure that still uses your income and savings to reduce your daily interest costs.

Generally, banks offset your money from multiple accounts. Some clients find it difficult to track multiple accounts and figure out how much interest is being charged or offset.

We find that using a Go Home Loan is an effective loan structure by putting your savings and income into an account that helps reduce your daily interest costs.

As soon as you have decided to look for a property, the earlier the better.  We recommend a good, early, communication plan with your entire team including your Mortgage Broker, Accountant, and Lawyer/Solicitor