Is It a Good Time to Buy a New Home?

With the weather starting to warm up, it feels like summer is just around the corner.

However, the property sector isn’t really seeing any of that sunshine yet.Is it a Good time to buy property?

Most of the banks are currently in cloud nine, with BNZ, Westpac, ASB, and ANZ all reporting record profits, but homeowners and those looking to buy are still not that happy.

So let’s have a look at what’s taking place in the sector this month and whether it is a good time to buy a new home.

It’s Actually a Reasonably Good Time to Buy a New Home

The latest QV House Price Index shows average house prices are down more than $100,000 over the course of this year.

And in Auckland and Wellington, that drop is closer to $200,000. Figures are declining in every region except Queenstown-Lakes which is bucking the trend. [source]

Spring usually brings a bump in the market, but the values don’t seem to be reflecting that this spring.

There has been a noticeable increase in the number of properties on the market though.

So what does that mean for buyers?

Well, the main point is that it means more choice, and that opens the door for price negotiation.

QV Chief Operating Office David Nagel said purchasers have “plenty of choices and the upper hand when it comes time to negotiate”.

This is important given that mortgage rates are still high because it means buyers might get a better price and need to borrow less.

If you are considering entering the property market to buy a new home, it is best to get advice from a mortgage expert from Oliver Broomfield Mortgage & Insurances.

We can then explore your individual needs and affordability options.

Is it also a Good Time for First-Time Home Buyers nz’s Home Loan Affordability Reports show that it has got progressively harder to be a first-time buyer over the last few years.

Comparisons between 2019 and 2022 show that it takes people longer to save up the required deposit and that mortgage repayments now take a larger chunk out of take-home pay.

This is mainly a combination of higher mortgage rates and wages not keeping up with the interest rate increases.

So while first-home buyers may be benefiting a little from the increased choice in the market, higher mortgage rates offset this benefit somewhat.

But it’s not all bad news.

It simply means as a first home buyer, you need to be clever about the mortgage you take out and potentially try to save more for a deposit if you can.

If you are looking to get on the property ladder, the best place to start is by discussing your options with a mortgage broker.

We can look at your current financial situation and explore a wide range of mortgage options for you.

Are You Planning to Build or Develop?

While house prices are falling and the market is sluggish, the number of new homes being consented doesn’t seem to be in the same slump.

In fact, up to September 2022, Statistics NZ reports that more than 50,000 dwellings have been consented, up just over seven percent on the same time last year.

Standalone homes were the biggest number, but townhouse consents also are up along with retirement village units. [source]

The Sector Trends Report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) does however show that the building process is getting longer, and the cost of building is getting more expensive. [source]

If you are planning to build, the finance you need will more than likely differ from a traditional mortgage.

Get in touch to talk through what the best way to finance your project would be.

We can work with you to look at development funding from either a bank or a private lender.

Is It Time to Check Your Insurance?

If you’ve bought a property or if you already own one, then a new report from CoreLogic suggests it might pay to check your insurance policy.

Why? Because this survey found that about a third of respondents weren’t sure whether they had their property insured for enough.

Many insurers are now employing a ‘Sum Insured’ policy which means they will only pay out as much as the owner has stated the home is worth.

Given the rocketing costs of building materials and labor shortages potentially pushing up labor costs too, the cost of rebuilding or replacing a house now is much more than it used to be.

It’s worth checking your cover just in case.

What About Mortgage Rates?

It wouldn’t be an Oliver Broomfield Mortgage & Insurances newsletter update if we didn’t give a quick mention about what mortgage rates are doing!

You have probably heard that the Reserve Bank has upped the OCR to 3.5% to halt unprecedented inflation.

There are likely to be further interest rate rises, depending on how the economy performs and inflation reacts to the recent increases.

That will mean more increases in mortgage rates in the near future.

If you have a fixed rate coming up for renewal soon, it is really important to have a discussion with an experienced mortgage broker about your options.

Get in touch with our team today for a no-obligation chat.

Want to know more about your current financial position?

Then, reach out to the team here at Oliver Broomfield Mortgage & Insurances.

What is the best option for you in this current high inflation, and high-interest rate period?

 Do you need to refix your mortgage or extend your interest-only period?

We can help you understand your borrowing potential, develop a mortgage refix strategy, discuss investment options, and answer any general questions you may have.

Until next time,


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