Our Advice

Am I Ready to Buy for the First Time? Or Again?

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There is one constant in the ever-changing world of banking: the confusion as to what people can and can’t afford. Lance explores the murky waters of why some banks say yes and some say no.

 

Yeah? Nah.

 

I often find myself sitting with people who believed they were in no position to purchase but could and, conversely, people who believed they could but, at that time, could not. Beyond this, they may have been sabotaging their plans by putting together a strategy that was actually taking them even further away from their house-buying goal.

 

To help clear up some of the confusion, there are really only three things a bank is interested in:

1. Deposit (or equity)

2. Income

3. Debt

 

A scenario I have come across often is when people have strong income, some debt, but a low deposit. They believe their biggest hurdle is the debt, so set about reducing this. The truth is, while they have some debt, their earnings are at a level that the debt is easily managed, even with a mortgage. They need to increase their deposit, but unfortunately all their extra cash is being channelled inefficiently towards debt repayment and, so, unnecessarily delaying their timeframe for purchase.

 

To all those colour-coded Excel spread sheet lovers …

 

There can be times when people have been up all hours looking at properties or going to open homes for months when, unfortunately, they had no ability to purchase at their target price point. This can be frustrating as numbers can be based on correct “true-to-life” calculations. However, banks have their own rules of basic math.

 

When a bank calculates what we can afford to borrow, they use a far higher interest rate (to mitigate fluctuations), and they have a minimum average spend for cost of living for each scenario presented e.g. two adults, one child vs. one adult, no children etc. Furthermore, because each bank perceives risks in different ways, they each calculate a household’s scenario differently. They’ll give greater or less importance to things like the number of vehicles you own and whether child support is organised formally through the IRD, as well as a few other quirks.

 

“If I could turn back time.” — Cher

Time is our gift to you. Tell us your scenario, what you are hoping to do, and when you are hoping to do it. Let us sit down and come up with a clear strategy based on what you are truly able to do.

 

If it is not today, let us help you journey towards that “yes” sooner rather than later. Let’s unpack your plans beyond this next purchase and consider the ramifications of each step. Let’s reduce the uncertainty.

 

Lance Shearman is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

October’s Market Turbulence: What Does it Mean?

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By Amanda Chadwick (Authorised Financial Adviser of Forsyth Barr Wellington)


The share market took a tumble (or was it more of a stumble?) last week. Headlines

warned that KiwiSaver accounts could halve in value. Was it just media hype?

What are the experts saying? To answer these questions, we approached Amanda

Chadwick of Forsyth Barr to comment on the wobbly market and how we should

respond.


Between October 5th and 11th 2018, global sharemarkets hit turbulence, with

the MSCI World index (in New Zealand dollar terms) falling 6.2%, the Standard &

Poor’s 500 index falling 6.7% and the NZX 50 index declining 5.4%. While the fall

occurred sharply, given the same three indices were up 19.6%, 27.0% and 15.0%

over the preceding 12 month period, Forsyth Barr did not consider the pullback

to be unexpected. By the time things had settled a week later, the same three

markets had rebounded by 1.0% to 2.0% of their initial fall. In some cases,

market volatility can provide an opportunity to invest in quality companies at

more favourable prices.


Market behaviour (as with everyday life) is a combination of reality mixed with

emotion. It is not unusual to see an initial dramatic reaction to market news or

events, often presuming the worst, rather than taking the time to understand the

cause or context of the situation. Human nature has a knack for focusing on

negative news and amplifying its impact through isolation, which is why it’s

valuable to have an Authorised Financial Adviser providing much needed

perspective and strategy. One of the first questions to answer in response to any

sudden market movement is “what’s the cause?”


When reflecting on last week’s correction, the main contributors to the sell-off

were largely a mixture of:

  •  the United States Federal Reserve signalling potential interest rate rises;

and

  •  continuing trade tensions between the United States and China.


Investors with their own investment portfolios, should seek advice from an

Authorised Financial Adviser they can have regular contact with, who provides

proactive updates and communication and is readily available to ‘chew the fat’ in

response to market events. An Authorised Financial Adviser’s real value is not

just managing a portfolio to generate returns, but in navigating the client’s

investment experience. It’s important to consider everything from personal life

goals and objectives, portfolio expectations, the economic landscape, and how to

position the portfolio at any given time, given both the client’s needs and risk

appetite (or lack of it), as well as the stage of the market cycle.

Amanda Chadwick, Authorised Financial Adviser, Forsyth Barr Wellington.

Amanda Chadwick is an Authorised Financial Adviser with Forsyth Barr Limited in

Wellington. For further information on any aspect of this article or to arrange a

meeting to discuss your investment objectives in confidence, call 0800 367 227 or

email amanda.chadwick@forsythbarr.co.nz. This column is general in nature and is

not personalised investment advice. Disclosure Statements for Forsyth Barr

Authorised Financial Advisers are available on request and free of charge.

A Tale of Three Cities

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By Graham Goodisson

I’m currently wading through the murky waters of trying to sell and buy in three

separate cities. It’s in no way as impressive as it sounds. Each requires a different

strategy and each can play havoc on the emotions. Engaging all three cities at once

creates something of a perfect storm.

We’re currently living in Wellington, but right now I’m attempting to sell and buy in Tauranga,

Lower Hutt and Christchurch. This has led me to observe again how different

cities are form each other, not just in their geographies or demographics, but also

how the real estate markets differ from city to city.

Tauranga seems to have auctions and you engage an agent who has the ability to

work across all real estate companies. There are lots of houses on the

market—and lots of really badly built ones at that. I think the real decision in

Tauranga is, not how many avocados to buy, but how to not be caught with a

leaky home. Prices are similar to Wellington.

Selling in Lower Hutt is a little more reserved it seems. It will be sold on a BEO or

listed price basis and will be with the company that seemingly “owns” that

particular suburb. Succeeding here is about a realistic price expectation and also

the thought that it might take a little while. The question in the Hutt Valley is

this: “Will it occur before Christmas?” Immaculate presentation is the key. Stock

levels are still low so that is helpful.

Christchurch is another story again. There are always many questions around

earthquake repairs. Initially, we’ll aim to sell via auction to get some interest and

then we will see. Our agent is the top agent in the city and it’s interesting to be

part of his process. Only one company is involved. It’s a conservative market

with lots of houses to buy.

I’ve learnt that what I know in Wellington is only transferable in terms of doing

your checks, spending time learning the value of properties and that local

knowledge trumps all. Also, you should never be emotionally involved, and that

is just about impossible for an emotional being.

Graham Goodisson is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.