The NZ dollar dropped by about three quarters of a US cent and fell sharply against the Aussie after the Reserve Bank gave a far more dovish than expected message at it latest review of the official cash rate.  It held the official cash rate at 1.75 per cent, saying major challenges remain with ongoing surplus capacity and global political uncertainty.

Nick Smith says figures for first home buyers nationally show housing is more affordable than when National became government.

The Government says first homes are more affordable, despite a new measure showing houses are out of reach for the majority of first-time buyers.

There’s a lot of talk – and tangible proof – that money for borrowing is in now in shorter supply.

There are a number of reasons for this. The banks must now hold back more money compared to what they lend out – especially for investment properties, more money has to be borrowed from offshore – which is more expensive, and there is upward pressure on interest rates in general.

Loans to investors fell to $1.15 billion in February - 35 percent down on a year earlier - following new house lending restrictions.

Rules introduced last October required property investors to have a 40 percent deposit before they could borrow the rest from a bank.

Some commentators talk about housing affordability, especially in Auckland, as being a new problem blamed mainly on value increases over the past few years. Being able to afford a home is measured using a combination of factors including cost of property, average income and the prevailing interest rates.

I read an article on a young lady who at 21 has purchased her first home. Colleen Hawkes wrote the following article on Kristi Atkins, was good news for the soul. Not only is this a good news story but food for thought for any parent worried about their children not being able to purchase a home.

Another year, another article on housing and interest rates. I am not surprised really. Is it our property obsession or is it that we crave to know that we have done the right thing. Opinions and information can be found everywhere. The question is how do we determine what is right and what is well, just fish and chip paper.

As borrowers, we automatically assume that banks are there to lend money, right? The answer is – not always.

Right now, there is more than one major bank who would stop lending today if they could.

Don't expect interest rates to stay still despite the Reserve Bank's decision to keep the official cash rate on hold - that's the warning from one rate watcher.

The central bank maintained the cash rate at 1.75 per cent today and so far there has been no change in either home loan or deposit rates from the major banks.

But Canstar, which monitors rates closely, has warned that home loan rates will continue to rise this year.

One of the good things about a holiday break is that it allows you to reflect on the good (and bad) things from the year before.

The start of a new year is often a time that people think about changing jobs, lifestyle or direction. Often people want change to provide a more secure and stress-free future and are willing to put in the work to shape that future now.

New Zealanders blame investors, foreigners and net migration for the housing crisis, with only 11 per cent accepting the Government's view that lack of supply is the leading cause, according to a survey by the BNZ.

The BNZ Financial Futures survey, which polled 2000 people and was conducted by Colmar Brunton, found that 35 per cent of kiwis rated property investors as the leading cause of the crisis.  About 25 per cent blamed either net migration or foreign investors for the overheated property market.