Prime Minister John Key regularly says that throwing money at problems is not the solution.
Yet at least one of his ministers appears to think differently. Nick Smith who has yet to answer my email seeking assurances to the quality of steel being used in residential properties, has been flashing the cash big time by upping the ante on the HomeStart scheme.
When I got home the other night I found a note from a real estate agent saying she had buyers for properties in my street.
As any Auckland house-hunter can testify, there are slim pickings at the moment — it’s something I mentioned a few months back when the trend started to emerge. But the shortage of houses for sale has become a lot worse, leaving wannabe buyers starved of choice and at least some real estate agents scratching around for something to sell.
Statistics from the Reserve Bank show more people are opting for an interest-only loan when buying a home.
In January, 30 per cent of loans to owner-occupiers were interest-only, but by May it had drifted up to 33 per cent.
An interest-only loan will typically have lower repayments than a principal and interest loan — because repayments only cover the interest. The downside is that payments do not reduce the amount borrowed by a single cent.
When police were alerted to half a tonne of methamphetamine on a beach last week it highlighted the problem New Zealand has with illegal drugs such as P.
It seems the drug is so widespread that anyone seriously contemplating buying a home needs to have it tested for P contamination — even if the property looks pristine.