Look on bright side of interest rates rise

By Adriana Weber

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Harcourts real estate agent Heilke Oppers said the change in interest rates was not likely to have a huge impact on the property market. Photo / Andrew Warner
Harcourts real estate agent Heilke Oppers said the change in interest rates was not likely to have a huge impact on the property market. Photo / Andrew Warner

Rotorua mortgage holders look set to face a rise in interest rates, but there's still a lot for them to be happy about, a local residential specialist says.

Yesterday the Reserve Bank announced the Official Cash Rate will rise from 2.5 per cent to 2.75 per cent, with mortgage and savings interest rates likely to rise with it.

A further rise is predicted for later this year.

However, Duncan Realty residential specialist Niki Neal said despite the increase, rates were still on the low end of the scale.

"I think we have been lucky to have such low interest rates, for so long," she said.

Miss Neal, who has more than 15 years' experience in the residential sector, said in the past mortgage interest rates had been much higher.

While the change might affect cash flow and ultimately the amount of disposable income in a local homeowner's pocket, Rotorua was still one of the most affordable cities to own a home in, she said.

"The overall cost of owning a home and the costs associated with paying off a mortgage is much lower in Rotorua than centres like Auckland.

"I think Rotorua's one of the best places to live in that respect."

Miss Neal said despite the change, buying or building a home in Rotorua remained a viable option for those looking to enter the market in 2014.

She said it was unlikely to deter first-home buyers, unlike the loan to value ratio restrictions introduced late last year.

The median house price in Rotorua was between $220,000 to $250,000, which she said was "pretty good".

Harcourts real estate agent Heilke Oppers said the change in interest rates was not likely to have a huge impact on the property market.

"It is another setback for first homeowners, which is a sad thing for them," he said.

"It is shame, but I don't think it's as big of a setback as LVR restrictions."

Registered financial adviser for Prosper's Rotorua branch Traci-Lee Klinac said she had already noticed an increase in homeowners wanting to fix their mortgage rate. "I think a lot of people knew it was coming and decided to get a fixed rate, but we're expecting even more to do so now it's official," Mrs Klinac said.

Mrs Klinac said the Official Cash Rate was not needed and would add even more pressure to Rotorua homeowners and buyers.

"I don't really think it's fair. Not in Rotorua.

"It makes it so much tougher for everyone, even if the rise is small."

Mrs Klinac expected a busy next few months for local mortgage brokers and lenders.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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