Drivers cause crashes, not roads
Regarding car crashes (Letters, July 17), roads do not cross the centre lines, drivers do.
Drivers are continually warned by signs indicating that care should be taken during unsuitable conditions and speed restrictions.
Accidents are always caused by drivers ignoring these signs. (not to mention the cellphone users, alcohol offenders etc...)
Only having lived in this country for 16 years, I can confirm that I have never come across such discourteous and inconsiderate drivers as here in our country.
There are other countries in the world with a much larger driving population and worse roads than ours but, because of their understanding of the rules of the road, have a much lower fatality record.
Our roads are what they are, and all those involved in our roading systems endeavour to apply the legislation that best suits our roads. It's up to the users to abide by the rule of the road to prevent these unforgivable acts of carnage that plague our driving community. (Abridged)
Now is not a good time for first home buyers to buy a new home, in my opinion.
Recent reports by some expert commentators advise that the housing market has already peaked somewhere at the end of 2017.
In my view, this means that a house purchased in today's market is most likely to be worth less in the next 12 months, than now.
The extent of the devaluation will depend on a number of factors.
The local sharemarket is overdue for a correction and I understand some experts suggest the impending crash could wipe up to 30 per cent of the value of shares and property alike.
While this may sound over the top and unlikely, we only have to look back 10 years to the GFC and remember what happened at that time.
Some Tauranga property values have only just recovered to what they were worth at the height of the previous peak in 2006, just before the crash.
The government is planning to intervene in the housing market by building 100,000 affordable homes, which could have a downward effect on the real estate market.
Generally, the banks react to market fluctuations such as this and put up interest rates, which further compounds the situation for borrowers.
There is, in my opinion, a grave risk that first-home buyers could see the equity (savings) they have spent on a deposit for their home disappear.
The banks would then require a further injection of funds to satisfy the ratio of borrowing set by the government.
In many cases, the only way to raise this capital would be to sell at a loss.