The Herald's Cooking the Books personal finance podcast has gone daily in lockdown, to help you get the tips you need to weather the financial storm. Hosted by Frances Cook, with a new money expert featured on each episode.
Uncertainty is always the great killer when it comes to your money.
People like certainty. A lack of it stops spending, stops business growth, stops investment, stops people buying houses.
Listen to the podcast here
You don't need me to tell you we're in incredibly uncertain times. But if you're able to give yourself certainty, then you can still push ahead to build the future you were aiming for before Covid-19 hit.
If you solidify your financial base, you can make the most of the current situation.
Let's start with the bad news. Yesterday the Real Estate Institute released the figures for March, showing us what happened as Covid-19 took hold, and the first six days of lockdown.
It's already looking rough out there. We've hit a nine year low, with the numbers of houses for sale down 4.8 per cent.
When figures come out showing the rest of lockdown, I doubt it will get any prettier. But the real question is what will happen when lockdown lifts.
We just don't know. But most economists are predicting a fall in prices.
So after the bad news, how do we handle it?
For first home buyers, this may cause them to perk up their ears. After years of escalating prices, you could forgive some for hoping now might finally be their chance.
On the latest Cooking the Books podcast, OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said a First Home Buyers Club survey gave insight into how buyers were feeling.
"The poll being taken during lockdown, you'd expect that uncertainty to feed into that result. But in the long-term outlook, kiwis do think that property is for them, and they'll be able to secure a property.
"Where we start to see doubt creeping in is when you ask about short-term prospects. Would kiwis feel confident about securing a property in the next three months?
"The results for that show that most kiwis didn't feel at all confident about that prospect."
Vaughan said for those first home buyers hoping to catch a deal, the trick was to make sure you were on solid financial footing.
Bargains might come from investors selling, particularly those from the AirBnB market.
"When it comes to finance for first home buyers, those who are in the strongest position right now are those with pre-approval, and who have job security.
"[Banks] are not looking at peoples bonuses, or whether they had a certain level of income before the lockdown. They're looking at what your income is now.
"So if you've had to take a salary reduction, or your job is now less secure, the banks are going to take that into consideration."
It's too soon to say whether coronavirus will tip the property market in favour of buyers. For now, the seller who does their homework can still give themselves an edge.
Vaughan said the mortgage holidays and wage subsidies would mean sellers could take their time and make sure they had a good strategy.
"Once lockdown is over and there is some movement in the market, start to look at what's selling, and at what price.
"Is there an interest in four bedroom houses, is there an interest in two bedroom units? Look at what's happening in your suburb, in the suburbs that are similar to yours, and see what's moving.
Listen to the full interview on the Cooking the Books podcast. You can find new episodes on Herald Premium, or subscribe on iHeartRadio, Apple podcasts app, or Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. The next episode will cover how we can make the most of the New Zealand economy's strengths.