While we may not be heading for a crash, the country may be facing a slowdown in economic activity that will impact the housing market - but by how much, it is hard to say.

Keeping the country buoyant has been the high levels of population growth. It's been growing by a little more than 2 per cent a year (72,000 people) say the economists at Westpac.

"Some of the fastest population growth we've seen since the 1970s," they say. "And the resulting increase in the size of the economy has masked what has actually been quite muted economic growth on a per capita basis."

In its weekly economic report, the economists say departures of non-New Zealand citizens have been steadily rising since mid-2016 - currently it's nearly 20 per cent higher than this time last year.


One reason for this is that many arrived with temporary work and student visas, and those visas are starting to expire - forcing people to leave the country.

Westpac says: "Our forecasts have long incorporated a slowdown in net migration. That slowdown may have been a little late in arriving, but now that it has, it looks like it could be coming through even faster than we had expected. This reinforces our expectations for softer GDP growth over the coming years ... a slowdown in growth is on the cards."

The good news is the official cash rate will likely remain unchanged until 2019 (currently 1.75 per cent). Perhaps it's time to start saving for a rainy day.

Crypto real estate
TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington bought a US$60,000 apartment in Kiev paid for with Ethereum cryptocurrency and thought to be the first real estate asset transfer via blockchain. It opens the door to remote property transactions on the blockchain.

Cryptocurrency is not issued by any central authority, rendering it theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.

This purchase is a key signal to foreign investors - especially Chinese - who face strict capital controls of $50,000 a person.