A Whanganui mortgage broker says there may not be a better time for first-home buyers to make the jump.
Martin Cloete, of Mortgage Science, helps first-home buyers, especially those using KiwiSaver and first home deposits.
"It's a rewarding journey to see them go from nothing to their first home."
Cloete has worked at Westpac and ANZ since moving from South Africa 12 years ago, and started Mortgage Science in Whanganui 18 months ago.
Although some mortgage brokers struggled through the lockdown, Cloete said his business thrived because of its heavy reliance on online systems already in place.
"A lot of other advisors struggled because they weren't used to that medium. Because we have those systems, we can do things a lot quicker and faster than others."
The Covid-19 lockdown led to many customers seeking extra advice on mortgages, enabling Cloete to add a former colleague to the team.
"We were really busy during the lockdown even though banks put a halt on new mortgages."
Scott Carson worked with ASB for the past 17 years, and worked alongside Cloete for a number of those. Carson's background in lending and managing staff will be great for the company's future, Cloete said.
"Brings a lot of leadership to our team and also the knowledge to get loans processed faster."
Cloete said now is a great time for people to buy their first home.
"With interest rates dropping the way they are now, it's never been cheaper to get debt.
"It's become harder to get a loan because of Covid-19 putting things back a bit. If you are wanting to buy your first home, now is probably a very good time because it is going to cost you nothing to do it.
"Even in Whanganui, houses are still undervalued for what you are getting. It doesn't seem like it when you are trying to buy your first home, but once you look outside your region, you'll see that Whanganui is still one of the cheaper places.
Cloete said they were a free service as their commission comes from the bank's margin.
"We try to be different and fresh. We approach things differently.
"We look at the customer as a whole picture, not just to give them the loan but actually do the process for them and help throughout."
Mortgage Science donates 10 per cent of any commission earned to the client's chosen charity or community organisation.
"If the bank is going to pay us commission on a deal, we may as well give some of that back to the community."
Mortgage Science is looking to expand into neighbouring regions in the next 12 months.