The latest Research New Zealand polling indicates that increased mortgage interest rates are
beginning to have an effect, Research New Zealand Director Emanuel Kalafatelis says.
Rising mortgage interest rates are a concern for 68% of Kiwis with mortgages the latest
Research New Zealand polling shows.
Mr Kalafatelis said that the company’s latest poll of social attitudes asked those with
mortgages if they were concerned whether rising mortgage interest rates may make it difficult
to keep up with their mortgage repayments.
“We found that 24% of homeowners were very concerned and 44% somewhat concerned,”
Mr Kalafatelis said.
“As you would expect, the level of concern decreased with rising income. For those earning
$40,000 a year or less 83% were concerned or very concerned compared with 62% of those
earning $70,000 or more a year.”
“It seems to indicate that the Reserves Bank’s monetary policy is starting to bite and having
an impact on the attitudes of Kiwis with mortgages,” Mr Kalafatelis said.
There had been some concern about the effectiveness of the Reserve Bank’s monetary
policy in light of the high level of the dollar and the inflationary pressures of a growing
Reserve Bank Governor Allan Bollard told Parliament’s finance and expenditure select
committee recently that monetary policy was effective. However, it had taken longer to have
an effect because of high commodity prices, the housing boom and an excess of global
investment funds, Dr Bollard said.
The poll was taken between the 12th and 20th of September. Over that time (13 September)
the Reserve Bank held the Official Cash Rate, which influences interest rates, at 8.25% after
four successive quarterly rises. Also over that time (17 September), KiwiBank announced a
three-year fixed rate of 8.6%, half a percent lower than rivals.
The Research New Zealand poll of 500 people aged 15 a