Housing Insights: Can we cope with higher mortgage rates?

  • We find households in aggregate have plenty of buffer to cope with higher mortgage rates. Household gearing and mortgage serviceability metrics are at low levels.
  • But there are some sensitive spots, such as new entrants to the housing market. There’s also a bit of re-set risk out there – 77% of all mortgage debt is on fixed-rate terms of less than a year.
  • At a macro level, the RBNZ will get more bang for its buck when interest rates eventually do rise. Higher mortgage rates are also a key factor behind our view house price inflation will slow down from here.

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Nick Tuffley

ASB Chief Economist

Since starting out in 1997 as an economist, it's fair to say Nick has seen a few hair-raising moments over the years, including the Asian Financial Crisis and the Global Financial Crisis.

One of Nick's strengths is his ability to communicate complex ideas in a readily understandable and entertaining way.  He thrives on helping people understand the economic environment to help enrich the quality of their business or personal life. He’s proud to lead a team that has won two Forecast Accuracy Awards from Consensus Economics, and has a strong track record with their Official Cash Rate and dairy price forecasts. 

Nick grew up in Christchurch and graduated with a Master of Commerce degree from the University of Canterbury.  He learned his economic ropes at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand before a long stint as a Senior Economist at Westpac, and joined ASB as Chief Economist in 2007.