A review of things you need to know before you go home on Friday; Taranaki crossing; four well-beings restored; rents; ex-overseas car sales; .nz domain names; rates up; NZD lower

Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today:

MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes to report today.

TERM DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
No changes here either.

TARANAKI CROSSING
The Provincial Growth Fund will commit up to $13.3 million to investigate and support the Mounga ki Moana Taranaki Crossing project, a major new investment for the region, including the National Park. A proposed series of track upgrades under the crossing project would create a variety of short walks to help increase the length of visitors’ stays in the region. “The proposed Crossing concept would create a 41-kilometre “Mounga to Moana” walking experience offering a range of one-day walks from Dawson Falls via the North Egmont Visitor’s Centre, Pouakai Range and Pukeiti Gardens to Oakura Beach. It will help to unlock Taranaki’s tourism potential by creating a range of outstanding visitor experiences, just a short drive from New Plymouth or Stratford” Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said. The Provincial Growth Fund will also invest up to $5 million in Taranaki’s Cathedral project to help transform the heritage icon into a nationally significant tourist drawcard.

FOUR WELL-BEINGS RESTORED
Local Government New Zealand is delighted to see the introduction of the Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill that restores the four aspects of community well-being, which will allow councils to focus on providing social, economic, environmental and cultural outcomes rather than just focus on core services. There is also a bill being introduced to allow online voting in the 2019 local authority elections. This is inline with postal services being on the decline and should provide for better voter engagement.

RENTS
The rent data released today shows that median rents in New Zealand overall have risen by +$20 over the past year to $420. If this is broken down further, rents in Auckland for a three bedroom house have also risen by +$35 to $650 and for a two bedroom flat the rents have risen by +$5 to $460. Rents in Wellington have risen by +$50 for a three bedroom house and $47 for a two bedroom flat to $620 and $447 respectively. In Christchurch, rents were lower for a three bedroom house, dropping -$13 to $417, and for a two bedroom flat the rise was +$5 to $320.

EX-OVERSEAS CAR SALES
The used car sales data released today shows that 11,841 ex-overseas cars registered in New Zealand for the first time. This number has declined for the second straight month and -18.2% lower than the March 2017, which had 14,474 ex-overseas vehicles registered. On an annual basis, there were 163,595 ex-overseas cars registered in New Zealand, down for the second straight month from its January 2018 peak of 166,440.

NZ DOMAIN NAMES
The number of domain names issued by the .nz Domain Name Commission continued to increase steadily at 4.95% per annum. This took the total number of .nz domain names to 707,420. There were 9,743 new domain names registered, 79,770 renewed and 8,314 unregistered.

BENCHMARK INTEREST RATES UP
Local swap rates are higher, up +1 bps across the curve. The UST 10yr yield is now at 2.82%, up +1 bps. The Aussie Govt 10 yr is now at 2.67% (up +1 bps). The China 10 yr is unchanged at 3.75% and the NZ Govt 10 yr is up +2 bps at 2.83%. The 90 day bank bill rate is up +1 bps to 1.97%.

BITCOIN HOLDS UP
The bitcoin price is at US6,810 which is a gain of +2.6% on the day.

NZ DOLLAR LOWER
The NZD is down slightly at 72.7 USc. On the cross rates we are at 94.5 AUc and at 59.3 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 at 74.1.

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Source: CoinDesk