Statistics from New Zealand's leading credit bureau show that despite continuing tight economic times, New Zealanders are increasingly comfortable with borrowing money again.
Since 2006 Veda has seen demand for credit slide with sharp falls in demand occurring with the Global Financial Crisis and its recessionary aftermath.
But Veda's Managing Director John Roberts says the last three months have shown the first consistent increase in demand in the last five years.
"It is early days, but our data indicates a trend with consumer demand for credit on the rise", he says.
General consumer credit inquiries were up 11 percent for the period March to May 2012 while inquiries for the month of May were up 14 percent on May 2011.
The key growth driver was in mortgage applications generated by reducing interest rates and attractive deals offered by mortgage providers. With overall house sales up for the month of May at 24.4 percent (REINZ) the balance of inquiries indicates a market that is moving from fixed rate mortgages to floating and rate negotiation.
The data also shows applications for personal loans up in all demographics but again led by Baby Boomers with demand from this group up by 19 percent in May 2012 compared with 12 months earlier. Demand for credit cards also peaked amongst Baby Boomers with a 32 percent increase in applications over the same period.
Mr Roberts says "The trend unfolding is positive for the New Zealand economy."
"Sadly it is not the same amongst New Zealand businesses reflecting a lack of confidence in the country's small and medium size enterprises to invest and grow their businesses."
Commercial credit demand was down 18 percent in May 2012 compared with May a year earlier.
In Veda's experience commercial borrowing is 18 months behind consumer borrowing - so by this time next year we can hopefully expect to see businesses back on the growth cycle."
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