Thursday, 24 October 2013

Manager's Comments 14-10-13

Well the Council has a very new look about it. I wonder how much difference this will all make in the end? I thought our old Council actually did rather well considering all the wonderful amenities and facilities we enjoy – the reason most of us stay here. Time will tell. The new Council will have a bearing on local property values, these go up and down (temporarily) because of supply and demand. There really is no other driver when it comes down to it. All the other factors do is help shape supply and demand. The high demand in NP at present is directly related to: A: it is a lovely place to live and our lifestyle is enhanced by what NP offers. We want to be here. B: employment demands, currently in the energy and engineering sectors. Council has a direct effect on how attractive NP is to us in many ways. I just hope they don’t find it necessary to make too much change. Is it really broken? Current demand to live here doesn’t support that view. Change the bath water by all means, but let’s keep the baby. Let’s also keep the high demand for NP property. Several bidders took our latest auction last week over the reserve again. Seller and buyer were both very happy with this simple but effective process. If you haven’t yet fully considered auction, discuss it with your agent today and take that advantage. John Christiansen

Monday, 16 September 2013

Market steady with little sign of growth

Managers Comments 15.9.13 Our market is steady and showing little sign of growth in value or number of sales. August saw a very slight increase in sales, up 5 over July, and the median price up 3.8%, both figures negligible, well within our normal monthly variations. The buyers are still active, but they are also very much more wary of the many factors that will impact on this market in coming months. Interest rates will rise, it’s just a matter of when. More listings and therefore more buyer choice will come with spring and summer, which always happens. Banks, governed by the new Reserve Bank regulations, are now forced to be more selective in who they loan to. All this adds up to a very definite buyer’s market. To be quite blunt, the longer buyers wait the better off they will be. More choice, greater certainty over borrowing costs, but little if any added to the price because of capital growth meantime. What does this mean for our sellers? It means that we need to take the opportunities that arise. It means that Auction, with the present relative stock shortage, is a real option to consider. It also means that waiting offers no advantage. We have to deal in the now because this is how it is at the present time. John Christiansen

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Manager's Comments 8-8-13

New Plymouth is featured in the August edition of NZ PROPERTY INVESTOR. The article is very positive and bullish about the New Plymouth property market and the two big drivers here, Milk and Oil. Some of the telling statistics: Taranaki with 2.5% of New Zealand’s population we account for 4.2% of GDP, just over $8billion. Her 110,100 people run 14,458 businesses employing 49,201 people. Taranaki’s GDP per person is $73,200, the highest in the country. New Plymouth’s 73,500 people therefore produce $5.4billion. Things are happening here. Voted the world’s best small city in 2008, we boast a high 2433 hours of sunshine (2012). Maybe this is why so few are selling currently, while more buyers than properties are the norm. That brings me to the point of all this digital detail. If you are not achieving a good level of interest in your property in this market there is a problem. Talk to your Harcourts agent, they know how to fix it.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Labour's New Housing Policy

Labours’ radical and discriminatory new housing policy is not only racist, but it would be totally ineffective. 
Most foreign home buyers in New Zealand are Australian (exempt from this policy), and English. The total is less than 5 per cent, so the rampant Asian uptake is a delusion. Most are New Zealand residents, and they are a small proportion of a tiny proportion of New Zealand home buyers. The cost of policing such a wild scheme would far outweigh any benefit to the market, which is dubious at best. This is an absolute policy gaff, a populist vote catching scheme stolen off Winston Peters in a moment of blind panic by Labour. What are they thinking? They aren’t thinking at all. The only thing that will slow this market is a lot more cheap Auckland housing & the completion of the Christchurch rebuild. Both will take a few years, so no change in the foreseeable future no matter what the politicians say or do.
The heat is on in Auckland for sure. The rest of the New Zealand market is basically business as we have known it for some time now, short on stock, plenty of buyers and only a little capital growth.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

What a Strange Market we are in

What a very strange market we are in. I have not seen the exact like in 25 years. Fact is the New Plymouth market is very steady, with very slow capital growth across the board. Pretty much flat as far as values go, but some small increases. That’s about as perfect as it gets in terms of stability and certainty. Added to that we see historically low interest rates. This makes the cost of borrowing as low as it has ever been in New Zealand. Quite obviously this suits buyers. They have confidence and they have cheap money, a winning combination. These conditions should also suit sellers. We have price stability, we have buyers willing and able to commit. It’s a great combination. But, there is a strange and unusual issue that I can’t figure out. There is no rhyme nor reason for, or any disadvantageous situation, that would stop people selling houses. The climate is right, it’s never been more right. The fact is though, that properties available to buy on the New Plymouth market are at a historic low as well. We simply do not have houses to sell our many genuine buyers, right across the price and location spectrum. In greater NP there should be 400-500 properties for sale at any one time, give or take. At present in the whole of our NP area, including NP, Bell Block & Oakura there are 200. Less than half the norm of the past 20 years. Why? I have no idea, I’m flummoxed, it makes no sense.
There are some distinct advantages for sellers in this anomalous situation. Lots of buyers, shortage of houses. How do we take advantage of that? We auction whenever possible. Our auction sales at present are running hot. Very few have less than 3, and often up to 5 or 6 bidders. Buyers compete and sellers benefit. Our auctions are running at 100% at present. Thinking about a property sale soon? Take the advantage, now is the very best time to make the best possible move and auction your property now. We have had stock shortages before from time to time, nothing quite as pronounced as now, but the dam busts after a while. Soon (who knows when -  a week, a month, maybe 6?), some sellers will be forced to act. It is inevitable. Then a flood of sellers will come to the market at once, restoring the historical balance, and this particular sellers advantage will be gone. Give it some thought.
John Christiansen