Property Report – Spring pace slow…

statspic2

Navigating through the various property market statistics released each month can be interesting….especially when they’re all reporting different things. However, for September, they all seem to be agreeing that the NZ Property market has moved on from it’s stall during the elections, with property listings and prices picking up to follow the usual spring trend, albeit at a much slower pace than in the previous year…

NZ Property report
Asking Prices

Unconditional.co.nz figures show the increase in national asking prices has slowed considerably: 3.9%, compared to an 8.7% rise in 2013.

Although the rate of increase in asking prices for properties has slowed, the prices are still moving upwards and remain at a high level with September’s National average asking price of $484,791 very close to the record of $490,550 set in June of this year.

Get the full NZ Property report here

Image: unconditional.co.nz

REINZ
Sales Volumes

REINZ data shows that while there was a noticeable increase in activity towards the end of September, sales volumes were well down on the same time last year. There were 5,911 unconditional residential sales in September, a 7.8% decrease on sales recorded for August, and a 12.0% fall from September 2013.

Barfoot & Thompson
Auckland Property Market

Comparing year on year, Auckland sale volumes where down: 1105 properties in Sept 2013, to 959 properties in Sept 2014.

However, September’s average house sales price of $738,876 has been the highest on record, due to the relatively low volume, but also, of the 959 homes sold, just over 17% were in excess of $1 million, including this little Grey Lynn gem, which went for $1.075 million. Only in Auckland right?….

One man’s trash: unique ‘recycled’ homes…

‘One man’s trash, another man’s treasure’. That saying couldn’t be more true when it comes to these houses. All are made (or decorated) using salvaged or recycled materials. Would it inspire you to build something as interesting and unique as these?…..

1. The Beer Can House

Beer_Can_House

Photo credit: “Beer Can House” by Andrew Wiseman

What started out in 1968 as a project for John Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer for the Southern Pacific Railroad, The Beer Can House is now a folk art house in Rice Military, Houston, Texas,covered with beer cans, bottles, and other beer paraphernalia. www.beercanhouse.org 

2. Horace Burgess’s Treehouse

Photo by Joelk75

In 1993, after a visionary commandment from god, Horace Burgess, using tons of reclaimed wood, began construction of his 10 story treehouse. Unofficially the worlds largest treehouse, the structure was closed to the public in 2012, as it had become a public attraction, but did not follow fire safety codes.

3. The Paper House

Paper House OutsidePaper House Inside

You guessed it. An actual house made from newspapers. Built by Mr. Elis F. Stenman, a mechanical engineer who designed the machines that make paper clips, began building his Rockport summer home out of paper as a hobby in 1922. Not only is the house made of paper, but much of the furniture as well. paperhouserockport.com

4. The Tombstone House

Constructed from the tombstones of Union soldiers, if you’re the superstitious type, this home in Petersburg Virginia USA probably wouldn’t be for you, because it would be haunted for sure! In an apparent cost-cutting exercise by the Poplar Grove Cemetery,almost 2000 marble headstones were removed and sold to Mr. O.E. Young who built the 2 storey house.

5. The Scrap House

The Scrap House

Photo by Cesar Rubio Photography via Scrap House.

Although only temporary, The Scrap House was a rather stunning building. Constructed on Civic Center Plaza in front of San Francisco City Hall for World Environment Day in 2005, using only scrap and salvaged materials. srcaphouse.org

6.The Junk Castle
The Junk Castle

The Junk Castle is a magical little building, built by former art teacher Victor Moore and his wife Bobbie in a defunct rock quarry in Washington State. It is constructed from many salvaged materials found at a local junkyard and around the site itself, all for just $500!

7. Villa Welpeloo

Villa WelpelooConstructed in 2005 by Superuse Studios, Villa Welpeloo is a house and art studio in the Netherlands. 60% house is made up of from materials salvaged from the local area. The main structure is made out of steel profiles that previously made up a machine for textile production, an industry once very important in the region. One of these machines gave us enough steel to construct the whole villa. SuperuseStudios.com

8. The Glass Window House

Quit your job, move to the country and build the home of your dreams. Sound like bit of a fantasy? Well, young artists Nick Olson and Lilah Horwitz did exactly that. And their dream home is built out of salvaged window frames! Quite beautiful don’t you think?….

Property Report…’Wait and See’ approach from the market.

handshouseIt’s been a funny few months in the NZ property market. The National average asking price (as reported by realestate.co.nz) has remained high since June, when Auckland reached a record high asking price of $732,240, driving the national asking price up to an all-time record high of $490,550 which was a significant increase from the previous record of $685,426 set in April this year.

realestate.co.nz figures for August are still to be released, however July’s National average of $488,711 was only 0.4% down on the previous month’s record high.

realestate

Graphic via uncondtional.co.nz

But while sellers (particularly in Auckland) are wanting more for their homes than ever before, the most recent reports show that the real estate market is having somewhat of a lull in what typically should be a time where it picks up in Spring, with many attributing the upcoming General Election as a key factor.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Chief Executive Helen O’Sullivan says, “The real estate market appears to be ‘idling’ as buyers and perhaps even more so, sellers, await the outcome of the September 20 election”.

With many a carrot being dangled, it’s no wonder sellers & buyers are taking a cautious ‘wait and see’ approach. Here’s a good summary from Stuff.co.nz of what each political party want’s to do, to help Kiwis buy or rent a house…

NATIONAL: Free up land for new sections. Rein in council development charges. Keep interest rates low. Replace the KiwiSaver First Home Deposit Subsidy with a KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant, doubling the support for buying a new home, and expand eligibility for Welcome Home Loans. Reformed the social housing sector, facilitating a shift from state housing to a range of new social housing providers.

LABOUR: Under the KiwiBuild policy, 100,000 starter homes would be built over 10 years.The ability of non-residents to buy houses would be restricted, cutting down on speculation. Landlords would have to ensure rental homes were warm and dry. Introduce a capital gains tax, and ensure councils are more likely to approve projects involving affordable housing.

GREEN: Key housing policy is to improve the quality of rental accommodation and the rights of tenants. A warrant of fitness for all rented houses would be introduced, families would be given greater security of tenure, and another 200,000 homes would be insulated at a cost of $327 million.

NEW ZEALAND FIRST: Develop a housing plan which would deal with a range of issues including availability and affordability, rental supply, finance and insurance. Provide government help to first home buyers. Set up an agency to buy land where special housing areas have been designated. Sell sections to first home buyers on a cost recovery basis. Encourage smaller houses on smaller sections.

MAORI: Continue to devolve state housing to Maori and Pasifika community groups for whanau to buy their own homes. Look at better use of Maori land to support whanau housing initiatives.

MANA: Make it a government duty to ensure everyone has secure, safe and affordable accommodation. Stop the sale of state houses and build 10,000 new ones a year. Introduce a rental housing warrant of fitness. At least half the houses in new developments of 10 or more homes must be affordable.

ACT: Support moves to abolish the municipal urban limit in Auckland and similar boundaries which restrict the supply of land. Reduce requirements on local government for complex planning and consenting processes. Support moves to get local government to speed up consenting.

UNITEDFUTURE: Allow families to capitalise Working For Families entitlements for a year as a lump sum to help buy a first home, extend a home, or increase equity. Look at abolishing domestic and commercial rates. Review Housing NZ tenancies each year to ensure housing stock is fairly allocated. Make it easier for Housing NZ to evict problematic tenants.

INTERNET: Adopted Mana’s support for a capital gains tax on property investors.

CONSERVATIVE: Leader Colin Craig has said he would write to developers who had locked up land in Auckland and tell them they had five years to build houses, otherwise the land would be bought under the Public Works Act. Artificial boundaries would be moved.

If the crazy lead up has left you feeling a little disillusioned and undecided as to where your vote is going, then this Election Interactive from Stuff.co.nz might help you find out a little bit more about your electoral candidates and Party Policies.

stuff

Election 2014 – Interactive from Stuff.co.nz

With only two days to go before the country goes to the polls, Real estate agents should be able to breathe a sigh of relief soon, with the market tipped to bounce back after the election.

Happy voting everyone!

Renovation inspiration at the Auckland Home Show.

tools

Looking for that spark of inspiration for your home renovations? Whether its a bathroom, kitchen, or outdoor area, the Auckland Home Show has a little bit of something for everyone.

If you already know what you want and you’re just looking for a good deal, there are plenty of show specials to be snapped up.

It’s worth heading along even if, like me, you just enjoy having a gawk at all the shiny new appliances. I got to take a look around yesterday. There was so much to see, but here are a few things that stood out for me….

Big, Bright & Bold.

Gone are the days where the only choice you had for the kitchen sink was Stainless Steel. Now you can express your individuality through your kitchen sink! Yellow, red, even pink. Personally, I’m a fan of the matt black, which was popping up everywhere from kitchen sinks to taps and fixtures…

sink

Then, you can colour match it with your oven….

oven

Get creative with your kitchen splash-back (This one even changed colours!)

splashback

Or brighten up your bathroom with some coloured glass.

showerglass

If you’re going to bother having a feature wall, then why not go the whole hog with a bold statement wallpaper like this…

wallpaper

Reuse, recycle…
Loved the chairs, footstools, baskets and bowls, all made from car, truck and even aeroplane tyres! www.retyredfurniture.com

tyres

Space saving solutions…
 Such a great idea for a kids room or to convert a study into a spare bedroom. www.hiddenbed.co.nz

foldybed

Things that were just cool…
Pretty much anything SMEG.

smeg

These Cocoon fires that run on biofuel and don’t need a flu system! www.cocoonfires.co.nz

cocoon

Oh….and i wouldn’t mind this set up for my back yard please…

lawn

The show runs until Sunday, so there’s still plenty of time to head along and get inspired!

For more information, check out the Auckland Home Show website or check out more pics from the expo on their Facebook page here.

Introducing Mobile Dashboard – our new agent app!

mdash

 

Here at Open2view, we have a team that is dedicated to providing the best services and user experiences to our customers. So understandably, we were pretty darn excited this week when we released our new app….Mobile Dashboard.

 

Mobile Dashboard

Mobile Dashboard  – Main screen (iPad version).

 

Available for iPhone & iPad (with an Android version coming soon!), Mobile Dashboard let’s agents manage their Open2view property listings on the go, from their mobile device.

The app’s features include the ability to view current properties and create new property listings on the go. Edit property details. Mark properties as Sold, Withdrawn or Under Contract. View listing statistics. Access & send Print Quality images on the go. Set Open home dates and times, plus…. collect & manage Open home visitor details on your iPad using the Mobile Dashboard’s guestbook feature. I could go on, but instead, here’s a video overview!

 

 

If you’re an agent that uses Open2view, download Mobile Dashboard now from the Apple iOS store and discover just how easy it is to manage your listings, wherever you are…

 

New Zealand Agents –  Download Mobile Dashboard

Australia Agents –  Download Mobile Dashboard

Don’t fear the new technology…

 

Frustration button
Technology has given us many tools to make both our home and work lives a lot easier. Gadgets and Apps to simplify tasks and manage our days better. It’s fantastic, but it’s not always easy adopting new technologies.

There are many reasons that can cause fear in something new. Cost. Not realising exactly how we can benefit from it. Or maybe we are just too comfortable doing things the way we are accustomed to.

At couple of weeks back at Real Estate Connect, I managed to catch a panel discussion on exactly this. Adopting new technologies, or more specifically, how can real estate companies get their agents to adopt new technologies.

What was clear is that rather than fearing the new technology, agents should be more afraid of getting left behind.


Here were some of the key take aways from the discussion:

If it doesn’t pay for the agent, they won’t use it.
There needs to be a bottom line for adopting anything new.

Does it integrate with what the agents already use?
Being able to use something in conjunction with a technology that’s familiar and currently being used, adds real value and makes it less daunting.

What will the return be on my investment of this technology?
If the new technology requires more of an investment than just learning, the returns needs to be worth it.

Will it make a change / immediate impact on my business.
Nothing better than seeing immediate results!

If an agent is not accessible, they lose out.
Today’s tech-savy buyer expects the same from their agents. Those agents who choose not to adopt the technologies that will make them available to buyers, run the very real risk of losing out on business.

Make the agent ‘own the new technology’.
Take your agents who adapt the quickest and make them champions. They will encourage others to adopt and learn the new technologies.

 

Have you started using a new technology or gadget that you think is great?

Tell us about it in the comments below, or on our facebook page.

A guide to becoming more enchanting…

Guy Kawasaki

I guess you don’t get to be a Chief Evangelist of anything if you’re not enchanting.

Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist for design platform Canva (and formerly with Apple), most certainly is.

At last week’s Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco, he shared his top tips on how to make any engagement an ‘Enchanting Engagement’.

Whether you’re in sales, out making business connections, or just interacting day-to-day with the people around you, we can all benefit by taking something away from his presentation. Let’s all become a little more enchanting. There’s no harm in trying right?

Here are Guy Kawasaki’s 10 tips for Enchanting Engagements….

1. Make a Duchenne Smile
Named after a French doctor, a Duchenne smile (considered a ‘real’ smile), engages the muscles around both the eyes and mouth. No good if you’re a fan of Botox. See photo below, the man practices what he preaches!

2. Default to “Yes” 
When engaging with others, always ask “How can I help you?”

3. Be a baker, not an eater 
Take a pie. An eater see’s there is only one pie. The more they eat, the less for others to eat – and they have to eat it as fast as possible. A baker thinks: “I can make another pie, I can make a bigger pie, I can make cakes”. Bakers do not see other people’s gain as their loss.

4. Accept others for who they are 
Simple. Leave all judgements behind.

5. Agree on something 
Build your relationship by finding something, no matter how trivial it may seem, that you have in common.

6. Remove the speed bumps
Identify the obstacles impeding people from doing business with you, then eliminate them. For instance, the example Kawasaki gave was: if your goal is to have customers register on your website, you might want to rethink an overly cryptic CAPTCHA system or security question, which may deter them from signing up.

7. Enchant everyone
Particularly in the real estate industry. You should never assume that one person is the decision maker (ie. the Father of the family) You never know how the influencer may be, so you need to enchant the whole family!

8. Build an ecosystem 
Think bigger than just the “house”. Create a world of partners, friends and allies that want you to succeed and will offer customers what you cannot.

9. Reciprocate
When someone thanks you for your help, reply to them by reinforcing the idea of reciprocation and telling them how they can pay you back. Eg: “I know you would do the same for me”

10. If all else fails, get on your knees
Leave your ego at the door, as Sir Richard Branson did when he asked Guy Kawasaki if he had ever flown on Virgin America. Kawasaki said he hadn’t, because he was part of a frequent flyer program on United Airlines. Branson got down on his knees and started polishing Kawasaki’s shoes with his jacket. He’s been flying Virgin ever since.

You can take a look at this presentation, plus more from Guy Kawasaki on Slideshare

For more highlights from Real Estate Connect and to keep up to date with all of our Open2view.com news, you can follow us on Facebook or Twitter:

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