Quest to be the world’s most liveable city….

auckland

This working week has been a short one for Aucklanders who celebrated the city’s Anniversary Day on Monday. Many escaped out of town for the long weekend, but for those who stuck around, there was definitely plenty to do in the City of Sails: Anniversary Day Regatta, International Buskers Festival, Seafood Festival, Laneway Music Festival, really, more festivals than you can shake a stick at.

Auckland residents also received a bit of reading material over the weekend. The February addition of ‘Our Auckland’, turned up in letterboxes across the city, complete with an intro ‘Letter From Len’ , who still seems to be smiling (although I have the feeling it’s probably an old picture they had on file).

A look at the monthly “What’s on in Auckland” guide shows jam-packed February, with event’s, shows and yes, plenty more festivals, but having exciting things to go to, isn’t what makes a city liveable. Good transport, affordable housing and job availability are what really matter and those are just some of the issues that the Council’s ‘Auckland Plan’ aims to tackle:

akl_vision

The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, is now in its final weeks to receive formal submissions.  It’s the rule book that will shape how the city grows and is an integral part of the overall Auckland Plan that will guide the region’s future over the next 30 years.

Some rules which relate to giving further protection to Auckland’s heritage and environment, have already been in effect since 30 September 2013, in the following three areas: Pre- 1944 buildings, Environmental Protection, & Cultural impact assessment.

Public can go to www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/unitaryplan to view the e-plan, read local fact sheets and make a submission by 28 February 2014, before an independent panel will conduct hearings on the formal submissions.

If you’re a visual person, here’s a little video explaining the plan with some fancy graphics:

Anyone who owns a property in Auckland, or is thinking about entering the Auckland property market, really needs to take a look at how the Unitary Plan rules could potentially affect their property. Here is one of the tools online to help you Find out what rules apply to your property.

So, grand plans for a liveable city in 30 years, but what about right now?

The Auckland Economic Quarterly, the newsletter from the Council’s Chief Economist Geoff Cooper, was released today, claiming that it’s the best outlook for Auckland in 7 years. The housing market remains the key driver of growth and hopefully, will continue to be, with the council establishing 11 more Special Housing Areas (SHAs). While it seems to be a positive step forward, it’s likely that we’re still a long way off seeing any significant changes to Auckland’s housing availability or affordability.

Do you know if, or how, the Proposed Unitary Plan will effect your property? As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below, or get in touch with us on our facebook page.

Real estate marketing: why outsourcing to Open2view is win-win

outsourcing cartoon

We were quite pleased to find this article in our Twitter newsfeed recently:

“A majority of agents would consider outsourcing parts of their business, according to a recent survey.

In a recent Real Estate Business straw poll, 77 per cent of 152 respondents said they would consider outsourcing activities in their business.”

Not a bad sample size – and a big response in favour of outsourcing. And although it’s an Australian survey, the results make sense no matter what side of the Tasman you’re reading this on.

The CEO of Tradebusters – matchmakers for tradespeople and real estate agents – had this to say:

“[Agents are] overcoming initial fears or what in the past appeared to be the challenge of losing control. I think they’re overcoming and seeing how they can gain control and gain efficiency.”

“A lot more agents now understand how to outsource efficiently and how to do it right. They understand if you do it right it’s a real enabler and the benefits are huge in terms of listing opportunities and further growth.”

We couldn’t agree more. So where should an agent start, if they’re looking to maximise efficiency and get the best sales result?

We may be a teensy bit biased, but a good starting point would be the photography. Plenty of studies have shown that listings with great looking professional photos mean a higher price for the house. Good news, then, for both seller and agent.

Hiring an Open2view photographer means that the photography side is in the best of hands – giving you more time to do other important agency type stuff!

If you’re serious about getting even better bang for your buck, why not outsource a few more things our way? We also specialise in real estate video, floor plans, walkthrough tours, signboards, virtual tours, heaps really. Check out our Services page for all the info on what we can do.

One more quote about outsourcing from the article, this time from real estate agent Alexander Elmowy:

“It’s time saving and creates less hassle for me, and the less I’ve got to worry about certain things, I can be out there making money.”

A quick search shows a number of his workmates at Belle Property have embraced this philosophy and are using Open2view for their property marketing.

If you’re an agent, why not do the same and outsource to us today? Or if you’re looking to sell, let your agent know how Open2view can reduce their workload and, come sale time, get you all a better price.

 

 

Dec NZ Property Report: Record highs to record lows, but yes, it’s still a sellers market…

Hello and a Happy New Year to all!

An even happier New Year if you’re still on holiday, but I suspect that like me, you are clawing your way back into the real world this week. To make the transition a little easier, I’ve put together a gallery of some delightful summer views from properties featured on our site. You can pretend that you’re still on vacation…..or perhaps you’ll find your new holiday spot for next summer.

Right, enough with the distractions. It’s all go back here at Open2view HQ.  So to kick things off, let’s take a quick look back at some of the main points from the NZ Property Report (thanks to realestate.co.nz) in the last couple of months of 2013……. before that holiday glow completely wears off!

Asking prices ease

There was a slight ease of the national asking price, dropping -6.3% to  $451,448  from October’s record high but with December still tracking 7% up from the same time in 2012. In the major centres, Canterbury is the only region to buck this trend, up 2% from November and 14% up on 2012.

Number of new listings

With everyone consumed by the lead up to Christmas and New Year, it’s no big surprise to see a drop in figures across the board, however the overall number of new listings slumped dramatically (-40% from November ) to a  new record low of 8,010.

Inventory levels

The inventory of unsold homes on the market did recover slightly, up 6% from November, but comparing the December stats with the same time last year, inventory is still well down on the 2012 figures: 2013 (38,804) vs 2012 (42,513).

As normal business resumes, an interesting wait for the next report to see if that national asking price returns anywhere close to that October record high. What are your predictions for the upcoming months? Let us know on our Facebook page. Or maybe just post us a pic from your summer holiday. Come on, make us jealous….