It’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.
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.
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!