Time to say goodbye to Auckland?

Above: This 3 bedroom Mairangi Bay home is sitting just above the current average asking price of $820,016 in Auckland. View the listing here: http://o2v.co/1Zi8

Skyrocketing. Raging. Through the roof. Out of control. INSANE!

All of the above have been used to describe the current Auckland Housing market. It seemed astounding around this time last year talking about the average asking price for Auckland hitting a new all time high record of $732,240.

Now for the first time, that has risen above the $800k mark, with realestate.co.nz reporting that for June 2015 the average asking price of an Auckland home is $820,016. That’s a $164,003 deposit you’ll need, and thats enough to have First Home buyers in Auckland running for the Bombay hills, which buy all accounts seems to be the case, with claims that Aucklanders are making up about 30 percent of attendance at open homes in Hamilton.

The average asking price suddenly seems less surprising once you start seeing stories like this: A West Auckland property which sold for 2.2million, $900k over its CV.

West Auckland Property

Even being able to access KiwiSaver contributions and HomeStart grants do little when the cap for Auckland homebuyers is $550,000 and anyone who has looked at any properties and been to an auction lately can tell you that there are very limited options under that price.

So… why not just leave? With Aucklanders are flocking to buy property in Tauranga, Hamilton and the Western Bay of Plenty, let’s see what the average Auckland house price (or close) might get you in some of those other regions.

Bay of Plenty
A stylish 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom ex-showroom in Papamoa Beach.

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View the listing

Waikato
A 5 bedroom 3 bathroom lifsetyle property on 2.86 Acres featuring an entertainer’s kitchen with butler’s pantry, formal dining area and two lounges with bush and waterfall views.

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View the listing

Northland
A 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home with pool and spectacular views over Maungakaramea and beyond to The Whangarei Heads and Hen & Chicks sitting on 6.63ha with 250 Avocado trees.

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Take the 3D HomeView tour 

New Plymouth
Enquiries over $749,00 will get you this fabulous 4 year old, 4 bedroom farmlet on 2.22 Acres.

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View the listing

So what do you think? Comparable, or much better value? Where do you sit? Are you a disillusioned, Auckland First home buyer? Perhaps a retiree, ready to make the most of the high Auckland prices,cash up and move to the regions? Or are you just a non-Aucklander sick of hearing about Auckland House prices?

Share your thoughts in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.

NZ Property: Summer sales keep rolling on……

O2V ID#335063

O2V ID#335063

Ahhh Summer… it’s been a good one so far. You can tell from all the glorious Summer scenes and vistas our Photographers have been capturing around the country…

Seriously…take a look at these…..

The good summer weather has been great for the sunbathing, but it’s done nothing to cool the heated housing market, particularly in Auckland.

Recent figures from REINZ show that the number of dwellings sold in January (4,841) was up 2.6% on January 2014 with the National median price of $426,000, up $24,000 from the same time in 2014. The national median price rose 6.0% in the 12 months to January 2015, while Auckland’s median price increased by 16.0%

“The continuing strong performance of Auckland prices is vexing commentators and policy makers alike, however the root cause of the problem remains a shortage of property available for sale” says Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Chief Executive Helen O’Sullivan.

REINZ data shows that Auckland’s median price increased by 16% over the past 12 months, compared to just 1.8% for the rest of the country.

Backing that up are the latest figures from Barfoot & Thompson, where the all-time high pre-Christmas values held throughout January, with the average selling price of $757,319, was only $1572, or 0.2 percent lower than December’s all-time high price.

January sales figures of 859 properties is inline with the previous January figures over the past two years, however the total value of sales in January of $650,537,392 is up $97,822,014 from the same time in 2014.

For full market reports including regional & rural statistics, visit the REINZ website.

Now, if we could just get back to working on that tan…..

O2V ID#333884

O2V ID#333884

 

The Block NZ – It’s Business Time

Alex_Corban

The time has come. Tonight, the four properties on The Block NZ will go under the hammer and honestly, I don’t think I can watch.

The producers must be doing something right. The Block NZ has to be one of the most successful reality shows NZ has seen. Whether it be our fascination with DIY, the kiwi dream of owing your own home or they just luck out with great casting, it’s easy to emotionally invest in the journey of the Block couples.

Jo and Damo - Dining

And that’s where I come unstuck. Some might call it great TV, but after enduring the agonising live auctions of the past two years, I just can’t bring myself to watch tonight!

Maree and James - Kitchen

It would be great to see all the couples do well at auction, but as pointed out in a recent post over at Properazzi, even in the middle of what seems to be a rampant Auckland property market, is there really enough demand to get all of these properties sold?

Each year, there’s been, by far, one big winner and you could say for all the rest, it’s been close to a waste of time (remember last year’s post-auction meltdown from Loz?). Yes, all the contestants know what they are getting themselves into, but it doesn’t make the awkwardness any easier to watch.

Quinn and Ben - Lounge

Which is why I’m content just to take a look back at all of the hard work the couples have put in during their time at The Block (as captured by our Open2view photographers by the way….)

We wish all the couples the best of luck tonight!

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?….

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.

All in a day’s work..

profilepicIt’s not everyday that you get to dangle 35 meters in the air from a crane. But for Open2view photographer Grant Drummond, it’s just another day at the office.

Grant covers the busy Auckland central area, but took some time out to do a little bit of a Q & A for us, about some of the challenges and highlights of the job, as well as sharing some pics from his recent travels…

Q. How did you get started in real estate photography? | What was your career path?

Before this I managed an apartment building. I was looking for a business and this looked ideal. My technical knowledge of photography was limited but I was confident I had an eye for composition.

Q. Shooting properties in central Auckland must have it’s challenges, but what do you enjoy most about it?

There’s so much variety. St Heliers mansions to shoebox apartments and everything in between. Sometimes I get more satisfaction from making a mediocre place look good than making a beautiful house look great.

Q. What’s the most challenging shoot / photo of a property you’ve had to take?

I was hoisted by a crane to take some ‘view’ shots for a ‘to-be-built’ apartment building. I had to use the camera one-handed at 35m as I wasn’t letting go of the ‘basket’.

crane

apartment

Q. (Apart from your camera) what piece of technology could you not live without when you’re working.
iPad!

Q. In your opinion, what makes a good real estate picture stand out from the rest?
Excellent use of lighting (though I look at the Property Press a bit differently than the average reader).

Apart from real-estate… what other types of photography do you enjoy?
Travel photography, random scenes from the street (though I mostly use my i-phone for these).

You’ve recently been travelling. Where to? What was the highlight?
Brazil. Getting to some World Cup games. Some of the street parties were pretty good too.

(click image for fullscreen)

Finally, (very important question)….who’s your favourite to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup?

When I read the question yesterday I was going to say Argentina. After (the first semi-final) it’s hard to look past Germany.

 (click image for fullscreen)

Cheers Grant! Guess we’ll find out on Monday who’s going to take it out.

Follow this link to view Grant’s portfolio and get in touch about the Open2view services available.