Lack of property listings keeps pressure on prices

For the time of year, the number of properties listed for sale is at a 20-year low,  says Peter Thompson, managing director of Barfoot & Thompson.

With so few properties on the market, those that are listed should attract a lot of interest, and should, says Thompson,   “ensure that prices remain solid”.

Sale prices achieved at the real estate agency last month were down on the all-time highs seen in the last quarter of 2015, with the current median price being $760,000, down 5 per cent on December — but 8.6 per cent higher than the same time last year.

During January  the firm sold 893 properties, most sales were in the outer southern and northern suburbs of Auckland.

In January, of all the properties sold by the firm, 20.7 per cent went for more than $1 million, and the number of homes sold for less than $500,000 represented 28.6 per cent of its sales.

A report from Bayleys says the Auckland market has taken a breather over the last 3 months. Even so, the time to sell all inventory is sitting at just 10.3 weeks against a long-term average of 24.5 weeks. An indicator of strong demand.

Tenancy disputes

Figures released by Tenancy Practice Services show landlords across the country lose an average of $1800 in disputes with their tenants — around five weeks’ rent — every year.
Landlords in Auckland are losing an average 5.6 weeks’ rent, in Wellington it’s 5.8 weeks and Canterbury, 4.8 weeks.

Body corporates

Calls are growing for body corporates to be more transparent. Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye wants to hear apartment owners’ concerns via her website

According to reports, worries raised by apartment owners include a lack of pre-purchase disclosure and allegations of the manipulation of proxy votes at body corporate meetings.

Kaye wants the Unit Titles Act changed, and  intends to produce a report to put in front of her ministerial colleagues.

Stonewood Homes

Stonewood Homes New Zealand went into receivership this week. KordaMentha has been appointed receivers to the company, as well as Stonewood Homes and Sterling Homes. Independently owned Stonewood franchises are not affected.

Affected homes will be completed under the Master Builders guarantee.

Best rate
This week’s best fixed rate is from HSBC, offering 3.95 per cent for 18 months.