Steve Hart's Property Report podcast

Rates on hold, prices slip, star is Dunedin

The RBNZ left the official cash rate at 1% when it announced its review of the OCR on Wednesday. But there’s still plenty of talk of a cut in the months ahead. Prepare for the OCR to be a quarter of one percent by May 2020 say some bank economists.

Landlord fined $24,000

Auckland landlord Rinal Kumar, also known as Danny, has been ordered to pay $24,754.08 by the Tenancy Tribunal for failing to lodge tenancy bonds.

Steve Watson, national manager compliance and investigation, Housing & Tenancy Services, says: “The legal requirement to lodge tenants’ bond money with the Bond Centre is a fundamental responsibility landlords have under New Zealand’s tenancy law.”

Kumar was the sole shareholder and director of Hope’s Management Limited when the rental agreements started. The company was removed from the Companies Register in January 2019, but the Tribunal found it was still Mr Kumar who was ultimately responsible for lodging the bonds.

Trees

Are trees being cut down in your neighbourhood? Critics of the new 5G wireless system claim authorities are removing trees that could interfere with 5G signals.

5G is known to be capable of high data transmission speeds, but have low power, making it difficult for 5G signals to penetrate trees and foliage.

Let me know if trees are being cut down in your neighbourhood – go to stevehart.co.nz

Wellington

The average asking price in Wellington has risen $52,550 in the last 12 months to $632,300 as the Wellington property market continues to boom, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries says Wellington property prices have experienced rapid growth in the last three years and there are no signs that they’ll be slowing any time soon.

However, according to Homes.co.nz the median price of a home in Wellington is $779,000 with first home buyers typically picking up property for around $623,000.

It’s first-time home buyer estimate for Auckland is $682,000; Christchurch, $350,000 and Dunedin, $343,000.

Real estate data experts at Homes.co.nz say September is red month across the country with its median HomesEstimate decreasing slightly in all main centres with the exception of Dunedin, which saw prices rise by 0.9%.

Tom Lintern, chief data scientist at Homes.co.nz says it is too early to tell if the sluggish Auckland market is feeding through to the rest of the country, or if this is a short-term impact of winter sales activity.

“The plus side,” he says. “Is that the First Home Buyers HomesEstimate has also decreased in most areas, which is keeping the property ladder in the sights of first home buyers.”

Family cash grab

With a record low Official Cash Rate delivering low mortgage rates and low bank deposits rates, it’s the perfect time for young renters to talk to their parents about buying a property together, says Derryn Mayne of New Zealand realtor Century 21.

The firm’s salespeople are now seeing more New Zealand families collaborating to secure a property, he says.

“However, many Kiwis will still not qualify because of the income requirements, as well as the price caps in place for all singles and couples applying. The price cap in Auckland is $650,000, which is pretty tough.

“Families are starting to realise that no one is winning when the parents are getting nominal returns for their bank savings, while their adult children are paying record-high rents to their landlords.”

It’s official – NZ not building enough homes

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reckons New Zealand has lost momentum when it comes to the economy.

The elements that have kept the country moving forward including $billion spent to remedy the destruction caused by earthquakes and high net migration allowing people to come in and buy stuff during the GFC are – by and large – over.

In addition the IMF says with New Zealand’s OCR being at 1% there is little in the way of wiggle room as the dark clouds of another recession gather on international economies.

The IMF says the New Zealand government should prepare for a severe economic downturn.

The IMF also says the government needs to do much more on the house-building front.

Trust a roomful of academics to state the obvious.

Homes not fit for purpose

An Auckland Council report says almost a third of the city’s population will be aged 65 and over by 2050 and more needs to be done to provide accessible housing.

A council report says older people have the highest rate of disability issues with around 35 per cent affected in some way, and that a significant mismatch between supply and demand in the future will limit the changing needs of people to live in a home that is fit for purpose, and to visit, or be visited by friends and family in their homes.

Auckland Council is developing policies to counter this and make new homes accessible for people with restricted mobility. It also wants new homes to have the Homestar 6 rating as a minimum standard for better quality drier and warmer homes.

Phone home

Beware people arriving at your door baring gifts.

In the UK one 75-year-old man thought he’d top up his pension by allowing a telecom firm to erect a mobile phone mast in his back garden.

Not only did he get more than he bargained for when the full installation was completed; but instead of getting £4,500 a year he received just £70 under a revised contract he didn’t read before signing.