Category Archives for "Tauranga Property News"

Why now is a great time to prepare to sell your home?

With lockdown restrictions slowly being eased, most of us still have more time at home. That’s why now is a great time to prepare to sell your home. With the property market tipped to start gaining momentum again soon, it’s important to have your house ready for interested buyers. 

What are buyers after?

According to industry researcher, CoreLogic, house prices around the country have not plummeted, despite a decrease in the number of transactions that took place during the Covid-19 lockdown. There were sellers who pulled their houses from the market and are likely waiting for more restrictions to ease before re-listing them, so it’s important to make your home stand out against the competition. In addition, most vendors are refusing to discount their asking prices, knowing that the market will strengthen again soon. With interest rates at an historic low, buyers are either looking for a deal or their dream home as they’re expecting fewer people to compete against. 

Start with decluttering and odd jobs

The time you have at home provides the best opportunity to start decluttering. Any items that you haven’t used, despite being home all this time, can probably go into the donation bin. Decluttering your home will also give you the chance to properly clean and disinfect your property prior to any inspections. Now is also a great start ticking those odd jobs off your list of things to do around the house. That might include repainting a room that’s looking a little worse for wear, or pulling the weeds out of the front garden. Use this time to check for any cracks in the walls too or spider webs around the windows. 

Get those renovations done

Now that restrictions have been lifted for many businesses, it’s a great time to take advantage of the construction industry. Renovating your home, or parts of your home, can add value to the overall sale as buyers won’t have to take into consideration any costs for repairs or updates. Something as simple as a bathroom renovation tailored towards families might be the difference between your home and a similar one on the market. 

Update the flooring

Sometimes your weekly clean of the floors simply isn’t enough. Use the time you have now to get the carpets properly shampooed and cleaned for stains or the hardwood floors refinished to get rid of any scratch marks or fading. Having cracked or broken floor tiles can also dissuade buyers so remove and replace those to make the flooring appear newer overall. 

Create a welcoming entrance and atmosphere

The front yard and door are the first things prospective buyers will see when they inspect your home, so make sure the area is clean, tidy and inviting. Consider whether the door needs to be repainted or needs a new handle, the garden needs replanting, or you need to rearrange furniture in your entrance way to make the house feel more modern. Remember to keep decorations and clutter to a minimum to create a more inviting and open atmosphere throughout the house. You might need to move furniture around to maximise the feeling of open space and light in your home. 

Once the Coronavirus restrictions have eased off further, there is likely to be a release of pent-up demand for property, so it’s important to be ready for it now. Use your time at home wisely and prepare your home for sale.

Four moves that make you a smart buyer in COVID-19 market

As New Zealand flattens its COVID-19 curve, a discussion is starting about how we get ourselves back to normal in the coming months.
 
Tough, courageous decisions lay ahead but one thing is for sure, a healthy property market will be at the top of the post-virus economy wish list.
 
Nothing powers our economy more than a vibrant real estate sector and confident buyers. And when the turnaround comes, pent-up demand will ensure momentum swings back to the sellers in a matter of a few weeks.
 
If you’re a smart buyer, you’ll have made your move before that happens.
 
Even in this coronavirus crisis, the property market is still transacting and there are excellent purchasing opportunities.
 
Feeling nervous about the future is natural, especially in these crazy days. But, economically, we are in a better position to recover than when the Global Financial Crisis struck us 12 years ago.
 
Firstly, we know what has to happen to end this current crisis. When the GFC struck, there seemed to be no end to the tumult despite governments around the world throwing money at the problem for a decade.
 
Also, credit is much more secure today than it was back in 2008. Our practices around granting mortgages and secured loans are much stricter, and this has put our economy on a firmer footing.
 
These practices have curtailed property market growth with the volume of building approvals and residential vacancies dipping in many parts of New Zealand in the past two years. So, supply generally has been quite tight, frustrating buyers and sellers alike.
 
However, this tight credit environment has created pent-up demand, and governments will want to unleash this at the right time to stimulate the economy and their own dwindling treasury coffers.
 
Major developers could release apartments or other developments shortly. Still, they won’t be of such volume as to stymie growth in the market once we’ve started to rebuild the economy.
 
So, right now, smart buyers will:
 
  • Reassess their own financial strategy and goals to capitalise on this unique environment.
  • Ask the agents they know about properties that offer good value, and vendors who might be keen to strike a deal.
  • Calculate the financial benefits if the property is to be an investment. There’s every chance you can get a 5% rental yield and a 3% interest expense.
  • Make their move while others dither and doom-say over our future.
 
While the volume of properties on the market is down, but there are still buyers and sellers. Now is a great chance to hunt down a great value property, whether it’s your dream home or an investment property.

7 reasons it’s a great time to sell

New Zealand’s outstanding response to containing the Covid-19 crisis has won global praise and also retained the core strength of our economy.
This is never more evident than in the property market, where keen buyer interest continues despite the lockdown and social distancing restrictions.
 
Median prices were up 13.7% to the end of March, and eight regions registered record prices.
 
Despite the virus, confidence among buyers has remained. Property websites are saying they’ve never had more traffic from potential buyers and investors.
 
This buoyant buyer behaviour injects a lot of market confidence right now. But if you have some fears about what the coronavirus crisis will mean for NZ, here are some fundamental strengths working in your favour:
 
  1. The housing market was powering along before COVID-19 arrived, and the fundamentals have not changed.
  2. Our major cities are all in big demand, especially from young buyers seeking to enter the market.
  3. Investors are increasingly expressing interest in the property market, moving their cash from financial markets to a safer haven, or wanting a bigger bang for their buck than term deposit rates.
  4. The government’s new virus support package – the equivalent to 4% of GDP – will help ease the virus’s economic impact.
  5. The budget (May 14) promises more stimulus to the economy, and therefore the property market.
  6. Our mortgage rates are low thanks to the Reserve Bank’s money-easing policy in response to the pandemic.
  7. Banks remain stable, which makes this crisis very different from the GFC a decade ago.
While lending criteria might tighten, it will be nothing compared to 2008. Credit availability will remain strong. This pandemic will not last forever. So, if you’ve found your next home and you’re confident of your employment situation, this will be as good a time as any to make your move. If there is a small depression in prices, it will work in your favour when you buy.
 
 

Under New Zealand Lockdown, Can I Still Sell My Home?

Yes you can! Although the way we agents are selling homes is changing in line with Alert Level 4 restrictions that have been put in place in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. We’ve been adapting our selling processes quickly to allow sellers and buyers to continue transacting from home.
 
 
Can you still help me?
While real estate isn’t considered an essential industry, we’re still able to help over the phone or online through video call via Skype or Facetime. We must self isolate like everyone else and we can no longer hold face-to-face meetings with you or potential buyers. We are also unable to hold open homes, on-site auctions or private property viewings.
 
 
How will house inspections work?
Open houses have been cancelled due to the lockdown and mandatory self isolation, but we are still able to organise virtual tours and digital inspections where people aren’t required to leave their homes and no in-person contact occurs. Digital inspections can be conducted in a number of ways.
 
 
We can film a 3D walk through of your property and list that video alongside your property listing online, send it in an email or upload it to a streaming service such as YouTube or Facebook. These walk through videos can range from a simple image slideshow to a detailed video where we discuss the property on camera, show footage of the home, and include emotive music to capture the ambience of the space.
 
 
Another form of digital inspection we can use is a live stream. We can use a platform such as Sykpe, FaceTime or Zoom, or a streaming service such as YouTube or Facebook, to engage with prospective buyers in real time. Using live streaming services allows us to answer questions from viewers in real-time.
 
 
The occupiers of the property do the filming while the agent and the buyer are watching the screen and discuss the details of the property and give live instructions on what to capture so the buyer can make a good decision.
 
 
Should I avoid auctions and stick with a private sale?
Although on-site auctions have been cancelled, auctions are still able to go ahead online and over the phone. An online auction operates under the same rules as a public auction. We will send buyers a link to an online auction service along with instructions on how they can register to bid ahead of time. To bid, buyers must submit their ID and credit card details and be approved by us. Once approved, the platform will put a hold on their credit card. When the auction begins, buyers will be able to place their bids through the live stream, as if they were there in person.
 
 
An alternative to the live online auction involves buyers sending off bids, similar to the way eBay works. For buyers who aren’t tech-savvy, there’s always the option of registering to bid over the phone, again, just like in an on-site auction.
 
 
What about the settlement?
The New Zealand Law Society (NZLS) recommends settlements be deferred until after the Alert Level 4 restriction is lifted. Your conveyancer will need to make appropriate amendments to the contract to facilitate this in the existing agreements. NZLS suggests that a clause be inserted into new agreements that are drafted over the lockdown period to defer settlement until after the government reduces the Covid-19 level to level 2 or below.
 
 
Will the value of my property be affected by Covid-19?
At the moment, it’s difficult to predict. Corelogic predicts there could be 20 per cent fewer residential properties sold this year than in 2019. When looking back at the 2008 recession data, prices went down 6 per cent but bounced back within a year. The current situation is different because once the lockdown is lifted, people can get back to business so it may recover pretty quickly. The recovery will likely depend on factors including unemployment and how long the lockdown period lasts.
 
 
I’ve sold my property, when can I move out?
Under the level 4 restrictions, owners are unable to move into or out of properties. Travel is restricted to essential travel only so settlements and moving house should be deferred until after the Alert Level 4 restriction is lifted.
 
 
While selling your property might look a little different to the way it did before the Covid-19 pandemic, we are working hard to adapt to the changes and make it possible.
 
 
What happens after the restriction levels, Patrick?
Once the restriction levels are lifted the procedure of buying and selling property is more than likely changed. I am working on other ideas for marketing property. Future proofing the business but also to secure any successful outcome because one thing won’t change: Every vendor wants a successful sale at the best possible price, in the shortest space of time and with the minimum fuss. To maintain this a seller needs an agent who is marketing and tech savvy but is also an excellent negotiator.
 
Keeping in touch
Allow me to keep you up to date with my Monthly Property Reports. This includes an overview of all 20 suburbs in Tauranga, a monthly rental analysis and a real estate market overview of the region. Click HERE to subscribe.
 
If you want to know what your property is worth in today’s market please CLICK HERE.

Capital Gain Tax through the eyes of a Babyboomer

As a response on the discussion regarding the proposed Capital Gains Tax (CGT) I received the story from one of my property report readers. She is a baby boomer and just wanted to express herself to get her story out. Just like many others who have their story either for or against the proposed CGT, she also has hers.

As for myself, I pray that our government may receive the wisdom to govern our country well with or without CGT. Another read I was made aware of by this ‘Babyboomer’ is an article from The New Zealand Herald called Political Roundup: The arguments in favour of a Capital Gains Tax. This article – including my writing about the CGT – initiated her to write the story below:

My Great grandparents and grandparents went through The Depression and wars, cut their farm from scrub, worked 12 hour days, 7 days a week and provided this country with both local market and export produce, took in and feed extra local people during the depression when they had hardly any food to spare themselves. They raised families, taught good Christian principals, insisted their children all did their very best at school and grew up to be good New Zealand citizens.

My father was one of these children and he in turn made sure that I did my very best at school and I was expected to come out of school qualified and ready to work. He was a farm labourer, one of the mostly lowly paid of all NZ workers.  I never had a home to call my own, the houses, mostly pretty awful went with the job.  They were never heated, let alone insulated and mostly in a state of disrepair. If he had he lost his job, we would have been homeless and on the streets.  Had he not grown his own vegetables and shot rabbits and hares for stews when the meat ran out, we would have been hungry.  I was expected to eat whatever was put on my plate and to be very grateful.  Never to ask for any treats and appreciate what food that I had.  Only in my latter years did I find out that putting food on the table was a struggle. 

My Mother made all my clothes.  I had 3 sets of clothes, one on, one in the wash and one to spare.  My toys were few and mostly second hand, and I spent considerable time outside playing with whatever I found to amuse me.  No TV, no technological devises, no going to town for takeaways or meals out.   A trip to the beach for a swim was a luxury and if by chance an ice cream was bought I thought it amazing. Money for petrol was scarce, so I walked or biked for miles, including getting to school.  Times even then for girls on their own were not safe, and I had strict instructions should anyone approach me, I was to scream and yell and run for my life.  On one such occasion, I took to running. 

I had far less than what todays citizens have, yet I had everything.  A loving home, parents who cared what became of me and who insisted my life was based on Christian principals and who did not waste money on alcohol, racing, smoking, drugs, lavish holidays or the latest technology or flash car.  There was no keeping up with the “Joneses”, as the “Joneses” were probably in the same boat as we were.  They expected I grew up making the most of everything life offered me, especially my education.  My life would have been considered financially underprivileged on today’s standards.

For my financially underprivileged life, I thank my parents, because from it came the following.  I left school at 17 fully qualified to go out to work.  My pocket money, which at a young age was 6 pence a week and at its peak at 16 years of age was 50c a week, was banked.  I worked hard to get that pocket money and from it I learned to save, to budget for birthday presents for the family and to buy my first typewriter, something of a museum piece.  That typewriter along with my education got me my first office job, to which I biked many kms from the countryside into Papatoetoe.

At 21 years I left home and paid nearly half my $28 a week salary in rent, for a cold, unheated, uninsulated, dusty 1930’s beach house at the Mount.  A draconian land lady lived on site, ready to snap my head off over everything and no tenancy contract for my protection, in those days.  I thought to heck with this and bought my first house at 22 years.  A $16,000 box on a quarter acre in Greerton, with 3 mortgages.  One to State Advances $10,500 at 5.5%, $2,500 to the bank at 8.5% and a private one for $1000.  I scrimped and saved my salary, that had by then risen to $32 a week, and landscaped the section over a number of years, and paid back 2 of the loans.

At 28 I got married and we sold the house in Greerton and bought a very scruffy 16 acres in Oropi in 1987, a week later the share market crashed and he lost his job.  We lived in a caravan, with a portable toilet, solar shower and no running water and definitely no insulation.  With winter frost on the inside of the caravan we decided to build a garage which we lived in for 3 years and in 1992 we finally built our house, that we live in today.  Like my ancestors, we cut our farm out of the scrub, gorse and thistles, fencing with second hand materials from dismantled Kiwifruit orchards and anything else we could lay our hands on.  We skimped and saved every cent, progressing little by little every year.  Our daughter was on this journey with us and wrote an English piece called “20th Century pioneers”, very well put.

We are where we are today, not because of hand outs or hand ups, but because we like our fore bearers, have made the most of what life offered us.  We had good parents who set good examples and in return expected us to do the same.  We made the most of our education, our working life, did not waste our money on drugs, smoking, alcohol, flash cars, or expensive trips and cruises and endless meals out and lattes.  We are, where we are, today through sheer hard work and savings.

Previous governments for years have said, “Baby Boomers” save your money, prepare for retirement, because there may not be enough in the Government Funds to fully support you.  So we have worked hard on our land, worked hard as wage earners, saved and bought a rental and paid our taxes all the way along.  Therefore, to show appreciation for our hard work and savings, the Labour Government intends to bring in a Capital Gains Tax, just right when we “Baby Boomers” are facing retirement, needing to down size to smaller properties and sell our rentals to support ourselves in our latter years.  That’s fair you say.  Well not from where we are standing after a life time of slaving our guts out and paying taxes.  Why would anyone want to know that a 3rd of all their life long hard work is going to go in tax, just when they need it most, to support their old age.

No Capital Gains Tax is going to change the fact that people need to have good parenting to set examples.  No amount of Capital Gains Tax is going to stop people, wasting their education, wasting their opportunities in life, however big or small that opportunity is.  It’s not going to stop them wasting their money and themselves on drugs, alcohol, and smoking.  It’s not going to change habits of gambling, holding the hand out for every benefit they can scrounge or spending beyond their means on luxury’s, holidays or anything else that they think they must have right now. I have always said that Economics should be made a compulsory subject in school.  If parents can’t teach it, at least students get to hear it from a teacher.

If we Baby Boomers, come from nothing, have nothing as we grow up and yet make something of ourselves, then why can’t other generations follow.  Times and finances are no harder now, than they ever were.  I’ve done the calculations and a modest house v salary today is the same ratio as in the late 1980s.

So your email said, “correction CGT may or may not come in”.  I’ve been around long enough to know that when we start to hear of a change, it is likely to come.

Examples are GST, Salary fixed to inflation rate, investment rates lowered, various social bills past that many citizens do not approve.  Unfortunately, too many think Labour and CGT will help sort their living and financial situation and will vote with their feet, rather than their brains.

This country did not vote for a Labour Government, but one man changed all that and I can only hope HE comes to his senses over this CGT and should he ever be in the position again to sway a party into power, that he too votes with his head, rather than his feet. 

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