While much is being said about TC3 land, the reality is that there is a way forward. Yes, TC3 properties can be sold, and are being sold. Our in-house statistics clearly reinforce this with 39% of our 79 sales between October and December falling into the TC3 category. As I have indicated in the past, by having the right information and a good understanding of just what checks and procedures banks and insurance companies require, the process of securing a mortgage and obtaining insurance can be successfully completed in most instances. Obviously each situation is different and if the perceived risk is high, it is understandable that a bank may be extra cautious or require higher equity levels before lending. I think the other reassuring factor with selling property here in the east is that the local professionals involved with processing these types of property transactions are familiar with the specific requirements to get the sale across the line. I know our own sales team here at the Parklands office have a wealth of experience and we often share experiences and insights that we have picked up along the way, not to forget that a number of us actually own and live on TC3 land.
The bottom line is that the stats clearly prove that there is a way forward and the percentage for these sales is steadily on the increase.
Just a brief reminder…
This Thursday sees the auction of 3 Ascot Avenue – a funky 4 bedroom home/townhouse on a smaller section. The final open home is this Wednesday at 3.30pm.
When it comes to selling properties with a TC3 land zoning category it is important to go about it in a well informed and methodical way. The services of a real estate salesperson who has the experience, knowledge and correct procedures in place is invaluable in this process. Seeking legal advice is also good practice and is recommended. I have compiled a check list to help get you get started and do feel free to contact me for more in-depth assistance and guidance.
Hopefully the following will shed some light on best practice for both seller and buyer:
- Know your objectives
Have clear goals. If your property is damaged – are you aware of the degree of that damage? What time frames are you working towards?
- Current market value
Has the value of your property increased or decreased post-earthquakes?
Be sure to have your property assessed, e.g. insurance and EQC Scope of Works (SOW), geotechnical land assessments etc.
- Land damage
Make a list of the land damage. Did the site liquefy? Are there any undulations/sink holes etc? Buyers like to know this info.
- Street Damage
An overview of the damage or lack thereof it is helpful to give confidence to buyers.
Compile a file of all the claims you have made on the property including land claims and if possible an update of their status. Include a list of all the claim numbers.
- Dwelling damage
Does the property have less than $100,000 plus GST damage (under EQC cap) or has been “over capped” by EQC and referred to your insurer?
- Repair or rebuild?
This is vital information as the ramifications to the purchaser are critical – an insurer may rebuild a house for the policy holder but may not for a new post quake owner.
- Selling “as is”
This also needs careful discussion and professional advice as it is often a viable option. Generally this is done on a non-insured basis. The Griff team specializes in selling these types of properties.
- Cash settling
This often but not always ties in with the above and it is a case of getting the facts in front of you and making the best decision based on what is in your best interests both financially and timing wise.
- Engineer’s report
In my opinion this is again vital. This is your home’s post quake Warrant of Fitness and best practice for all involved. I believe it is one of the best marketing tools as it provides the base line for what is being represented.
- Deed of Assignment
Any benefit you are passing over from both EQC and your insurer needs to be assigned. This is initially instigated by a contractual clause approved by your solicitor.
- Insurance transfer
Before selling call your insurance company and check that they are happy to “roll over” the same policy conditions for a new purchaser.
- Further terms of sale
Again it is best practice for us to prepare a contract on your behalf for the sale of your property and have your solicitor approve it prior to entering into a contract.
- Seek legal advice
Remember your solicitor is ultimately the one who should check that all the legalities have been attended to, and as above, it is best to take such advice prior to proceeding.
- TC3 properties are sellable
Our in-house stats indicate that between 32 – 34% of our sales in the Parklands office are on TC3 land. Take heart, the bottom line is there is a way forward and we are the team that has the skills and procedures in place to make that happen for you.
Here’s to many more sales on all land categories – bring on spring and bring on the sales!
Demand for property remains consistent to strong in most areas of Canterbury with heightened interest in the north/west of the city and North Canterbury. The prerequisite for purchasers to transact generally appears to be safety and a perception of strong land. Here at the Parklands office we successfully negotiated just over $5m dollars worth of sales for the month of May and it is interesting to note that 74% of these sales were in the eastern suburbs – a real testimony of the resolute belief of those investing in the east!
So where to now for Parklands?
Many of you will be aware that CERA has decided to stand by their decision to green-zone the parts of Parklands that were particularly hard hit by recent earthquakes. While not everybody’s desired result it, overall it does give a positive message to the buying public. Frankly, now the location and specific streets will not be stigmatised by a “red” zone nearby. Once insurance companies undertake repairs and rebuild homes in the area, this will certainly be confidence booster. Understandably some people will cash out and move while others will wait to have their properties remediated. I believe the future for the area looks positive and the lifestyle Mecca that it is will continue to win the hearts of many over.
Yes we are selling TC3 Properties
With confidence returning to the buying public, coupled with the support and belief of most lending institutes and insurers, we are transacting a good cross section of property types rated under the new post earthquake zoning categories. In fact, a recent internal survey highlighted that 34% of our sales since January were of TC3 zoning which confirms that there is a way forward and that we have the appropriate skills and procedures in order that both sellers and buyers can proceed with complete peace of mind.
Quote of the week:
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
– Thomas Edison
Friday’s announcement by CERA may have brought closure but for many it has not brought resolve. Is it now simply a case of individually trying to get the best outcome from both EQC and insurers before making your final decision? It does seem that we are stuck with what we have got. The land is what the land is and the government has made it clear that they have no intention of turning any of the area red and pulling out the cheque book.
I am fielding a number of enquiries from locals regarding selling their properties “as is”, some damaged and some uninsured. There is a market for these homes if they are perceived safe and to be good value for money. Please rest assured it is not our practise to sell homes that are not structurally sound and to bring reassurance to the buying public we obtain a full structural engineers report upfront. In a number of cases it is quite surprising just how little the damage is in some properties that have been deemed uneconomic to reinstate to their pre-quake condition. It is good to see the house remaining rather than a vacant lot that may not be built on for some time.
As promised the long awaited new Department of Building and Housing guidelines for foundations in TC3 land have now been released. The Press also highlighted some of the key points.
While one would be a little naive to suggest that this is a “cure all” for all TC3 land it does equip professionals, local authorities and insurers with relevant and up-to-date guidelines for constructive assistance in this critical rebuild phase of our properties and city. The following quote from the DBH document reinforces this:
This guidance is intended for the engineering design, construction and insurance sectors, local authorities, and their professional advisors and contractors to clarify the technical and regulatory requirements for TC3 land. Given that all foundation repairs and reconstruction in TC3 require specific engineering design, the principal users of this document will be professional geotechnical and structural engineers.
Residential sites in TC3 with foundation damage require professional engineering input (investigation, assessment and design) to determine what is an appropriate repair or rebuild solution for each particular site (if in fact repair or rebuilding is required).
As is always the case, it is easy to get bogged down with technical data and facts, however I think it would be fair to say that there has been, and remains a concerted proactive effect by professionals and the powers that be to pull together vital resource and knowledge in order to provide a clearer and more certain path ahead. For that we are grateful.
Auction wins the day
The transparency and decisiveness of auction won the day for the sale of 30 Beach Road last week. It is often said that an owner won’t be certain just what they might accept and purchasers, just how much they might pay until they are both faced with it on the day. That was certainly the case in this instance and in my opinion there is no fairer or more open way for both parties to arrive at that mutual place of agreement.
TC3-zoning no hindrance
Another sale that I witnessed last week of a property on TC3 land drew excellent response with multiple interest and an excellent result for the vendor. It just goes to show that the general public have confidence in the way forward that CERA and the DBH are providing with regard to new foundations etc. This is a huge vote of confidence and a positive message to all that suitable and safe foundations can be engineered for this soil type.
Red zoners boost sales…..
From the front page of today’s issue of The Press:
Demand from red-zoners is still boosting the number of house sales in Christchurch, with cheaper homes proving especially popular. Figures from the Real Estate Institute show the median house price in the city last month was $337,444, down slightly from December but still higher than in January last year. The number of sales in Canterbury-Westland in January was 20 per cent higher than a year earlier, with North Canterbury showing the biggest jump in sales.
Some interesting trends and well worth reading.
NZ a great place
Having just returned from spending an extended weekend with three of my children visiting my mother in Cambridge and staying consecutive nights in Auckland, Cambridge and Tauranga made me appreciate just how beautiful our country is. From a balmy swim in the waters of the North Shore of Auckland to a relaxed farm stay in Cambridge followed by the sub tropical climate (rain and shine) of Tauranga. Good times and enjoyed by all.
The New Year has already started with a hiss and a roar, and no, that is not with earthquakes! With two sales and three new listings already, one would say that is not a bad way to start a new year. While December 23rd rocked us into Christmas, it is clear that greater Christchurch is embarking on the new year with a “business as usual” approach.
It is good to see the phone ringing and both buying and selling enquiry is consistently brisk – in fact, if anything, the general vibe is that people in Canterbury have a greater commitment and decisiveness to moving forward one way or another. Some are packing up and leaving town while the majority focus astutely on the rebuild, but there is no denying, as per the Mitre Ten advert “She’s a pretty big job!”
Listed below are some of the clear messages that I have already picked up reinforcing that positive resolve to moving forward:
- Rentals are in high demand and one property manager was quoted as saying that there is a significant number of tradespeople coming to Christchurch to assist with the rebuild
- CERA Chief Roger Sutton has stated that the aftershocks will not hamper the city rebuild
- IAG Insurance (who I was assessing homes for last year) have indicated that they are picking up from where they left off in 2011 and are committed to getting the rebuild underway as per their original plan.
- Business news in The Press with headlines such as “Quake rebuild to boost growth” and “Canterbury job plans at 8-year high”
- The national average of house sales was announced as up 20% for December
So it would be fair to say that there are some pretty positive messages coming through loud and clear. While time and geotechnical expertise will be the key to assisting the hard hit areas of Parklands let’s move forward with this current momentum and focus on the rebuild of our great city – we can do it!
Enjoy the great summer weather and here’s to a positive week.
Along with winning the RWC last week we also saw 80 per cent of the remaining 8,096 Christchurch orange-zoned homes go green! This is all great news for us Cantabrians and life is looking a whole like brighter.
While for a lot of us (myself included), green may have a hint of yellow or blue (Technical Categories 2 or 3), it does mean that we now have some certainty and a way forward. I think the positive reassuring message coming through here is that we can rebuild/repair safe and strong homes on the majority of land throughout the city despite the various soil structures. Psychologically this is a hugely positive step forward for Christchurch and I think we owe grateful thanks for the time and effort put in by the various professionals, CERA, along with local and central government for their commitment and pro-activity in providing this certainty for the people of Christchurch. You can find the relevant material here.
A window of opportunity
With the marketplace being spurred along by the many “cash in hand” red zone purchasers and the news that we now have another 6,430 saleable homes in circulation, I believe there is a real window of opportunity for those looking to sell. In my opinion, between November and Christmas buyers will remain active providing those selling with a high chance of securing a sale before the end of the year – what a Christmas present!
The bottom line is the timing is right to take action! Here at the Team Griff we are currently taking listings for our Spring/Summner Portfolio so be sure to make contact now and let our experience bring your home a great result.
Griff.net.nz is the place to go to check out relevant property information and also take a look at the selection of properties we are marketing here at the Parklands office.
Take care and we look forward to hearing from you soon.
The National Business Review ($) recently reported that the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) may intervene to help push through the rezoning of land in order to meet the current vacuum created by those whose properties have been deemed unbuildable in the red zones. Here’s a snippet:
Earthquake authority will intervene in property market…
Roger Sutton, the chief executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), says he will announce moves to speed up residential land rezoning within a couple of weeks.
His first test is a bizarre ruling by planning commissioners appointed by Waimakariri District Council about rezoning for a 450-lot development at Kaiapoi that could benefit about 1000 displaced homeowners in the immediate area.
It is heartening to note that the authorities are throwing everything they can at the rebuild of Canterbury by doing all within their powers to assist the region. This unquestionably helps bring some confidence and a forward momentum for the thousands that have been displaced.
While it is frustrating for some that often things do not seem fast enough and understandably the majority of those in the red zone (some of whom have been displaced now for over 12 months) want some clarity of a way forward, it is great to see the authorities get so “hands on” for the benefit of everyday Cantabs. Personally, this has been my observation since the first earthquake in Christchurch where the whole Kiwi community has rallied together to support and help in whatever way they can, big or small, to assist their compatriates in Canterbury. It certainly makes you proud to be a Kiwi.
On a lighter note let’s have some fun and enjoy hosting the Rugby World Cup by showing the world what a great country New Zealand can be!