Tag Archives: Housing

Property investment basics from a long-term investor

Have a plan

Back in the 1990s when rents were around $200 per week for the average home in Christchurch I envisaged owning 10 investment properties. My thinking was this would give me a gross income of approx $100,000 per year and with costs roughly around 50% that would leave me with a net income of approx $50,000 – not bad as a passive income I thought at the time. As critical as having a plan, is executing that plan. I still have clients thinking about committing to investment property 20 years after our first discussion!


The bank, the tenant and the tax man

These three will immediately put their hand up to help you build a property portfolio. With reasonable capital/equity and income most banks will back you to buy investment property and with current interest rates so enticingly low, it’s really a no brainer. Add to that national population growth which equates to tenants never being too far away from knocking on your door needing a roof over their heads. They too, driven by their need for accommodation will assist with your property investment plan. Then of course there is the tax man. While he plays strictly to the rule-book there are still good tax incentives for owning investment property in New Zealand. All your related expenses are tax deductible and with owning investment property is also likely your overall taxable income will reduce too. This makes it even more attractive if you are pulling a reasonable income and are on a higher tax code.


Using somebody else’s money

Property is one of the few investments I know of that you can actually make money from debt. While if you are only buying property for capital growth reasons you may be disappointed with the short term growth rate, it is interesting to note that over the years property typically doubles in value every 7-10 years in New Zealand. Getting a return on little or no cash down is about as good as it gets and it is important to remember that capital growth is based on market value not the size of your mortgage.


Good debt – bad debt

This is probably the most profound advice my accountant has ever given me and I have never forgotten it! I still find myself applying this principle in business and investment decisions. In a nutshell, good debt is money borrowed for assets that appreciate in value, while bad debt is money borrowed for assets that decrease in value. For instance a car loses value the moment it is driven out of the showroom while real estate largely increases in value. It’s not that difficult to determine which will bring long term benefit. Remember this basic investment principle and you are well on track.


A mortgage can be great savings scheme

Paying a mortgage can often be better than paying into a saving scheme. One, it is compulsory, two, it doesn’t get bigger (smaller if you also pay off principal). Thirdly, the cost of the mortgage you are paying off is offset by the return you are getting on that money. With property yielding a much better return than term deposits, it makes total sense to keep or invest in real estate in this low inflation, low interest rate era.


Not a get rich quick scheme

Property has never been a get rich quick scheme and my experience is those that are normally implode before you get the time to check out their validity or typically don’t stand the test of time. As above, with national population growth placing increasing demand on housing stock and with no more land being made, unquestionably pressure will remain on available real estate. An investor with a steady hand on the tiller and focus on the distant horizon is unlikely to go wrong with a long term focus.


Christchurch ideal for property investment

Clearly in the post-quake rebuild phase greater Christchurch now has a property surplus. On the scale of larger cities throughout the country, Christchurch has some of the most affordable real estate currently available and it is my belief it will not be sustainable for this to remain at such levels for too much longer. It is also my professional opinion that as the current heart and vibe of the city continues to build it will sell itself both nationally and internationally resulting in strong attractive growth. Investing in Christchurch sooner than later makes total sense for the astute and those poised to take action. Personally, I plan to hold my local property portfolio as I strongly believe we are on the cusp of another growth phase, besides I am struggling to find anything better to sink my funds into.


Right now I’m thinking that investment in bricks and mortar is a better option than money in the bank.

Team Griff has long term experience in the property investment market and are happy to assist you with devising a plan to build your property portfolio. Coffee is a great place to start!

From Rags to Riches…

Rags to Riches

Talk about both ends of the property spectrum! Team Griff have just sold an earthquake-damaged flat in Waltham for $86,500 and a stunning architectural build in Waitikiri for a street record in excess of $1.3m – two Christchurch suburbs that are like chalk and cheese.

In both cases, assisting our owners to move forward with their lives for differing reasons is what makes this business so positively enjoyable. This sort of job satisfaction is hard to beat.

At Team Griff we pride ourselves with such versatility, having the skillset, systems and experience required to service a broad cross-section of both clientele and property.

For the cheapie in Waltham, it was a case of mucking in, digging deep into our 1,800 strong ‘as is, where is’ database of potential purchasers, not being too proud to do the hard yards of selling something that was rather undesirable. On the flipside, the $1.3m sale was one of my old neighbours simply touching base giving the heads up that they were intending to sell within the next twelve months. As it worked out we were working with a purchaser whose brief fitted the property perfectly – the rest being history. Needless to say, the owners were overjoyed with the result, let alone the convenience of not having to go to the open market with all the fanfare and intrusion of a full marketing campaign.

So whether your property is in the “rags” or “riches” basket (or somewhere in between) be sure to make contact, as there is a good chance we will be able to perform our magic for your situation and property too.

‘As Is, Where Is’ Market Update

Live Update- As Is Where Is Market (2)25 Foresters Crescent | Parklands
Inspections: 32
Bidders: 6
Sale price: $365,000 at auction
Vendor feedback:
“Good result today with the sale and appreciated the regular communication; a job well done.”

3 Kakariki Lane | Sumner/Clifton
Sale price:
$515,000 at auction
Vendor feedback:
“While it would be fair to say that ours was not the easiest of properties to sell Team Griff took on the challenge professionally, dug deep and produced several bidders on auction day. The result, a sale price that we were quite happy with.” 

‘As Is, Where Is’ current market comment

Numbers through open homes are still holding up and while some are feeling the brunt of lending institutions both tightening their belts and lending criteria, our owners are still benefiting from multiple parties bidding on the day. The large majority continuing to be sold under the hammer. Team Griff’s sizeable purchaser database of 1500+ “as is” purchasers is proving invaluable when it comes to getting these properties across the line in a firming market. To date with 246 sales under our belt home owners looking to sell can rest assured that they have an experienced team at the ready.
To have the peace of mind that your property has been fully exposed to the wider open market in order to achieve the best possible result.

Do contact us today for friendly chat and to explore the options available to you.
Keep warm,
Griff Signature Jpeg version

Why Christchurch houses have become more affordable


Chris Hutching at The Press reports:

New Zealand’s second biggest city, Christchurch, is bucking national house price trends because politicians and building firms acted urgently after the 2011 earthquakes.

The earthquakes destroyed up to an estimated 20,000 Christchurch homes (12,000 red zoned), and the near-complete task of rebuilding them means prices have plateaued even as the city returns to net population gain.

The demand scenario was similar to Auckland’s migrant influx but the response was different.

I’ve often commended the ‘powers that be’ for freeing up the housing supply in Christchurch, which has largely addressed our city’s housing shortage over the past five years. Median sale prices are steady (currently at $442,500 according REINZ) and rents are falling – quite the contrast from the frenzied market of 2012 and 2013.

“It will take some real effort in Auckland. Gerry (Brownlee, Earthquake Recovery Minister) was lucky because there were builders like Ngai Tahu ready to go,” former chief executive of Ngai Tahu Property, Tony Sewell, said.

What they face in Auckland are owners of paddocks who aren’t necessarily developers, and they’re not ready to go,” Sewell said.

Christchurch’s rebuild was also fast-tracked by district zoning enacted by Brownlee, using special earthquake legislative powers.

“At Prestons (a 2300-home subdivision in north east Christchurch) we were already so close to starting, the nudge Gerry gave was not substantial, but he closed the gap,” Sewell said.

“Now we’re reaching a balance of supply and demand and there’s a risk supply will outstrip demand,” Sewell said.

Co-author of the annual house affordability Demograhia survey, Hugh Pavletich, credits neighbouring councils Waimakariri and Selwyn for speed in granting building consents for towns such as Rangiora and Rolleston

This acted as a vent on prices in the wider region, he said.

I’m a firm believer that Christchurch provides great opportunities for those looking to secure good value for property. There remains healthy competition for properties in the highly sought-after locations (Merivale, Fendalton, Strowan), where premium prices are being achieved. However, there is also a solid inventory of entry-level properties under $450,000, giving first-home buyers plenty of attractive housing options. This is great enticement for buyers to pursue these opportunities and actively secure property!

Team Griff’s Summer Update

Summer 2016 Header

Summer – great for holidays, great for real estate!

It’s that time of the year when we bust out the beach gear, crank up the barbie, relax over a few beers and most importantly take some well-earned holidays!

From a real estate point of view summer is also a good time to sell too. The new year provides a unique window of opportunity that traditionally produces brisk trading and a high volume of sales. We at Team Griff are great supporters of this market and believe it provides one of the premium opportunities on the real estate calendar. If you haven’t already, be sure to talk to us now about strategising a plan to maximise this marketing window to your best advantage.

2016: Progressive – active – balanced

Taking a local snapshot of the 2016 Canterbury marketplace, it would be fair to conclude that it has been a progressively active and balanced market this last year, underpinned by a healthy local economy. 2017 is poised for a positive start and we predict market activity to be brisk from early January supported by a good volume of sales in the first quarter.

Market strong for buyers and sellers

Canterbury’s post-quake building boom continues to provide good choice and volume for purchasers. Property owners selling can also expect to benefit from positive market activity, as demand for housing remains steady yet strong. The region’s healthy economy enjoys a continued injection of capital which translates to more money per capita, directly benefiting the real estate market.

Market Indicators - Summer 2016

Click on image to enlarge.

Exciting growth in east continues

Following a busy year where we have seen the opening of the Burwood Hospital upgrade, the commissioning of several new primary schools and an all-out effort on roading and infrastructure, plus there’s more to come. Speaking to Avonside Girls’ principal Sue Hume at a recent senior school graduation it was inspiring to hear the excitement in her voice as planning for the new public private partnership (PPP) ramps up with the focus on breaking ground at the beginning of 2017’s second quarter. Not only does the system provide for greater hands on input, the resulting facilities are going to be far superior to what has been available in the past. Having this educational/public sports and recreation hub established on the former QEll site will unquestionably be a massive asset in the east for many years to come.

Take care while travelling

If you are anything like me you will be from one end of the country to the other over the festive season, so do take care on our roads in this busy time. Choose your time to travel and apply the “minimise the risk” principle when planning trips.

Enjoy this great time of the year and we look forward to again working with you for more positive real estate solutions in 2017.

Team Griff’s Winter Update

Winter 2016

2016: Strong and steady

Backing onto 2015, a year of continued high sales volume, the 2016 real estate market in Canterbury has started strongly with the first quarter showing that momentum continuing. With a local economy remaining flush from the post earthquake rebuild there are still good cash reserves being readily channeled into local real estate. However the overall activity in the local market is more tempered than that of previous years and purchaser’s are enjoying the luxury of more choice, especially in the fringe areas and the newly built spec home market. It is expected however, that volume will continue to be strong as purchaser confidence remains high and investment in Canterbury real estate is seen as desired and a sensible option.

Capital growth rates remain constant

The bigger picture of the Canterbury province clearly indicates that supply has now overtaken demand and largely the post-quake housing shortage has been soaked up by vigorous building over recent years. This has largely been driven by the supply and release of land into the fringe areas of the city with the expedited approval process of the subdivision of land by the local authorities. This has resulted in a larger supply which in turn has brought an easing on capital growth rates.

Canterbury real estate likely to remain affordable

Full credit to the powers that be at the CCC and surrounding district councils, CERA and ECAN etc who post-quake moved swiftly to approval land for development. With such an injection of readily available land into the greater Canterbury market/residential rebuild has inevitably resulted in a leveling in capital grow rates over the previous 12-18months. Ultimately this will provide a more affordable housing market moving forward. This already is having a spin off effect on values in several sectors of the Canterbury marketplace and in our opinion will avoid a “Auckland type market” where limited land availability continues to drive housing values to record levels. With an abundance of flat readily available land on the outskirts of the city it is unlikely that we here in Canterbury will run out of land in the foreseeable future!

‘As is, where is’ market continues to perform

Having just reached a new milestone of 180 sales of “as is where is” property Team Griff continues to produce solid results, achieving a 95% success rate under the hammer and to date since the inception of this market having sold every property but one. In most instances higher than expected sale prices have also been achieved, where healthy competition has fueled such results. Do talk to us for a no strings chat if you need to explore the options available to you.

New secondary schools a boost for the east

With a state of the art shared campus planned, this will to be a huge asset for the East/North Eastern suburbs and will contribute to underpinning real estate values moving forward beyond the post-quake economic bubble. Click here to read more.

Healthy balanced market likely

All things being equal, it is my opinion that the remainder of 2016s residential market will continue to forge ahead, riding on the back of purchaser confidence, low interest rates and a flush local economy.  With the CBD tracking well and key cornerstone projects evolving, the commercial market is beginning to underpin the bigger picture of both the rebuild and investor confidence.

Team approach key to success

With Team Griff now being a tight knit team of five, you can rest assured that your needs will be met swiftly and efficiently. Whether if is a general enquiry, or simply checking on an open home time through to an appointment to have your home appraised, our systemised approach will mean your enquiry can be dealt with on the spot. At the recent Harcourts Gold awards, taking out the # 4 spot, the Customer Services Award plus the Auctioneers’ Excellence Award was great validation that the team are each playing their part in providing a high level of service to our clientele.

Griff and the team

Housing demand pushes price growth in eastern suburbs


Liz McDonald at The Press reports:

House values are booming in Christchurch’s beach suburbs as buyers increasingly opt for coastal homes.

In a growing trend that began late last year, real estate values along the New Brighton coast have been rising faster than anywhere else in the city.

According to the latest report from Quotable Value, the Christchurch suburb with the fastest-rising values in the past year was South New Brighton (8 per cent), followed by North New Brighton (7.3 per cent) and then Central New Brighton (7 per cent).

While I wouldn’t go as far as to say the seaside suburbs are ‘booming’, the market out east for entry-level homes has been very active. This is mainly attributable to a variety of different factors: historically low interest rates, recent KiwiSaver incentives, and significant capital investment in the area. New Brighton and its neighbouring suburbs have been identified by first-home buyers as providing good value for money and a family-friendly lifestyle.

Quotable Value figures showed the city’s cheaper suburbs had also seen strong price growth as first home buyers got into the market.

Other areas with good growth in values were the suburbs of Wainoni (7 per cent), Southshore (5.9 per cent), Aranui (5.6 per cent), Lyttelton (4.6 per cent), and Phillipstown (4.4 per cent).

It’s also worth noting that these suburbs took a reasonable hit post-quake, with the rebuild taking a bit longer to take hold in the years that have followed. In addition to the factors outlined above, I suggest that this recent uptick in median prices is at least partly attributable to this delayed recovery.

Anecdotally, the ‘as is’ market appears to be one of fits and starts, with buyers enjoying a greater selection of properties as insurance companies ramp up their cash settlements before the end of the financial year. However, where buyers perceive an offering as particularly rare, premium results are often achieved. Earlier this month, an ‘as is’ property in Somerfield had over 50 groups inspect and 10 bidders attend the auction, resulting in a premium price for our sellers.

All in all, I believe this stabilised Christchurch property market provides great opportunities for both buyers and sellers alike. Proceed with confidence!

What you need to know about the government’s KiwiSaver changes


The government’s KiwiSaver support package for first home buyers came into effect on 1 April. It’s intended that this will help 90,000 lower and middle income people into home ownership over the next five years. As house prices continue to increase relative to incomes, these changes will go some way into keeping the Kiwi dream of home ownership alive. Continue reading

Christchurch property update – supply eases market

supply-demandTypical New Year vigour has spurred the market into action with prospective purchaser’s circulating in good numbers who generally are not holding back to secure that right property once identified. It is also fair to say that along with buyers being out in force, sellers have also moved up a cog, wasting no time to put their homes on the market following the festive season. As a consequence there is a large quantity of quality housing on the market which inevitably provides plenty of choice for buyers. Feedback from the buying public supports that they are being a little more selective, making comments like: “but the one down the road…”, “we’d be happy to make an offer but… or “I wouldn’t pay that in this location…” Such comments are much rarer when supply is low.

Listings – 2 to 1…
Heading into the February as I look at our Parklands branch office listing board new listings are exactly double to the number of sales – a trend that was even more pronounced in January. Time will tell but already I am noticing some properties are requiring more attention and focus to ensure that they get noticed and generate enquiry, not to mention foot traffic. With higher numbers it is easier to get lost in the crowd.

Buyers enjoy choice…
For a change purchasers are relishing having more choice, being able to make comparisons and not having to make a decision on the spot in the fear of missing out. More choice means more time and while a seller is always keen to secure a sale quickly with minimal inconvenience, there are signs that buyers are enjoying a bit more bargaining power than they’ve had in recent times. You’ve probably heard me say it before: “like kids in the lolly shop, buyers can’t make up their mind because they’re spoilt for choice”.

Great time to buy…
If in fact these are the early signs of an easing property market, this clearly spells opportunity for buyers, who can purchase their next home or investment in a more temperate market, make a more educated decision and hopefully not having pay an over inflated price.

Yes, now is the right time to get serious about moving your property buying plans into the next gear!

Bright economic outlook for Canterbury


With an annual growth-rate of 6.2%, the outlook is looking bright for Canterbury as the rebuild progresses.

The ASB Cantometer, an indicator designed to capture the pick-up in Canterbury activity as the earthquake rebuild progresses, remained steady at 1 (zero indicates the level of activity prior to the earthquakes) for the fourth consecutive month in November. Encouragingly, recent data showed a strong rebound in building consents after a flat patch. Other data have been more mixed. Here are some snippets from ASB’s report:

Over recent months we have focused a lot on building consent issuance, which appeared to have plateaued. We were concerned whether the cause was merely a temporary blip or emerging bottlenecks. Encouragingly, the data for September showed a strong rebound in consent issuance. In fact Stats NZ reported that the 599 new dwellings consented in the month was the highest recorded monthly total for the region.

For now, it remains too early to judge the impact of the RBNZ’s new ‘speed limits’ on high-LVR mortgage lending. The RBNZ will closely monitor any impacts on construction. In a sign that some of the pressure within the Canterbury housing market may be easing, there has been a lift in fresh home listings over the last couple of months.

The outlook for Canterbury remains very bright. Data suggested that growth in construction may have leveled off around the middle of the year, but more recent evidence suggests that activity may be starting to accelerate once again. There are also tentative signs that supply constraints in the housing market may be starting to ease.

I’m quietly optimistic about what 2014 has in store for Christchurch. While it mightn’t be entirely smooth sailing, the sheer amount of money and resources being poured into the garden city will ensure it remains to be a major economic powerhouse for some time to come.