Archive for the 'Pt Chev News' Category

Merry Christmas!

                 
Merry Christmas to all the regular visitors to realestate.co.nz, to all the buyers and sellers we have assisted in 2008 and to all our past clients that we have enjoyed working with since 1995. Your ongoing support, repeat business and referalls are much appreciated.

2008 started off very busy for us with an exceptional January and first two weeks of February then about seven weeks into the year the housing market took a huge dip in volume then remained at  low levels, pretty much flatlined until December as can be seen in this graph  showing REINZ sales volume statistics.

So this has clearly been the worst year the NZ housing market has seen for a very long time, however low interest rates seem to have resulted in a surge of activity during December right up until Christmas Eve. Quite incredible that the phone is still ringing even this afternoon and we already have appointments lined up for the days between Christmas and New Year. We even listed two homes since the weekend which will commence marketing from the 4th of January.

It will be very interesting to see what happens with the NZ housing market in 2009 – will the volume graph be even lower or will there be a sharp increase in activity spurred on by very low interest rates? What impact would the possibility of say fixed interest rates in the 5% to 5.5% range have on buyer motivation? Will house prices stabilise? Or will those predicting a 30% price drop from peak be proved correct? Will many owners take their homes off the market and stay put now that they can afford to through refinancing at lower interest rates? Will the massive drop in new home construction put pressure back on the exisiting housing stock? Will unemployment outweigh the benefit of lower interest rates? Will investors re-enter the market now that interest rates mean cashflow positive properties are available again?

We will never know the answers to these questions until we get through the first 6 months of 2009 but the feeling right now is that the summer at least is looking pretty positive. The catch however is that sellers have to be extremely realistic about pricing their home to meet the market – there is no question that prices obtainable now are well down on peak prices seen in 2007 and it is likely to remain a buyers market for some time to come.

It will be a long time before we will see capital gains at the rate seen in the 2002 to 2005 period but for those that do buy a home in 2009 the combination of lower prices, lower interest rates, tax cuts and improved affordability will make the whole home ownership goal seem more worthwhile.

In the past quick capital gains were a key reason for people buying homes but in the current environment a purchasing decision will tend to revolve more around buying a home you will enjoy living in, are able to say you is yours rather than the landlords and paying off the mortgage principal as quickly as practical while interest rates are low will be a high priority for many.

Once again Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2009

Cheers

Ross Brader, Tanya Brader, Lawrence von Sturmer
Professionals Real Estate – Pt Chevalier Branch
64 9  8468996
www.sellrealty.co.nz

December 24 2008 | Pt Chev News | No Comments »

Housing Loan Approvals Surge in December

and 45%  of people surveyed by ASB Bank say it’s a good time to buy a house!

Alan Bollard’s latest move has sent house buyers scurrying on to the market to finalise deals on properties.

Housing loan approvals jumped 30.6 per cent in the week to December 12 to 9,314, the highest weekly number since June 2007 when the housing boom was at its peak.  The value of housing loans approved leapt 33.7 per cent to NZ$1.032 billion, the highest level since the second to last week of December last year.

This was the first week after the Reserve Bank’s 150 basis point cut in the Official Cash Rate and the first week after 6 month fixed mortgage rates fell to 7 per cent.

Also the ASB Bank say home buyers are the most optimistic they’ve been since 2003. A net 24% of respondents thought that now was a good time to buy, with a net 25% expecting interest rates to fall further.

This compares with a net 9% who thought now was a good time to buy in the previous survey for the three months to July and a net 55% who expected further house price falls. “An expectation for lower interest rates are likely to be feeding into the belief now is a good time to buy a house,” ASB Chief Economist Nick Tuffley said.

“Falling petrol prices will also free up cash for servicing mortgages, as will October’s and next April’s tax cuts,” Tuffley said.  A total 45% of respondents thought that now was a good time to buy, with 21% saying it was a bad time.

Compliments of interest.co.nz

December 18 2008 | Pt Chev News | 1 Comment »

Carols at Twilight – Pt Chevalier

This Sunday 21st of December from 6 – 7.30pm “Carols @ Twilight” will be held in Pt Chevalier School grounds, which are located in Te Ra Road, with carol singing from 6pm to 7.30pm. Bring along a picnic dinner and enjoy the festivities.

Our local office makes a donation each year to support the event along with the Auckland City Council Western Bays Community Board.

After you have attended the Carols @ Twilight take the family along to Miller Street to view the fabulous display of Christmas Lights

 

December 16 2008 | Pt Chev News | No Comments »

Christmas Lights in the news!

Our Christmas Lights in Pt Chevalier appeared in the Harbour News today and on the Stuff website which will mean traffic jams on Miller Street for several nights! We have also put a video clip of some of the local homes online and you can read an earlier post and look at photos of homes here.

December 12 2008 | Pt Chev News | No Comments »

The holiday season is a great time to sell your home!

If you’ve been wondering whether or not to list your home for sale before Christmas here are some reasons why selling in the holidays can be beneficial and in fact often easier than any other time:

  • Inspections can usually be done by appointment and you can ask your salesperson to give you at least a days notice of inspections so that they fit in with your schedule.
  • Possession date is usually set down for February or early March when you are back at work and the kids are back at school. You can pretty much dictate the possession terms.
  • Many Kiwis return to NZ early in January and one of the first things they do is start looking for a home in fact most years in our office we sell one or two homes between Christmas and New Year.
  • Buyers who look during the holiday season are motivated and not just kicking the tyres. The fact they have to make an appointment rather than just rolling up to an open home shows they are committed.
  • Less competition from other homes for sale means you have a better chance of selling during the holiday season.
  • Many people start thinking about looking for a new home straight after Christmas and will begin surfing the web looking for homes so you need yours to be listed and online during that period.
  • Why wait and compete with the huge volume of new listings that always hit the market in February?

In total last December/January over 11,000 homes sold throughout New Zealand, that’s more than 180 per day, so why not put your house on the market now and be one of the thousands that will sell this holiday season!

December 10 2008 | Pt Chev News | No Comments »

10 Good Reasons To Buy Now!

  1. Interest rates have dropped to levels not seen for years. It is now possible to obtain a mortgage rate as low as 6.49% fixed for 12 months and rates are predicted to go even lower.
  2. House prices are now 6.8% lower than they were a year ago according to Quotable Value who many believe are the most reliable source of house sales data.
  3. There are a lot of homes to choose from right now but many people may now take their properties off the market as they can now afford to stay put due to lower interest rates.
  4. If you are looking for a home to live in you will soon be competing with rental investors again as lower interest rates make rental investments more desirable.
  5. If you buy in December you can usually ask for a possession date in February or March as most people do not want to move out during the holiday season. The advantage of this is that you will most probably be able to secure an even lower interest rate by the time you pay for the house.
  6. Many Kiwis return to NZ in January so buying now means you avoid competing with those purchasers who will be in a more powerful position as they will gain extra Kiwi dollars on the exchange rate.
  7. Buying counter cyclical when you have less people competing for homes means you will be able to strike a better deal.
  8. Motivated sellers want their homes sold before Christmas so your cheeky offer may just get more consideration right now.
  9. Tax cuts and increasing wages will mean more buyers in the New Year so why wait and compete with them when you could have a better opportunity now?
  10. Latest BNZ confidence survey shows a marked improvement and housing affordabilty surveys show the same. The longer you wait the more chance that you will have to compete with a larger pool of buyers for a smaller pool of homes.

So get out there, have a look at some homes, make an offer and see if you can secure a price, possession date and interest rate that works in your favour.

December 10 2008 | Pt Chev News | No Comments »

Pt Chevalier Beach Looks Incredible!

As you can see in these photos with high tide around 3pm on Sunday the beach at Pt Chevalier was packed with people enjoying the fabulous new Pakiri sand that has transformed the beach into one of the best in the central Auckland area.

This was probably the best test of the new beach since the sand was pumped from the barges located off shore and it looks like it will be very popular over the summer months.

Click the photos to see bigger versions.

If you’ve never been to Pt Chevalier Beach then it is well worth adding to your list of summer leisure destinations. The grassy Reserve provides shelter from the sun under the magnificent pohutakwas and a short distance away is Coyle Park where there is a childrens playground and where concerts are held in January and February.   

Check out the tides here and plan your visit when it is about two hours before high tide as this is when the beach is at it’s best. If you would like to live within walking distance of the beach take a look in our office window at 338 Pt Chevalier Rd – there may be something there that could be of interest.

The following are shots taken when the re-sand operation was underway:
Click the photos to see bigger versions.

December 08 2008 | Pt Chev News | No Comments »

QV Data shows house price stabilises in year to November!

Signs are emerging that the worst could be over for the housing market, sales figures from Quotable Value show. QV data for the year ended November 2008 now show price drops have started to level off. Auckland values were down 7.4 per cent, a slight recovery from 7.7 per cent in the year to October.
Glenda Whitehead of QV says buyer interest seems to have increased in most areas of Auckland. “This increased activity is much later than usual, but we welcome a summer surge given that spring had no bounce.”

Buyers are trying to secure a bargain, with a high proportion of mortgagee sales setting price benchmarks in some areas of the market, such as parts of the central apartment market, she says. “Buyers are able to test vendor reaction by presenting low offers, if accepted this effectively caps market values for everyone.”

With many owners deciding to rent their properties, rather than sell at unagreeable levels, properties are staying vacant for longer due to increased supply and tenant choice. As a result, rental prices are expected to fall in the next quarter, she says.

December 08 2008 | Pt Chev News | No Comments »

Peaks, troughs and fence sitters…

It’s going to be interesting to see when the big switch will be flicked back on – that is what will it take for the wave of people who cashed up at or near the peak to get off the fence and jump back into the market.

How low will interest rates need to go and what price drop will Quotable Value have to publish before we finally see a surge of buying activity?

Nobody can pick the top or the botttom of a market - Warren Buffet one of the world’s wealthiest men says “be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful” – ie the time to buy is when nobody else is.

We now expect a couple of our current listings to withdraw from sale – they are able to relax now with the new low interest rates. I suspect that many people who have been under pressure will now take their homes off the market and rental investors will be able to hold onto their rentals. So there is a very strong possibility that there will be less homes to choose from once the fence sitters move back into the market.

Many owners who may have been about to reduce their asking prices may now not need to do this. I agree that nobody can really pick it but the odds are now moving back in favour of owners and sellers.

Many have already got sick of waiting for the big 30% price drop and re-purchased as they have only seen a drop of around 7% in a twelve month period. If the right home comes along and it represents great value then the attitude is let’s go for it.

NZ has one big advantage over the rest of the world in that we see what happens overseas and due to a lag it takes a while to hit us but by the time it hits we are already in a position to act thereby softening the impact.

We are actually lucky in NZ that we have had very high interest rates as it has given Allan Bollard plenty of room to cut rates and stimulate the economy unlike other countries that started out from a far lower base interest rate level. We may have had the highest interest rates in the Western economies for the last few years but it now turns out that this was a good thing.

Page 8 of Tony Alexanders Weekly Economic report is worth reading.

Kiwis have a very strong desire to own their own homes and that is unlikely to change. Right now we have the following key factors to consider:

House prices
There is no doubt that they have come down across NZ but according to Quotable Value (the most reliable source) the drop is less than 7%. Housing affordability has improved massively in recent weeks tempting more buyers to act.

Interest Rates
Right now you can get a rate as low as 6.49% fixed for a year after which you should be able to re-fix lower. Alternatively buy a home now with a possession date in February and it may be possible to get a rate of as little as 5.75%. The best move at present is probably to float for a while and fix later.

Cash Rate
Economists are now picking that the official cash rate will be as low as 3.5% within 6 months which should see mortgage rates go as low as 5% to 5.5% maybe lower!

Rent vs Buy
Once rates of 5% are available we will have the unusual situation of owning being cheaper than renting as a median house purchase of $335,000 with a 20% deposit would cost around $257 per week or $86 per room for a 3 bedroom house. Try finding a rental property if you have two young kids and a dog!

The 20% deposit myth
It is still possible to buy a home without a 20% deposit – not all banks have taken this move. Also possible to arrange a shared equity loan with the government and a Welcome Home Loan through Housing NZ. If you have good jobs and a stable income it is still possible to borrow 95% or 100%

Cost of Living
The speculative oil bubble has burst and we now have petrol prices well down on the peak price. Other commodities are dropping and this will also ease the burden on the household budget.

Income Taxes
Tax cuts have put more money in the average Kiwi’s pocket and more cuts are due in the new year.

Exchange Rate
Kiwi’s coming home now get significantly more NZD$ when they convert their foreign currency. In fact a Kiwi coming back from the USA with say $200,000 USD$ now gets $370,000 at an exchange rate of 0.54 compared with $250,000 a few months ago when the rate was 0.80. That’s a huge difference!

Our exporters are also having a field day with the current exchange rate boosting incomes and profits.

Unemployment
It has not gone below 3.4% and is now at 3.9%. Prediction is that it could go to 6% but that will still leave 94% of the workforce employed.

So I feel we will soon see a wave of activity as the fence sitters can no longer resist the urge to buy a home, taking advantage of lower house prices, lower interest rates, lower taxes, lower petrol etc - summer is going to be a very interesting test of the fence sitters patience!

This earlier post is also worth a read.

December 05 2008 | Pt Chev News | 4 Comments »

Reserve Bank Slashes Cash Rate by 1.5%

Wow – that is absolutely incredible news! The official cash rate is now only 5% almost down to the lowest point since the currency was floated. That’s the biggest single rate cut since the OCR was introduced!

Anyone thinking of buying a home, currently owning a home and facing refixing and rental investors will all think this is fantastic! The doom and gloomers waiting for the big price drops have now got to make a big call – buy now or wait and in fact risk seeing prices go up!

A quote from an economist “”As a result mortgage rate cuts are set to flow through to the average homeowner far more quickly than rate increases did over the last few years.”

This should see the phones ringing hot with mortgage rates expected to tumble buyers will need to get in quick before pressure goes back on house prices.  People who were waiting for a flood of properties to hit the market due to home owners and investors having to refinance at a high rate will now be very disappointed as at last existing borrowers will be rolling off on to lower rates than they have been paying.

Who would have thought 9 months ago when interest rates were looking like tracking over 10% that people would now be able to refinance potentially at rates as low as 6% if the banks do the right thing and slash their mortgage rates immediately.

Just take a close look at that graph – the official cash rate is now back to levels last seen in 2003 – who would have predicted this in 2007! This data from the Reserve Bank shows the lowest it has ever been is 4.5% in 1999 and it is almost certain to be cut again in January 2009 probably to that same low level.

Many owners will now take their homes off the market as they will be able to afford to stay put and this should also impact on supply of homes – so those buyers who have been waiting for the market to drop lower than the 6.8% that Quotable Value says they have dropped in the last 12 months may actually never see the 15% to 30% drops that some commentators predicted earlier in the year.

When those predictions were made it was assumed that interest rates would remain high and put pressure on those that were refinancing and coming off rates under 7.5%. That fear has now been eliminated in one fell swoop by the Reserve Bank.

Think about it people – taxes are down, more tax cuts to come, petrol is well down due to the bursting of the speculative oil bubble, interest rates for mortgages look like they could go well under the 6% barrier at some point in the next three months, low exchange rate means Kiwi’s coming back from overseas get more NZD$ for their foreign currency and our exporters will have a field day. 

Yes I have heard unemployment may get to 6% but 94% of the workforce will still be employed!

Within minutes of the rate cut annnouncement I had calls from buyers wanting to look at homes in their lunch hour today – we haven’t been getting many weekday appointments lately so this rate cut has had an immediate impact.

Allan Bollard – thank you for this cash rate cut Christmas present!

December 04 2008 | Pt Chev News | 2 Comments »

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