Daily Archives: November 22, 2008

A Perfect Storm for Home Buyers

This is how Bernard Hickey described the present situation in the last few days on the TV1 programme, CloseUp.

Nelson/Marlborough one of 3 big improvers.

Just out, the Wizard Home Loans October Affordability Index report stated that the biggest improvements in home loan affordability were in Auckland, Waikato – Bay of Plenty and Nelson/Marlborough.

With interest rates falling and expected to do so again on Dec 4th, plus assistance from tax cuts meaning wages growth and some help at the fuel pumps too, consumers have seen housing affordability improve to its best level since May 2006, says the report.

Commenting on TV1 in the last few days, Bernard Hickey, co-author of the Wizard Index Report, said “we work out the cost of the mortgage on a home compared to the percentage of after tax pay required to pay it, and what the latest report shows is that percentage has dropped, for first home buyers, to close to 50% from well over 70% a year or so ago, so that’s getting towards an area where its not so painful for first home buyers to get into the market.”

Google Street View Can Entertain

The countdown to the introduction of Googles “Street View” to New Zealand is well under way, and hopefully, should be here by the end of 2008.

As I said earlier it will be a fantastic resource for buyers of Real Estate in NZ.

What would happen if you knew the exact date and time the Camera Car was arriving on your street.

On May 3rd 2008, artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley invited the Google Inc. Street View team and residents of Pittsburgh’s Northside to collaborate on a series of tableaux along Sampsonia Way. Neighbors, and other participants from around the city, staged scenes ranging from a parade and a marathon, to a garage band practice, a seventeenth century sword fight, a heroic rescue and much more…

Street View technicians captured 360-degree photographs of the street with the scenes in action and integrated the images into the Street View mapping platform. This first-ever artistic intervention in Google Street View made its debut on the web in November of 2008.

The minds behind the project explain more on the Street with a view website.

Theres some videos about it on the link above.

And if you are challenged with patience today, you can shortcut the system and go here to view the individual scenes. I only saw 9 the first time.

Wonder how many Kiwi’s will be holding up a sign or something just as weird in a NZ location?


The Longest Bar in the World – Part 2

Farewell Spit is the longest natural sandbar in the world.

Only the first 4km is accessable, beyond that you need to take a tour with one of the DOC licenced operators here. There are also specific lighthouse tours.

The original lighthouse, a wooden one, was constructed in 1869, and its believed was first lit in 1870. And like all lighthouses in modern day NZ, it has now become automated.

Administered by the New Zealand Department of Conservation as a sea bird and wild life reserve, the Spit is under review for World Heritage status.

In the early years the lighthouse site had no vegetation and windblown sand was an ongoing problem for the keepers. Then one clever keeper organised for small loads of soil to be delivered with the mail. He planted a windbreak of macrocarpa pines which are still there to this day. The pines protect the station from the shifting sands and provide a daylight landmark for passing ships.

Just before the Spit at Cape Farewell is where you will spot the rugged cliffs. Around some of the rocky outcrops you’ll also spot seals basking in the sun.

Just another day trip to go on, & marvel at mother nature when you live in the Nelson region.