We look back on a big, successful year and reveal our most popular stories; announce expanded coverage for 2018

2017 has been another great year for us.

We delivered more than 3,000 original stories from our team of journalists and contributors.

We were visited by more than 1.9 million "unique readers" who dialed up 6.6 million sessions reading almost 16 million pages of content. All of these metrics were new all-time records for us.

Actually our 'unique reader' data is by IP address so it probably double counts readers who access our content using multiple devices.

But it is still a good proportion of New Zealand's online adult population and more than half of them came at least once in the year to use our content and resources.

This year our journalists distinguished themselves. Gareth Vaughan won the Canon Media Award for Business Journalist of the Year. He also won Business Commentary category at the NZSA Business Journalism Awards. And at those same awards, Jenée Tibshraeny won the Business News category. We should also note that Jason Walls of NBR won the Young Business Journalist award - and he subsequently agreed to join our team in 2018.

2017 of course featured the election campaign and we gave it our unique coverage. Not only were our stories of the economic issues well received, our policy comparatives were a real hit - which, given the much wider adoption by other media outlets of this type of assessment, was something of a pleasant surprise. Alex Tarrant did such a good job with his insightful coverage and analysis, newly-elected Finance Minister Grant Robertson promptly pinched him for a senior role in his office. We were sad to see him go but he went with our best wishes.

2018 will be special too. A new set of public policy makers with a different agenda will need to be followed closely. Jason Walls will be in Parliament and on the case. A three-headed coalition wrestling with Winston's ego may well make for a lively time in Wellington. You will get all the economic implication here, first.

2018 may also be a key transition year of the future of work as it is radically challenged by AI, technology, and the blockchain. We will be on these stories as well with unique coverage.

We appreciate your support of our live-and-free service, and we wish everyone Happy Holidays and good weather where ever you are.

Although most of our staff are taking a break as well, we will have daily updates and some unique content in our regular style.

International financial markets may get 'interesting' in January and we will be covering that and what it means for New Zealand.

In the meantime, here are the fifteen stories that readers read the most in 2017:

#15. Shamubeel Eaqub calling out Government failures that led to an undersupply of 500,000 homes over 30 years, and rising societal gaps as social housing was ignored
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/86930/shamubeel-eaqub-rails-against-govt-failures-led-undersupply-500000-homes-over-30

#14. Our June report of the REINZ results
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/88770/winters-icy-grip-takes-hold-housing-market-prices-and-volumes-fall

#13. The Government's April tightening of skilled migrant criteria
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/87182/govt-announces-skilled-migrant-median-pay-requirement-sit-alongside-qualification-and

#12. Westpac's Boxing Day report that the average mortgage borrower is 8 months ahead in their mortgage repayments
https://www.interest.co.nz/news/91506/almost-two-thirds-kiwi-homeowners-mortgages-are-average-eight-months-ahead-their

#11. Kiwibank's economists probe whether the housing boom is turning to a bust or has just hit a temporary bump in the road
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/90533/kiwibanks-economists-probe-whether-housing-boom-turning-bust-or-has-just-hit

#10. Our report of ANZ and BNZ making mortgage rate changes in November
https://www.interest.co.nz/news/90885/new-zealands-biggest-home-loan-lender-signals-more-aggressive-market-position-two-lower

#9. Craig Ebert's July warning that media reports on lower house prices could be self-fulfilling
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/88710/bnz-economists-say-recent-media-coverage-declining-auckland-house-prices-could-prove

#8. Tony Alexander calling the rising Auckland house price cycle 'over' in October
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/90209/bnz-chief-economist-tony-alexander-says-aucklands-rising-house-price-cycle-over-sees

#7. Our April REINZ sales review
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/87666/median-house-prices-slipped-11-regions-last-month-set-record-highs-five-auckland

#6. Our review of an October Barfoot auction where buyers showed heightened caution
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/91305/lack-bidding-barfoot-thompsons-latest-auction-shows-buyers-are-becoming-extremely

#5. Greg Ninness's October Auckland apartment auction review where everything was passed in
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/90576/auckland-was-city-no-sales-weeks-main-apartment-auctions-where-everything-was-passed

#4. Our September 23 election night coverage
https://www.interest.co.nz/news/89970/election-2017-we-bring-you-key-updates-nights-coverage-comments-are-back-share-your

#3. Greg Ninness's December view that 'something's got to give'
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/91193/price-pressure-building-auckland-housing-market-and-sooner-or-later-something-has

#2. Our report of the July REINZ results
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/89274/house-prices-are-tumbling-main-centres-volume-homes-being-sold-takes-dive

#1. Greg Ninness's March story warning of the end of housing capital gains in Auckland
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/86771/auckland-housing-market-verge-losing-all-capital-gains-it-made-last-12-months

To be in our top 15 this year, a story had to be read more than 10,000 times, +20% more than in 2016. Our top story was read more than 28,000 times.

Interestingly, our #1 story for 2017 was only our 19th most popular page. It was well below the 546,370 people who used our term deposit rate pages over the year (and the total views were much more than that of course because readers kept coming back for updates). Many of our regular resources like our dairy industry payout history page, auction results, bonds data, and farms for sale pages, as examples, all were far more popular than most stories. Your ability to dig into the data behind the news is what makes us special.

Enjoy your holiday break. See you again in 2018.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment or click on the "Register" link below a comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current Comment policy is here.

12 Comments

12 of the top 15 stories are related to property. Suggests that something is very wrong.

... heartily agree there ... something has been seriously wrong with the supply of accommodation in NZ for decades ... and both sides of the political divide are culpable for sitting on their hands so long ...

But for me , one of the biggest stories of 2017 was the rise of cryptocurrencies , Bitcoin in particular ... that puppy rose from $US 1000 apiece to somewhere near $US 20 000 .... a mania if ever there was one ...

... and I wonder if this is an echo of the internet .com boom in the late 1990's ....

Have the world's central banks got it horribly wrong , and allowed cheap money to flood the system ... fuelling speculative bubbles ...

... which brings us rather nicely back to the Kiwi housing market ... $NZ 1 Million for an average clapped out W/B do-it-upper on 700 m sq with no floorboards in Orc Land ? .... ah ha haaa haaaa de haaaaaaaaaaaaa !

It's the land they be buying.

This is what has happened to a domestic accommodation industry employing locals and ploughing profits back into the local economy - until the big-fleecers came to town - Michael West is having a go at it - dont see anything happening locally - do you?

What Booking.com the online travel giant owes Australia
https://www.michaelwest.com.au/booking-com-what-the-online-travel-giant-...

The link from number one goes to different story.

hmmm. sorry. Fixed now.

Thought you should know. Feel free to delete the comment and, if you're in Nelson ever, then do feel free to get in touch and I'll buy you a beer at the Sprig and Fern.

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10

Interest.co.nz is worth its weight in gold / bitcoin / dairy futures etc……

I’m so grateful to have free access to this – the articles are so well considered, the writers so passionate.

And of course the comments – many of which I learn from – and some others are just so ridiculously funny and clever they leave me for dead.

I concur, it is the first site I recommend to friends & family who are on the out with NZ Herald and others due to invasive marketing and poor journalism that those sites are now well known for. If it were not for family position and future, (of which would be too bleak to detail) I would happily donate to the site. The humour and education of the audience & commenters is good where even the crafted pseudo identities are fun to read, consider and learn from. On many articles the article is so well documented with references that it feels like it is not a news site any more as many news sites have descended so much into unresearched advertising and clickbait that a comparison to them seems inappropriate. The actual data & information is succinct without an over designed interface so that navigation and site functionality is straightforward, (not a lot of flat design and unworkable menus now prevalent to sites like NZ Herald which make whole sections unreadable). Hence the data can be actually found, categorised and absorbed easily on multiple sites, (even historic articles are available, a huge resource to any media site that costs nothing to continue to allow access). The charts & stats inclusion are a welcome feature. If anything it is broadening to a market more around a financially educated & industry focused public, rather than dumbing down with clickbait to a lowest common denominator joe bloggs (no celebrity boob pics or rugby star shots here). Which given the increase of technical tools & higher reliance on trusted sources for online media would be ideal to pick up the next gen for an audience. The marketing channels are interesting as many companies would benefit from this site. So those included and where & how they are included shows a depth of integrity that is rare nowadays.

(P.S. Sorry for sounding morose been listening to For the Damaged Coda on loop a lot as partner loves Rick and Morty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsliIssUHgw).

Congratulations, Gareth.

Sorry I missed the gong you got but it is well deserved. I have a strong interest in the machinations of local government and its impact on property pricing. From my perspective Gareth is one of only two journalists in all of NZ who understand why Auckland residents pay more for housing than their counterparts in London, New York or Tokyo. (The other is Bernard Hickey although I would call his arrival as slightly later than Gareth's - but who cares?).

Interest.co.nz's coverage of the property market is strong but it's ability to also deliver "so what" analysis (courtesy mainly of Gareth) sets it apart from all other media outlets. And I mean "all".

Second this. Local Gubmint suffers from four ailments, none fixable easily:
1 - a dearth of talent at the elected level: it attracts grandstanders and political wannabes, not a good combination when steady hands at the tiller are needed.
2 - a dearth, drought, even, of economic nous at the staff level. Time =Munny is the most obvious missing concept. And the combination of the Peter principle, strong unions, and well-honed brown-nosing ensures a job for life.
3 - a monopoly on local governance. There is literally no alternatives to dealing with the local dopes. As my old economics lecturer used to quip, Monopoly is a Bad Thang, unless you happen to Own one.
4 - Compulsorily acquired revenue, which allows the accounts to float free of local economic conditions and makes staff isolated from debtor concerns. Helpful if the revenue is used wisely and for long term objectives as well as BAU. But history suggests this is a rare beast...

Insightful. And I'd add:

1 - there should be a pre-qualifying test on the legislation that they will be governing under with a set minimum pass rate before such time as a person can stand as a candidate. Anecdotally, a general observation of mine is that many elected officials know nothing of the laws they are governing under - and hence, they simply rubber stamp everything that the CEO and officials tell them.

2 - yes, but only a handful of staff (i.e., planners, ED advisors and CEOs) need knowledge of the economics discipline. The larger portion of analytical and mathematical-type work is accounting.

3 - a lot of the services have been privatised or outsourced (i.e., rubbish collection, road construction/maintenance), but the reticulated services (water and waste) cannot be provided by other than a monopoly to my mind.

4 - Really good point. That just needs better governance/decision-making by elected representatives. Problem with so many councils is debt and with those high debt loads there is little prospect of reducing rates. Not impossible in the longer term but very difficult in the short term.