Residential auction activity up 79% versus this time last year

Residential auction activity up 79% versus this time last year

The number of residential properties being auctioned is already running close to the peak levels of last summer.

Interest.co.nz monitored 313 residential property auctions around the country in the week from 14-20 September.

That was up 41% compared to the 222 auctions monitored the previous week (7-13 September), and up by 79% compared to the equivalent week of last year (18-24 September 2019) when interest.co.nz monitored just 175 auctions.

But just as tellingly, the number of auctions monitored last week was more than in the week of 18-24 November last year, which was in the middle of the pre-Christmas summer selling season. It was also getting close to the 363 monitored at the peak of last summer's selling season (2-8 March 2020) before the country went into the Level 4 pandemic lockdown.

That suggests summer has arrived early for the real estate market this year.

Sales levels are also running hot, with sales achieved on 222 of the 313 properties at last week's auctions, giving an overall sales rate of 71%, almost unchanged from 72% the previous week. That's well up from the 51% sales rate in the equivalent week of last year (16-22 September 2019).

Prices are also firmer.

Where interest.co.nz was able to match the selling prices of the properties sold at the auctions it monitored with their corresponding rating valuations, 88% sold for more than their rating valuations, compared with 86% over the first two weeks of September and 67% in the equivalent week of last year.

Details of the individual properties that were offered at the auctions monitored by interest.co.nz and the results achieved, are available on our Residential Auction Results page.

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120 Comments

23
up

Great news, boomers getting richer whilst locking young FHB's into a life a drudgery.... wonderful !

18
up

Printers go Brrrrrrrrr. Houses go Skkkkr-uuuup and Boooom den POP?

No Andy
Last three years 80,000 mortgages went to FHB - that’s Likely about 140,000 young people - not locking themselves into a life of drudgery.
The only young locking themselves into a life of drudgery and those who continually moan and don’t make a serious commitment.
Interest.co affordability report shows some improvement for FHB and RBNZ announced proposed FLP action is intended to specifically reduce mortgage lending rates.
Be locked in a life of drudgery or get of your chuff. 140,000 did in the last three years.
At the moment all you are doing is outshining Quade Cooper.

..... and when interest rates go up?

How do you see interest rates going up?
In this new normal banks can’t increase rates or chaos will follow.

Andy
Well those of a dgm persuasion have answered that on this site many times - they say RBNZ will never let the housing market crash.
However, I don't accept that.
A couple of points:
- Something you don't know is that banks place a 7% stress test on their lending - that is the borrower needs to with stand interest rates of 7%.
- Always say that FHB to be prudent and pay down the loan as much as possible.

Passing note: Orr and most bank economists have been saying that interest rates "will be lower and for longer" so unless you know more than those who control such things interest rates are unlikely to be going up in the short term.

Over a 30 year mortgage even somebody as wise as you P8 would not know if they were going to go alot higher.... yes.... even you.

Don’t want to bore you . . . but many of us boomers survived mortgage interest rates of 20% to 25%.
Survived and didn’t moan about it.
Cheers

1. I don't believe that people didn't complain about it. 2 they were only that rate very briefly, but if you pay a stupidly high amount for a house that's never going to change, and houses have been stupidly high as a multiple of income for years and years now

Also, where do you get 25% from? This graph of variable mortgage rates shows they were slightly over 20 for a brief period, but never anywhere near 25%.

https://teara.govt.nz/en/graph/23100/interest-rates-1966-2008

Fits the narrative doesn't it: "we had it harder than you, we worked all hours god gave, no cell phones and we never whinged. All the young people need to do is stop eating avo on toast, don't complain, pull up your boot straps and you'll be right"

Let's not forget interest rates were that high during a period of high inflation, where the debt burden was literally halved in the space of 5 years. People were getting such big pay rises that in 1982 the Government introduced a 2 year freeze on wages.

The high mortgage rates were in the late eighties.

al123
No.
Most reliable source of historic mortgage data is NZRB; https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/key-graphs/key-graph-mortgage-rates - Archived key graph data (refer RHS).
The average (note “average”) floating mortgage rates – term rates didn’t apply or weren’t common then – were 20.5% in March 1987. Note that some lenders – especially government lenders such as POSB – were quite a bit lower (15%) whereas some banks were up to 25%.
I still have a letter from my bank notifying me of 22.5% for first mortgage and 27% for second mortgage (two or more mortgages were the norm).
Rates were at the whim of the bank – currently as for floating rates - and were commonly reviewed at six or more months and up to 12 months.
The RBNZ data shows that the average (note “average”) mortgage rates were over 19% for a year between Feb 1987 and Jan 1988.
Between October 1984 and July 1989 (close to five years) average (note “average”) interest rates were in excess of 15%.
Yes, it was a period of high inflation, but that added to the problem when one’s collective agreement was on a three year cycle for many occupations and it commonly took a year of negotiation and strike action beyond that to settle.
I have regularly acknowledged that current potential FHB have it tough - but it wasn't always a bed or roses for the boomer generation either . . . and I can appreciate my grandfather who fought in World War 1, lived through the depression didn't have it easy, nor for my father who fought in the later part of World War 2 and struggled to buy a family car and home.

House prices back then were in the same multiples of income as a house deposit is today. Why couldn't you just save for a house instead of taking out a mortgage? Frivolousness?

P8, it's the same data, so I'm not sure what your 'no' refers to. I posted the te ara link because it's easier to see than having to download an excel spreadsheet as you'll see, the source for that data is the rbnz. And as both of them show, there were 8 months when interest rates were over 20%. Even if we go with 19%, as you have, that's one year. That's tough, but the problem with high house prices is that they don't just last a year, and they haven't just happened for a year and then gone down again. They are a persistent problem that just keeps getting worse, particularly combined with a decade of wages hardly moving taking into account inflation.

Thanks for explaining where you got the 25% from - though wasn't it a choice you made to take on a second mortgage at a higher rate rather than (say) simply saving up for a bigger deposit?

alt
Re second mortgage: that wasn't a choice for FHB but rather standard practice. it seemed that no matter what deposit you had, banks required some of it as a second mortgage - certainly all our friends had second mortgages.
Usually a second mortgage was for a shorter period - usually about 10 years rathe than the first mortgage at 25 years. There was an advantage in this for the bank - it made sure that they were being protected. For the borrower it also effectively meant that one was having to pay the net mortgage down more quickly and hence being prudent by default. Today I strongly encourage FHB being prudent and paying the mortgage down although it is not required.
It is worthwhile noting the cost of houses - my first home was $60K now RV $700k nearly 40 years later, and Chairman Moa mentions his father buying a house $48 ,000 and it now being $920k and a 4br place in Oriental Bay for $146,000 now - what? - $2m. I recall a front page article in the Sunday Times around 1980 in disbelief that (waterfront I think) Devonport houses were $100,000 - now what $1.5m plus?
Such increases in house prices as have occurred were inconceivable at the time.
However, it is worth noting that house prices did not increase steadily - during that period there were years of falls such as during the GFC - I have experience three short term such periods. It is for this reason I have never claimed that house prices always go up - they don't hence the need to be prudent and appreciate home ownership is long term and that there may well be fluctuations but these are not important provided one can service the mortgage.
I have no question that in 30 or 40 years time that the price of house will equally be inconceivable compared to those currently.
It is also worth noting that many are (rightly) concerned about house prices inflation in Auckland in the decade post GFC to 2017. However, if one looks at the house price inflation data as regularly posted by interest.co along with REINZ monthly reports it can be noted that house price inflation was actually higher during the period 2000 to 2008.
In all of this FHB need to appreciate that home ownership is not simply about an investment - it has considerable intrinsic value and provides financial and social security for one's family. You will appreciate that reflecting back on both growing up and the financial security that your father enjoyed.
Sadly, homeownership is currently rapidly becoming no longer the cultural norm it once was. Younger people have a difficult choice, and one alternative of becoming a renting middle class poor is a distinct possibility.

Nothing to do with changing cultural norms, P8 - the simple fact is it's just a lot harder for young people to get into their first homes than it used to be. And I don't think FHBs need to have it explained that home ownership provides financial security and stability - they're all probably well aware of that fact given the much longer time they generally have to spend renting before being able to buy.

al123
Not saying it is easy for young FHB - never was. However, I accept that it is currently hard but interest.co affordability reports show that it is getting slightly better. RBNZ FLP announcement specifically is intended to reduce mortgage interest rates - the problem for a potential FHB is that prices are likely to increase as a result so personally feel procrastination is costly (and that is not FOMO).
However, it is not all doom and gloom for young people as you claim.
There is one person currently posting on this thread (who I leave to acknowledge themselves) who purchased three years ago. He/she has posted that they have been astute and done particularly well - they have previously posted some specific information and I leave them to provide detailed information if they so wish.
However using NZRB mortgage and house HPI data and simple calculations since they purchased three years ago, then:
- The RBNZ HPI has shown a 13% increase in the 3 years (from 22391 to 2704)
- That $600,000 house is now $678,000 (but I recall them saying they had done better than this)
- If they had 20% equity, then their $120,000 is up 65% to $198,000 (not a bad annual return over three years).
- Their interest rate according to RBNZ has fallen about 1.4% so they are about $5,6000pa better off in the hand ($200 per fortnight)
- In the next year interest rates are expected to fall another 1% (source is a family connected bank mortgage person last week) so will be a further $4,800pa ($184 per fortnight) better off and house prices are also most likely to be up.
So is this young recent FHB poorly off? In just three years house up $78,000, equity up 65%, mortgage payments down $200 per fortnight . . . . . and its only going to get better over the next year.
Yes it was tough for those 80,000 mortgages / 140,000 young FHB but they are now doing OK.

So yes, tough but those young who have got onto the property ladder are doing OK.
. . . and yeah, yeah rates insurance maintenance but if not now soon likely to be cheaper than renting
. . . and yeah, yeah correction in prices but already $384 per fortnight better off in interest payments so quite able to ride out any storm.

Happy for said poster currently on this thread to confirm the specific information that he has previously put on line - it is seemingly better than this.

I didn't claim it was "all doom and gloom".
Also, not to be rude but, why are you telling me all this? I didn't ask for any of this info, I know all of it already, and whether things are good now for people who did manage to buy a little while ago doesn't really have anything to do with the rest of the discussion.

al123
You were posting how hard it is for young . . . yes, but those have purchased are doing very well so lets look at a balanced discussion.
I wish you well.

Yes, I was saying that it is a lot harder to buy a house now than it used to be. The fact that those who do manage to purchase are in a good position is not particularly relevant to that, so it's not clear what 'balance' you think it adds.

Actually looking back at those high interest rates. At the time, my dad bought our family home in Wellington for 48K and his salary was in the 20K mark. I think dad took out a mortgage at 17% interest rate.
Compare to today, that house is values at around 950K (according to homes.co.nz) and a job similar to my dad's as procurement manager would be in the 80-100k salary range and interest rate at 3%! Either way, still ended up poor.

Mao
I suggest that you need to check with your father.
In 1982 I bought my first house in a lower class Auckland suburb for $60k and sold it three years later for $80k. The RV on it is now $720k.
Your $48k figure for a house in the mid to late 1980s seems well of the mark especially if it has a RV of around $950 now.
The 20K is probably about right - but that would have to be with some qualifications and at at least a couple of years service.

It was $47,750 he paid for it. I know because I cleaned up his paper works recently when he moved into retirement home. It has 1400 sqm section. btw, he could have bought a 4br house in Oriental Bay for $146,000.

Nothing wrong with those numbers. In 1981 Mum purchased in One Tree Hill for 28k, by 87 it was worth 80-90k, same house now has an RV of $1.1m. I have the paperwork from her files.

Must have been fantastic when saving a deposit! Such high interest rates. And would have kept a cap on prices as well as less debt would have been able to be serviced. It must have been heaven compared to the opposite that has been playing out. So I think younger people have every right to moan - boomers had it easy then have rigged the game to benefit themselves - so glad you didn't/don't moan about it.

IO
Much of the time (probably five years) I was saving for a home interest rates were 3%.
There was however a subsidised savings account called a Homeownership Account much like KiwiSaver today with tax advantage and a grant. I can not remember the details but I do know that 3% was the common bank rate.

If you buy today then it doesn't matter much if rates go up in 10 years time.

Why not? Given you are lto have a 30 year mortgage, you'll still be paying it in 10 years time

You'll have paid off a percentage of the principle (based on current rates you'll have paid off about 25% of the loan) so the increased interest is only for the remaining balance. And you'll surely be earning more in 10 years time, especially since interest rates only really go up when the economy is running hot = good job prospects. Yes you'll pay more but you'll be able to afford it.

That's a ruthless comment to those who do not earn enough of qualify for a mortgage printer8

Just because others benifit from banks creating credit for asset inflation doesn't mean its fair or right. If a law was passed legalising execution of all those over 50 would you say well oh too bad.

printer8...I thought the 7% stress test rate had dropped sharply months ago for all our banks?

The only way is up!

You must be trapped in a half-dimensional world!

"In Canada, Moody's is predicting average house prices will fall by -6.7% in 2021 as their recovery stalls, economic stimulus fades and debt problems increase. Toronto and Vancouver won't be spared, they say."
https://www.interest.co.nz/news/107221/us-suffers-economic-corrosion-pan...
"Debt-laden China Evergrande Group, the country's second largest property developer, has pleaded for government support to approve a restructuring plan that has languished for four years, warning it faces a cash crunch that could lead to systemic risks, according to people familiar with the matter."
https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2020/09/24/developer-c...
Yet, New Zealand housing market is still going strong despite a 12.2% second quarter fall in its GDP. I am wondering how long does this housing market booming last?

17
up

I wouldn't be surprised if the RBNZ proposed the selling of the younger generation to help build Chinas new internment camps if it was the only way to keep the housing market up. They obviously have total contempt for the poor and young.

Until mid-way next year I think, by when interest rates will have hit a floor, and QE will be exhausted. The tide will be out and NZ's (unimpressive) genitalia will be on show!

17
up

I wonder if Mr Orr drives? Normal people when heading at 100kph towards a giant ravine would engage the brakes whereas this genius engaged the turbo?

11
up

Yeah Boi, Fonzie jumps the shark.

This preoccupation with house auctions is starting to get ridiculous. Is there any robust analysis of auction data and its impacts on the actual market? I doubt it. The volumes are too low as an aggregate and impossible to take seriously even if it's the main region, Auckland.

So it's little more than directional (if anything at all). The media and cheerleaders are getting excited, but there is no hard or real evidence of some kind of 'pandemic boom'. It's all about the emotion as the ruling elite resort to measures never seen before. Nothing more, nothing less.

J.C.
Just keep dismissing auction data - best way of keeping one’s head in the sand and denying what is currently happening.
Never said that auction data was anything else than the most current real time indicator.

Just keep dismissing auction data - best way of keeping one’s head in the sand and denying what is currently happening.

I will keep dismissing it. It is not an indicator that one of the world's primary property bubbles is entering a new phase of growth.

J.C.
You have been dismissing auction data as a market indicator for at least three months now.
Problem is, it has been a very good indicator.
New phase of growth is it?
Cheers

Problem is, it has been a very good indicator.

Put your money where your mouth is and demonstrate how you align auction data with the value of the NZ housing stock. You won't. Because you can't.

Well J.C. based on auction data I’m calling that the next REINZ monthly report will show a strong September market.
Prepared to put a dozen Stiennies up against that call?
Cheers

It may well do. But so what? It doesn't mean auction data is a proxy for the aggregate value and direction of NZ house prices.

J.C.
What are you prattling on about?
Auction data is not meaningless.
Auction data is the best current real time indicator of the state of the market.
Currently the number of properties going to auction (rather than other marketing technique), the percent selling and sale prices are indicating a strong market.
Not meaningless.
Stop trying to squirm your way out of this.
By the way, that’s Classic Stienny.
Look forward to them.
Cheers

Auction data is the best current real time indicator of the state of the market.

The aggregate value of NZ housing stock is approx $1,200 billion. Even at an average sales price of $1 mio, the latest auction data represents less than 0.02% of the total value of that stock. To suggest that is representative is dumb.

Goodbye troll.
Keep your comments civil please. Ed.

J.C.
What do you base that value of $1.2b on other than the current market?
P.S. You aren’t getting out of those Stiennies either.
Cheers

C.J.
Have a good weekend.
Sincerely meant
Cheers

Up to infinity! NZ will be a rich country...

A legend in its own mind.

Your sarcasm detector is broken yo!

I think they were just adding another layer of sarcasm.

That's definitely the case

I’m on the ground- we sold our family home last year and have been trying to get back in to the market. We have an IP which has almost
doubled in value. Houses in Auckland are mostly selling at a premium over CV. We just don’t want to rush as RE Agents are telling us that more listings are coming next month and they are still expecting a big November

12
up

Forget RE agents & other property experts. There is now only one person's opinion who matters & that is Mr Orr's. House price's moving forward will be determined by how much he prints & when.

And if he actually owns several properties which has been stated here, then surely he has a vested interest. Questions need to be asked. This is not looking right or fair? We need an investigation into the legitamacy of this mans actions.

Andy
You just love conspiracy theories.
Pathetic comment which shows your level of understanding and credibility.

Orr is on record saying that lower interest rates could well inflate asset prices..

We are too disconnected to band together and call for anything. I see this as the main problem we face. How can we seek to change anything, seperated as we are. We have no real source of information that is widely known, easily accessible and that truly cares about what affects people in our society, particularly the most vulnerable - that consistently seeks to inform and bring them together to work towards positive change.

The majority of our news media appears to have no conscience at all, nor can they claim to be neutral and at the very least provide objective analysis. Stuff will now beg you for money to support trustworthy, reliable journalism that champions kiwi values.. while continually running REINZ articles encouraging investors to keep pumping up house prices.

Many New Zealanders want change, but our concerns are scattered across the internet and easily drowned out. People are mostly just trying to get by, struggling along within our current system as best they can. They hardly see the reality facing them accurately represented by our media, and this only reinforces the disconnection and feelings of powerlessness.

13
up

Exact same market behaviour as prior to the 2008 housing crash.
Stupid money with FOMO getting into the market when investors have long been away.

This is probably the worst time in modern economic history for the ruling elite to be promoting asset bubbles and for people to be actually sucked in by it. I mean it's clearly obvious that many h'holds are woefully prepared for what is going on (And we should not necessarily blame people for that lack of preparation. Our society has been promoting living beyond its means for quite some time). Therefore, believing there is some kind of miracle boom emerging is not warranted. All we're hearing is half-baked ideas of how central bank actions are sending asset prices to the moon and beyond. There is no conclusive evidence as yet.

Don't get me wrong, people getting into the market now are doing so just because of irresponsible lending which banks are only ones to blame fueled only by their own shareholders greed and the complicity of the RBNZ.

So last week 222 houses sold at auction compared to 89 the same week last year, an increase of 149%, unbelievable.

So last week 222 houses sold at auction compared to 89 the same week last year, an increase of 149%, unbelievable.

Not unbelievable. Meaningless.

Not sure if you realized but this happened to be a very unusual year so far, so whatever comparisons you try to make you are doing so by grabbing the noisiest sample from the population and using it as your reference.

The market is clearly 2 months ahead due to losing 2 months in lockdown
Summer therefore may well be more like autumn?
Things are about to get disputatious!

When they built the Titanic, they stated that it's unsinkable.
Some said that NZ Housing market is unstoppable!

Mao
Who said “the NZ housing market is unstoppable?”
I would say that the majority of those on this site picking a rise in the market in the short term would not claim that it is “unstoppable”.

The crazy thing is, if Captain Smith had seen the iceberg in time he would have avoided the catastrophy, the same cannot be said for Captain Orr.

If NZ is heading into -ve OCR, I wonder if more money will be poured into housing.
RBA already said that they have no plan to go into -ve but they are not discounting the possibility!

Mao
The announced FLP - "An OCR cut when you are not having an OCR cut".
That will lessen the need for RBNZ to go -ve. They have said for some time that the OCR is not the only tool in their toolbox.

Footnote: Orr's statement specifically stated that the intention of the FLP was to reduce intrest rates on household lending/mortgage rates.

If a 100 people with mortgages lose their jobs then they are financially finished! If 10,000 people with mortgages lose their jobs then the RBNZ and government will bail them out. We are facing the latter situation- leverage up!!!

The govt cannot simply 'bail out' people in debt. Countries with far more economic power cannot do it, so the idea that NZ can is deluded.

And if people want to leverage into the peak of a bubble, that's their choice and they shoulder the risk. Even if they think it's a 'risk free' decision and the govt will bail them out no matter what, there is still 'risk' in terms of the time and effort they need to trade off for the investment.

J.C. Currency depreciation and low interest rates is effectively a bail out of the indebted (including the gov).

I'm not saying that its right, but I think those with their hands on the levers of power have very clearly signaled that there is almost nothing they won't do.

A year ago if someone had told me RBNZ would give mortgage holders a 12 month deferral, that gov would provide wage subsidies and IRD give out 0% direct business loans, i'd have laughed you off your keyboard. QE and negative rates? Sure, I would have easily imagined that for the next major recession, but this is all way beyond what we've seen before.

Also to Apex Andy above saying that interest rates will invariably increase over the next 30 years. Sure, probably, at some point maybe. But if they do increase, its because the economy is healthier and therefore everything, including wages will be going up too. The inflation might not been even, we've had assets going up higher than wages recently, but we could see wages go up higher than assets. We just can't know.

With the current central bank culture, they are not going to increase interest rates beyond debt serviceability, that has been very clearly signaled. In fact, they have been indicating that they might let the economy run a little hot for awhile before increasing interest rates (based on a long term average), which would help deflate down the debt.

There will need to be a complete change in central bank culture for any kind of major change. I'm not saying this won't happen but equally, there is lots of evidence for long term secular stagnation, long term low rates and low growth. There is very little evidence for high growth and we will probably have some kind of major political or geo-political upheaval before we see a change. And a much bigger upheaval than just Trumps, Brexits, pandemics and trade wars clearly.

Currency depreciation and low interest rates is effectively a bail out of the indebted (including the gov)

Could you point to an example of where this policy has been executed before? OK, you will probably say Japan, but their currency has actually been quite strong and a 'risk off' haven (due to their position as a net creditor). The Japanese govt and central bank were never able to prevent land, property, and equity prices from falling, despite private debt to GDP never been as high as it is in NZ (even during their bubble).

I'm sorry but your 'bail out' is not convincing. I do concede that NZ (and I guess Australia) could be the first countries in the world to do this. But I think it's a bit early to start making these claims. I will also say that I'm not convinced by 'Antipodean exceptionalism' as if our central banks are some kind of masters at this game.

We are headed into Japan/Europe low-rates-for-infinity it seems, yes. It's the logical place to look for clues about the future.
There's an important difference though: Japan, and to a lesser extent Europe, had very substantial falls in their property and equity markets * before * entering zero-interest limbo. How does this change the calculus?

Currency depreciation and low interest rates is effectively a bail out of the indebted (including the gov)

Could you point to an example of where this policy has been executed before? OK, you will probably say Japan, but their currency has actually been quite strong over the past 30 years and a 'risk off' haven (due to their position as a net creditor). The Japanese govt and central bank were never able to prevent land, property, and equity prices from falling, despite private debt to GDP never been as high as it is in NZ (even during their bubble).

I'm sorry but your 'bail out' is not convincing. I do concede that NZ (and I guess Australia) could be the first countries in the world to do this. But I think it's a bit early to start making these claims. I will also say that I'm not convinced by 'Antipodean exceptionalism' as if our central banks are some kind of masters at this game.

JC.
When I referred to currency depreciation, I was not referring to its value against other currencies but where the amount of currency increases and the value of the currency decreases (ie debasement). Every country in Europe has done it at least once a century in every era where there has been a currency (several times in Ancient Rome) but some have done it much more often. Debasement of currency is always something of a boon to the indebted because the value of their debt is reduced. But it also isn't that simple. Debasement can have unintended consequences such as inflation or loss of trust in the currency. It's not an even slightly contentious point so i'm quite surprised you are disagreeing with it.

There is not a perfect relationship between asset values and currency depreciation, I would agree. There are times when asset prices fall, despite currency devaluation but they are far less common historically. I don't think NZ or Australia are doing anything remotely exceptional. I think they are just trotting along following what most other economies and Central Banks have been and are doing. NZ is just more vulnerable than some of the big boys because it is a small, open economy. NZ isn't Japan. Our economy is comparatively tiny.

I don't see any maverick Central Bankers on the world stage. I see a very homogenised Central Banking culture where they all sing from the same hymn sheet and where some countries Central Bankers just sing first or a tad louder. There are some rebellious economists but they have not managed to change the current culture. I suspect a big geopolitcal event will be required for that, as I said earlier.

I don't *like* it JC. I think this is dangerous. Theoretical/academic/cultural homogeneity in dangerous. And that will show up eventually.

What do you make of the draft spatial plan GN? A lot to digest and some pretty material zoning changes, up to 6 stories in central residential neighborhoods

My uncle is thankful I gave him a heads up on this months ago. The site he bought, a decent size and flat, is likely to soar in value if the Auckland Unitary Plan experience is anything to go by. If it does he has promised to reward me.

If one villa suddenly = 12 to 18 apartments, I guess the land goes up?

Yep no brainer. If I had the money I would have been in.

I have mixed feelings. I would feel more positive about it, if I felt the transport aspect had been adequately provided for and I remain unconvinced on that. I can see the existing road system becoming a shit show with the increased traffic. For example traffic into Karori and Miramar are already problematic. They need to widen those roads and tunnels and yet the traffic plan doesn't specify this. Just some vague notions of "transport hubs". The many issues with Transmission Gully do not engender me with confidence.

It's also just an incredibly expensive and protracted process to build in the Wellington topography. We do not currently have the labour and skill capacity to densify and build at the speed they seem to think will be required. There are not enough geotechs, engineers or architects, for instance, all these professionals have long wait lists. How is that capacity going to be increased? Or, heaven forfend, perhaps the council need to reduce the regulatory burden?

I mean, I sat in WCC planning offices the other week with 3 WCC staff members (RC officer, Encroachment Officer and a traffic engineer), in addition to the Planner and the Builder who I had brought in with me. We had drawings with us from geotechs, engineers and architect. Gosh you might think... what is GN building with this crack team of experts? A library? A high rise building? An office block? NO. Just a drive and garage with a sleep out on top on our own land. FFS. The only thing we want to do outside of the existing District Plan is build a a few meters higher on top of the garage.

So yeah, i'd love to be hopeful that the Spatial Plan could be a positive step, but unless the whole culture of ridiculous bureaucracy and over regulation is dealt with I imagine the Spatial Plan isn't enough. We will be short houses and transport.

Did your architect and planner engage with council early and before putting pen to paper?

We're not doing anything contentious, the council have no issue with the principle of the plans, but there are still millions of hoops to jump. We haven't even submitted an application yet. Everything is still in the preliminary stage. We have difficult neighbours which doesn't help.

What's your main planning issue?

The height of the building triggers an RC and the neighbours are extremely neurotic. I have been open and communicating with them from the beginning, we have designed the entire thing to cause as little impact on them as possible. The council said we have been very considerate but they are just those type of people. We have the only section on our street that hasn't been built on. Their own house is a subdivision on the front section! The Planner thinks the impact on the neighbour is less than minor but if the council judge it to be minor or more than minor then we have to have a Notified Resource Consent, knowing full well that the neighbours will kick up as much stink as possible (cost tens of thousands extra and even further delays) so we have been trying to work with the council to make sure that the application will definitely be less than minor so that there won't even be a risk of that. The council have kind of implied that our neighbours are ar*%holes but equally, WCC still have to deal with and consider them and because they have written complaints and phoned the council, WCC have to scrutinise our application more. We're not doing anything crazy, we're not doing anything lots of others haven't done on our street, we just have neurotic, controlling neighbours.

There is also a timing issue because we want to be able to start the work in summer because of the ground works and retaining on a slope. We didn't get to start last summer because we had to wait so long for geotech and engineer reports, so having to delay another year would be a suck fest. We have nowhere to park and there is no footpath for our kids even.

Worst case scenario we can't have the sleep out and have to somehow figure some other way to add a 4th bedroom but bugger knows on that currently. We're still hoping we can thrash it out and avoid a Notified Consent and an epic conflict with the neighbours.

I feel sorry for you, these things are real pains in the ass...is it a height infringement or a height in relation to boundary infringement? Height infringements for 2 storey buildings are rare, although with Wellington's topography...

There's no boundary or recession plane issue, we were very careful to avoid that. It's just that the District Plan allows a building at 3.5 above ground level and we want a two storey. That automatically means we need a Resource Consent and because the neighbours have preemptively protested, we already know that a Notified Consent would be very difficult so we are just doing everything we can to avoid that before we even submit.

I am a decent person, I am neighbourly and would never dream of doing something that would negatively impact a neighbour. The Planner, whose the expert on these things thinks our impact on the neighbour is less than minor, so the neighbours really are just being difficult. Which has triggered a more complicated and protracted process.

I just don't think our experience is at all unusual and so i'm guessing that densifying in Wellington will not come easily unless they majorly change the consenting and bureaucratic culture.

Wtf? The plan only allows a building up to 3.5m? Is it a special character zone or something?
If so, it sounds like the plan is possibly more the issue than the implementation of it.

I agree, I have a builder I use a bit (not Welly) and asked him to look at a new double garage with a self contained unit above. He looked at me and said "I really recommend you don't bother because you will spend so much $ with the council and it will take years". This is one of the principle reasons houses are so expensive here and it's nothing to do with investors, it's bureaucracy.

This! Its all gambling though my friend. A greens/Labour govt could see a new tax that would burst the bubble? The leveraged up would then take a hiding. Its all fund & games really. I'm just glad we live in times where the govt has turned our housing market into a casino. Saves me a trip to sky city.

The NZ housing casino where if you got in before 1999 you win every spin of the wheel but if you missed last doors you are forever locked outside and given an eternal ball and chain to drag around called debt. Great place to be this?

Absolutely! The boomers all got in before 1999 at least they should of. The pox to everyone else. Its great, they get to sit in their debt free, over priced homes & grumble how young people these days spend too much on lattes & smashed avocado.

History's first impregnable housing bubble? That's a big call. During bubbles, most people start to think like this. They start to believe people like Orr are supernatural and more powerful than Merlin the magician.

Elite Dinos-orrs have alot of power and are showing us that they will do everything to protect their elite friends. They will sacrifice anything and everything to stay on top, including the economy. It's a sad state of affairs.... and to think I actually thought that New Zealand was better than this.

Mr Orr too is getting desperate and running out of ideas but have no choice but to print and distribute till eternity.

In future money will be cexchanged by weight and may have 10000 denomination note to start with :)

I bought my first house in Auckland in 1999 for $350k. Latest market value is over $2million.

I plan to sell in 5 years for $3million and move out of Auckland.

You have been very lucky with timing then.
Somehow I doubt the value will go from $2 million to $3 million in 5 years though.

No I'm being facetious about the $3mil. I'm actually expecting at the very least prices to stagnate for sometime.

The house prices in NZ defy any type of logic.

It is quite possible. A buyer may have three houses that have gone from one to two million giving them six million making your three million house seem quite cheap. That doesn't even "defy logic". Your house will seem like it is practically free for them!

delboy......if you are over 50 you might wanna consider cashing up and moving soon. Buy a nice house in most provinces for 800 or 900K and safely invest $1.2M at 2% return (20K PA). Spend under 70K PA and you go backwards 50K PA max till you qualify for govt super together with kiwi saver in 10 or 15 years. $1.2M is enough. Why risk what you already have and sell 5 more years of life by living and working in Akld for such a small lifestyle gain the extra mill would give you. Why seriously risk your future quality of life in what may become a volatile period for property when the reward is small? You gambled and won. No need to double down. Time is a finite resource. Work on your golf handicap and your suntan rather than trying to needlessly increase your equity. Die with zero!

Even if there was the biggest crash in history I don’t think the commentariat here would buy.
It would be the savvy investors

Face the reality FHB (Instead of showing frustration in comments - though rightly and can understand), now even with low interest rate, will be hard for FHB to buy a house and even if one does manage will be at a premium so the weekly mortage may be same but the principal amount will be high so debt will be $100000 to $200000 more than earlier and this will be life time debt so one has to be careful.

Still feel in last few weeks FOMO is at peak supported by all the news/propaganda though not wrong but is accelerating FOMO and forcing many to borrow beyond (If a person does not know swimming may not drown till five feet deep in water but than may drown by even an extra inch).

Though at this time it seems unlikely that market may soften but possibility of tide changing is also high so extra cautious is needed in current uncertain times.

Auction data representative or no, cannot be denied that Auckland prices and sales are well up on 2019 levels, and v unseasonably so. In June-August 2020, residential sales in the $850k - 1.2m bracket were up 43%.
In the $1.2 - 1.5m bracket they were up even more: 75%
Total 8m sales for 2020 in Auckland are 15,198.
Will be a tough ask to reach 24,000 by end of year.
Remains to be seen how many more buyers are in the funnel and gagging to get on market ladder....
I give it to end of October before stuttering of the engine becomes noticeable

There is no context in what you're saying. So what if sales volumes are up 43-75%? These will be very small samples of total sales (<100 for example). Even comparing average prices and medians will be meaningless in a statistical sense. For ex, if the median is $1.5 mio this year compared to $1.4 mio at the same time last year, is that a real 'increase in price' or is it simply a statistical anomaly caused by variance with small sample sizes?

Paralysis by analysis is his MO
Take action to get traction is the investors MO

Nice phraseology but negative as usual.

Auctions are the only real time barometer we have of the likely state of the market. It's always been reliable in my experience because the change in sentiment is quite dramatic. It amplifies. It goes from sessions where maybe one property in ten sells and then only after hard negotiations and the seller dropping his reserve during the auction to seeing well over half the properties selling with bids regularly going above reserve onto epic battles with people trying to out bid one another followed by applause.

Besides if you waited for JC's data to arrive you would probably be heading into a quieter market by that stage.

The context is simple: a lot more houses are selling and at higher prices, than last year.
And no the figures are not unrepresentative, they come from REINZ and are NOT under 100 on any of the samples.
Numbers, since you seem to want them, for the 850-1.2m bracket were 1389 in June-August 2019 v 1987 this year
In 1.2m - 1.5m bracket, numbers were 543 in 2019 and 951 in 2020.
A LOT more rep than auction figures!
I say again: these are NOT small samples, relative to total sale sin Auckland.
PCM sale sin Auckland average 2000 - 2500 most of the time.
So, you can see that the sample numbers I am giving make up a large slab of that.
TOTAl sales in Auckland in those 3 months were 7441.
The 2 brackets cited above totalled 2938, which is 39% of the total sales volume for the 3m period.

And no the figures are not unrepresentative, they come from REINZ and are NOT under 100 on any of the samples.

I'm referring to the auction data. For ex, 220-odd sales as quoted on in a week segmented by price range gives samples of approx <100 without a greater than 50% incidence.

As I mentioned earlier, this is no more than 0.02% of the housing stock in value. And that is being generous.

What will happen when Kianga Ora stops buying 1,000s of properties a year ? This is a tax payer fuelled market enhanced by cheap bank loans and FOMO. Won’t be a happy ending.

Met a RE Agent today, who wanted to know if I would like to sell my investment house as market is hot and on my declining advised that if want to do than do it before March as situation will change when mortage defferal ends as banks will start to chase.

Was this his way to tempt me for listing or was it for real.

If he knew for real he def wouldn't be a REA

No words but crazy 1.2million CV houses going for literally 2 million.

Are this FHB

Eventually Orr shall follow the herd, what we learnt though. Other herd willing to take some sort of bitter pill medication, which build resiliency on their economic in the long run, but not NZ.. understandable too as by all IMF papers, we've been warned over & over again from 2015 about our obsession with housing related productivity NZ are too deep into it. So be cautious folks this is a worldwide controlled descent, may or may not happened. Your preparations is a matter of own survival, remember on the flights? safety jacket, buckle up etc. - We could be lucky if the pilot for NZ economy is 'Sully', but please be open minded if our economic pilot/co-pilot could be the loose one from clearance to flight.