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Latest REINZ figures show new record price of $407k; but sales up just 2.1%; National price inflation 9.9%; Auckland price inflation 12.6%

Latest REINZ figures show new record price of $407k; but sales up just 2.1%; National price inflation 9.9%; Auckland price inflation 12.6%
<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/">Image sourced from Shutterstock.com</a>

The national median house price climbed $7525 in October to a new record high of $407,525, according to the Real Estate Institute.

House price inflation as measured by the REINZ's stratified price index rose to a new high 9.9%, up from 9.8% in September, but Auckland's rate dropped markedly to 12.6% from 17.5% a month ago.

Sales were up just 2.1% compared with those in October a year ago, rising to 6778 - with suggestions that new Reserve Bank lending limits may be having an impact. The rate of sales increase year-on-year in the heated Auckland market was just 1.6%, while on a seasonally-adjusted basis, Auckland's sales were down in the past month.

The sales pattern in the past month has been in marked contrast to what happened a year ago. National sales figures in October 2012 were actually up some 17.5% on those for September 2012, while the Auckland figures were up some 17% in October 2012 compared with the month earlier.

Any slowdown in the housing market that might ultimately occur as a result of the RBNZ lending limits could be expected to hit sales volumes first before prices.

Looking at the picture over the past two years, Auckland's median price is up 25%, while nationally the figure is up 13.5%.

What the economists say

Deutsche Bank NZ chief economist Darren Gibbs said the decline in sales reported for October was not surprising given the drop off in mortgage applications reported by the RBNZ in the wake of the LVR restrictions.

"We suspect that a further decline in sales will be recorded in November," he said.

"What the RBNZ will find a little disconcerting is the further large price increase recorded during the month. Allowing for seasonal factors prices have now increased about 3½% over the past 3 months i.e. momentum has returned to levels seen in the late summer/autumn period."

ASB economist Daniel Smith said the latest REINZ figures suggested very little immediate impact from the RBNZ’s lending limits.

He said, however, that it was expected the restrictions will ultimately have some impact on demand, and there has been evidence of an increase in new listings coming onto the market over the last couple of months.

"For these reasons, we do expect the rate of price growth will peak in late 2013/early 2014.

"That would also be consistent with the levelling-off in median days to sell that we have seen recently.

"However, the housing markets in Auckland and Canterbury continue to be driven by a lack of supply. Those supply issues will take years to fully resolve, especially in Auckland, given current rates of construction. Therefore upwards pressure on house prices will continue."

Ten regions recorded an increase in the median price in October. Some 64% of the increase in the national median price compared with October last year occurred in Auckland and 15% occurred in Canterbury/Westland.

Together these two regions accounted for 79% of the increase in the median price between October 2012 and October 2013.

New highs

Auckland, Canterbury/Westland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty all recorded new median highs in October, with Auckland reaching $582,000, Canterbury/Westland $380,000 and Waikato/Bay of Plenty $335,000.

Compared with October 2012 Central Otago Lakes recorded the largest increase in median price, up 19.5%, followed by Northland with 12.5% and Canterbury/Westland with 10.8%.

The national rate of house price inflation is already very close to the 10% peak the Reserve Bank is forecasting. 

The heated state of the market has been of concern to the RBNZ, which introduced the LVR "speed limits"  in an attempt to protect financial stability and to partially rein in prices - particularly in Auckland. See here for articles on LVRs.

The Government for its part announced new measures aimed at alleviating the politically-loaded situation of first home buyers being potentially locked out of the market by rising prices. In Auckland the Government and the Auckland Council have combined in the Auckland Housing Accord, through which it is aimed to build another 39,000 houses in the Auckland area over the next three years.

Easing volumes

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand chief executive Helen O’Sullivan said real estate sales volumes eased back in October following the introduction of LVR limits.

"Comments by agents from around the country indicate heightened levels of uncertainty for both purchasers and vendors about the impact of these changes, which is causing a number of prospective buyers and sellers to hold off from committing to the market until they are more comfortable," she said.

"Typically in the real estate market sales volumes change more quickly than prices and overall sales volumes are lower than what we would expect for this time of the year, although in a few regional centres sales are strong. Northland and Otago stand out as two regions with strong sales growth, although in other regions the picture is far more mixed."

O'Sullivan expected the full effect on prices of the new LVR restrictions may not show up in the national or regional medians for a few months as buyers with pre-approvals made their purchases and the market adjusted to these new conditions.

Auckland figures

She said sales volumes in the Auckland region increased by 1.6% to 2681 compared with October 2012. In September 2013 the figure was higher, at 2764. See here for regional breakdown.

O'Sullivan said there was strength in Manukau City, but declines in North Shore City and Rodney.

"Compared with September, sales volumes fell 3%, with North Shore City and Outer Auckland showing the largest declines. On a seasonally adjusted basis Auckland's sales were down 2.8%.

Compared with October 2012 the median price increased by $52,000 (+9.8%), with prices increasing the most in North Shore City and Waitakere City.

Auckland's median price rose $12,000 (+2.1%) compared with September, with Rodney and Auckland City showing the largest gains.

"LVR restrictions are having an uneven impact on the real estate market across the region with agents in Manukau City reporting a noticeable drop off from first home buyers, but activity remaining buoyant elsewhere," O'Sullivan said.

House price index

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stratified housing price measures
Source: REINZ
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Source: REINZ
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Source: REINZ
stratified housing price measures
Source: REINZ
stratified housing price measures
Source: REINZ
stratified housing price measures
Source: REINZ

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58 Comments

Here's why nothing meaningful will be done to address the NZ housing bubble ... http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11155241

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I agree. I have repeatedly raised the question for years, about the connection between MP's involvement in property investing, and their role in bubble enabling via bad policy.

Interest.co.nz and the NBR and some blogs are the only ones over the years to have asked this question; it is long overdue that the MSM got involved. 

But note that the Herald is only talking about MP's opposition to CGT's; the Herald has always been shameless apologists for the growth containment planning that is the main problem.

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Certainly God is on the side of all property investors, rewarding their efforts in society with the ever increasing value of their assets.

And Governor Wheeler must go to church too. He's certainly on the same page as God... keeping interest rates low to help the process.

Long may they both continue to smile upon PIs. 

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I come to new zealand to battery farm chicken, but now i see battery farm kiwi as better proposition ?
Oh yeah, thanks for the tax exception.....
http://www.ird.govt.nz/yoursituation-nonres/move-nz/temp-tax-empt-foreig...
I be here long time, buy many 800 sqm meters properties on shore and build many new houses for you with many long year gurantees  .... len will help me do this.....

This truly is the year of the Dragon, i mean Kiwi fried chicken.

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Interesting piece on Macrobusiness about systemically flawed negative gearing and the political inertia to provide any solutions. Sounds familar....

 

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/11/business-leaders-negative-geari…

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Cool. Lets just sell houses to each other. A real path to prosperity. Not!

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UP UP AND AWAY - YAY!!!

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Not so sure about all this hype. Did you see the absolute disappointment in the first two contestants at their house sales on The Block?  I mean I think it was the saddest thing I've seen on telly in a while.  Clearly, they felt exploited. All this talk about these record capital gains to be made in AKL, obviously got their hopes inflated, but it certainly wasn't to be realised in their cases.  Even where the winners were concerned - the $180K profit on sale didn't take into account their labour costs .. so hardly a stellar gain - and as a percentage over valuation - peanuts, really. 

 

AKL isn't the market for good speculative gains, to my mind - as that is what The Block is all about.

 

 

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Well spotted Kate. Flicking houses is not for the faint hearted or risk averse. Especially at this point in the property cycle.

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....and I susspect there will be tax on top of this as it was done for the purposes of re-sale.  Not that i followed the programe, but didn't these two have a back-ground in doing up homes?  If so, expect the IRD to come knocking for the tax on previous properties - add in penalties and things start to look very average..

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Flipping houses is very difficult to do well.  With house price inflation running at 12%+ per year your much better off just buying something in a good area and sitting on it. 

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If the sales of the houses attracted GST then the GST on all the non-zero rated inputs is off-set against it. The actual figure paid ends up considerably less than 15%.

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I see. However at property auctions where the sale could attract GST the auctioneer states that the final price will be the highest bid plus GST if applicable. Can't recall them doing that. What a hoot if they've cocked it up.

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How about no more denials dressed up as nazism?

About as [in-]accurate and offensive.

However without addressing population, throwing money at developing nations (which is what the UN would do) in peril would really just be pointless. Just moving deckchairs about.

Interesting days.....

 

regards

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A few months back I asked for someone in the media to cover this, great that Jarred has done it.

Property Rich List: MPs with the most valuable land portfolios ... New Zealand Herald

Talk about a conflict of interest.

Why are's NZ's rioting in the streets? Oh yeah, I forgot.  All the non baby boomers with half a brain have already left NZ.

If anyone thinks this property boom is going to have a soft landing like the last one, they are delusional.

Glad to be out of it.

 

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Yeah, I too have been banging on about this for years. Glad someone has done it at last.

Note that the Herald has been cheerleaders all along for the urban growth containment policies that are the real problem, and won't do proper investigative journalism about this. 

Now they will of course focus all their attention on MP's conflict of interest over capital gains taxes and immigration - and continue to sneer at Nick Smith and Bill English for trying to tackle the disgraceful, fraudulent growth-containment planning racket. 

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Well most of these would seem to be farms, some held for generations. Also there is no indication of net worth, ie a 11million property with a huge mortgage means their real worth is far less.  So really its hardly surprising National MPs coming from typical National voters ie farmers own some land. or that they are "successful" business ppl who have moved into politics.

Rioting over what? that some MPs who were / are farmers own some land?  hardly riot material. Can you show how these MPs voted when it comes to property related matters? are they taking back handers (oops I mean re-election contributions) from real estate agents?

"half a brain" do you really think the hard landing you see (and I concur, but I suspect the losses I see are way bigger than a "hard landing") is only going to be NZ?

regards

 

 

 

 

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Steven...  No its not the intergenerational farms ....  

I think what is upsetting  is the fact that An MP can buy a house ...live in it and use $78,000 in entitlements to pay off the mortgage... by  structuring the "deal" in a certain way.

You might say...  " if they can do it ..why not "

I say..  "the whole thing  is disingenuous on their part.... and is a slippery slope where morals and ethics and stanards get left behind"....  

"Whats' in it for me"... is the battlecry.  

Wouldn't it be nice if they could say.....  " I'm a leader...   I'll lead by example and save the taxpayer some money"

 

 

 

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Is the article correct in saying that MPs unduly and at the expense of others feathering their own nest via property?

Honestly thats a bit of a hard one to answer with confidence, yes.  I can see that there is a possibility thats probably true for some, but across the board?

Now if we had MPs that owned 10 or 20 rentals then yes I think its an easy answer in their case.  Where we have MPs who own farms or commercial property, no I'd be and am hard pushed to "convict"

Apart from that,

Is the salary review and annual incrase thereof of MPs a joke?

"Wouldn't it be nice if they could say.....  " I'm a leader...   I'll lead by example"

YES.

(please forgive the shouting)

regards

 

 

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......how do you think joe blogs would be treated if he transferred his mortgage free home to a trust, charged himself a rent and then went and got an accomodation allowance?

..fairly simialar to what the pollies are doing aint it? 

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Steven, the MSM got all huffy years ago over a few TranzRail shares owned by a recently elected new MP.

ONE urban investment property would represent a worse vested interest than this.

Their ownership of farms raises a question about their impartiality regarding such things as foreign ownership of NZ farmland.

These are all things that most ordinary Kiwis care about.

Your desperation to protect the urban land price racket with whatever excuses you can find, is glaringly obvious. Give up, pal, your credibility on this forum is zilch.

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Are the poppies in Wellington getting to tall? Let's cut them all down. All this tsk tsking over MPs owning property is just plain sad. 

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All the non baby boomers with half a brain have already left NZ.

 

Not so notch. I know many non baby boomers with at least half a brain still in NZ. We are having a great time buying houses and enjoying the upturn in the economy. Bring on ten good years!

 

If anyone thinks this property boom is going to have a soft landing like the last one, they are delusional.

 

Yawn. Pure specualtion. If you think it's going to crash get out. If you think it's got legs, get in. We non baby boomers want to build wealth also. We want to own property. And we want it now. Glad to be in.

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Yes ZZ half-brains seem to do well out of this property game. I think it is just the path of least resistance for most rather than anything to do with low intelligence as many on this site like to suggest. I enquired with my bank yesterday about a business loan to buy another business. They were talking 50% LVR maybe 60% at a stretch. My thinking is I may as well just buy another house because I can borrow 80%.. same money down from me, less work, low risk in the long term. What should I do?

 

Most of those young kiwis that leave NZ will come back.. with deposits to buy houses!

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Agree totally Hugh. Why can I borrow 80%LVR with effectively no money down (just use equity built up in existing properties over past 6-12 months) to buy a house in an environment where the RB is firing warning shots about over-valued house prices left, right and centre.. but if I want to borrow to buy a business with proven cash flow and excellent profitability in an economy with a strong outlook I can only borrow 50%-60%LVR? 

 

 

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I'm more concerned with the fact in NZ we are practically discouraged from investing in business Hugh. 

 

I don't know much about Texas. Houston doesn't seem very similar to Auckland to me though. 

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I'm just a simple man Hugh but I look at Houston on a map and I look at Auckland on a map and one things strikes me as vastly different - land! Houston has lot's of it, indeed as big as Texas. Auckland has very little. 

 

Anyway, what's going on in Houston right now Hugh? A google news search brings this up as the first result:

 

The small inventory of homes for sale continues to drive up home prices. The median price of a single-family home — the midpoint figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less — rose 10.2 percent to $181,750. The average price increased 13.1 percent year-over-year to $248,256. Both figures represent the highest prices for a September in Houston.

 

Here's the second result: Buying a house in Texas has never been more expensive

 

Sounds like Auckland.

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There are thousands of lifestyle blocks around Auckland that could have 10 to 100 houses built on each of them. 

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Hugh, that urbanised 0.7%. Is that of the total land area? Huge swathes couldn't be urbanised ever. Can't see big subdivisions coming to Fiordland any time soon.

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Excellent data, thank you Hugh. The problem is I am one of these crazies that agrees with Auckland Council's urban planners that densification is the way to go. We non boomers want to live and work near the action. This makes available land in Winton of little interest to us. The old supply/demand equation kicks in and the rest as they say is history.

 

Go out and talk to non boomers. I suspect the majority will tell you they want inner city living. The younger they are the moreso they have no interest in suburban/rural life. 

 

Also if a UK scenario is the alternative to what we have here I'll take Auckland house prices every day of the week!

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You are right machiavelli. These Christchurchians and Wellingtonians, sitting behind their keyboards, pontificating away, have never explained that they have spent "actual" time-on-the ground in auckland, understanding the geographical limitations, but you are required to bend at the knee to their greater knowledge of these things, and follow them, they know better than you, they really do know what they are talking about.

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Presumably by normal you mean free market - user pays - no one subsidises anyone else etc?

 

Are you saying therefore that there is absolutely no subsidising of vehicles in Texas? Being the expert could you please comment on Texas fuel taxes and registration etc compared to costs caused by forcing vehicle ownership as only way to get around. Presumably Texas has as high a fuel tax as any other state and car users pay for the consequenses of vehicle emissions?

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Machiavelli; 

Texas' recent house price inflation is a reason for concern. 

Bear in mind, though, that it is still half the prices in real terms, that ours is. And if you look at RE sites, you will find "bottom of the market" properties a FIFTH the price that our "bottom of the market" is. In fact you will find their median-priced home is far superior in quality to our median-priced home.

Also bear in mind that Houston grew from 3.9 million people in 2000, to 5 million in 2010 and is still growing at about that rate. Austin grew from 900,000 to 1.3 million. San Antonio grew from 1.3 million to 1.8 million. Dallas-Fort Worth grew from 4.1 million to 5.1 million.

To be growing like this, and have house prices increase by only 11% in one year, and that being the record so far, does tend to make NZ look very, very stupid. And the fact that they are growing like that, have even faster growth in property purchases over the last few months, and are still staying a few months ahead in "supply".....!

Bear in mind that that is in outright dollars, too, not real terms - income growth in Texas is strong too. 

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Thanks Phil. Good info. Houston/Texas certainly does seem to be the exception looking at cities globally. 

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Mach, it's not just borrowing, the govn could do so much more for start-ups.  If you want to encourage export businesses you need to provide manufacturing facilities at cost, contact with international distributors, access to translators, tax incentives and more. 

 

I run a export business and invest (property, stocks and sports betting) and if someone asked me which I would recommend I would say without a moments hesitation property investment.  Low risk, high return and low amount of time invested. 

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Happy I agree. I run businesses and invest in property. The money I have made from my businesses has been hard slog and even though the risks I took were calculated they put a lot of pressure on. The money I've made from property investment has at times involved a lot of toil (initially to create some equity) but overall is far less stressful, seemingly lower risk and far less time involved for sure. I often joke that my house makes more than I do!

 

Property investment has been pretty easy and the system setup to make it so. Setting up and running businesses has been a hell of a lot harder and you often feel totally unsupported and on your own. At times, it feels like the system is set up to work against you.. a la provisional tax.. Maybe instead of disincintivising people from buying property we should be incentivising them to invest in business. I hypothesize that people are throwing all their money at property because it's the best investment (for all the reasons we've stated above). If there were better investment options that we half brains (present company excluded) had, we would get into that. 

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First Home Buyers should thank Wheeler eventually. They will get a chance to pick up affordably-priced houses after the crash.
In fact locking FHB's out of the market temporarily now will help the crash not to be so severe.
The more of them who have bought already, mortgaged up to the eyeballs, the worse the crash will be. For them as well as everybody else.
The interest rate hikes can be brought on after a few months of protection of potential FHB's. 

Wheeler is a good man. 

I say NZ could get itself a genuine economic recovery by actually building houses on fair-priced land, and attracting the Kiwi diaspora back home, including some of the most entrepreneurial types. NZ policy makers and advisors should read Prof. Nicholas Crafts, “Escaping Liquidity Traps: Lessons from Britain in the 1930′s”.

http://www.voxeu.org/article/escaping-liquidity-traps-lessons-uk-s-1930s-escape

He points out:

“…….Obviously, for the cheap-money policy to work it needed to stimulate demand – a transmission mechanism into the real economy was needed. One specific aspect of this is worth exploring, namely, the impact that cheap money had on house-building.....

".......House building reacted to the reduction in interest rates and also to the recognition by developers that construction costs had bottomed out; both of these stimuli resulted from the cheap-money policy (Howson 1975).

Why was house-building so responsive in the 1930s.....?

"........Houses were cheap because the supply of land for housing was very elastic which in turn meant that there was no incentive for developers to sit on large land banks. Underpinning the availability of land for house-building was an almost complete absence of land-use planning restrictions which applied to only about 75,000 acres in 1932 – the draconian provisions of the 1947 Town and Country Planning Act were still to come……”

We have missed all opportunities to emulate that now, until "after the crash".

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But I believe there is quite a high degree of proof needed?  Watties and canned tomatoes was this? last year? and they failed?

"Anti-dumping duties are imposed on imports when local manufacturers can prove they are suffering as a result of the cheap imports."

I think thats a bit in-correct, it should probably be "Anti-dumping duties are imposed on imports when local manufacturers can prove they are suffering as a result of the below cost imports."  or dumping to get rid of. 

Really I dont think its a big  issue, take tools, a Dewalt is a Dewalt, except here its 2.5x the cost of the USA.

The market is too small for competition and profits via volume.

regards

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Mr Wheeler should be voted "kiwi" of the year, for his effort.

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From Olly Newland's website:

 

"www.ollynewland.net.nz"

 

"Something doesn't make sense here.

The LVR regulations were brought in to check house prices by making deposits bigger.

But yet you can buy a $400,000 car with no money down and drive it away in 15 minutes, furnish a house for hundreds of thousand of dollars with 5 years free credit and nothing paid up front, or half a dozen credit cards with no security and spend the lot in a day.

No regulations there. 

I would bet that these consumables, which devalue  faster than any property, would add up to almost the same amount of debt as on all the over-geared properties.

Why not regulate the lot and do a proper job?

Why pick on houses which are a necessity as compared to the others ?

Maybe Muldoon was right."

 

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".......I would bet that these consumables, which devalue  faster than any property, would add up to almost the same amount of debt as on all the over-geared properties......"

I would bet that they don't - not anything like.

I would also bet that a lot of this consumer-spending related debt is secured against that famous ATM, the rising-value family home.

Also worth noting: easy credit does not drive up the price of things for which there are no restrictions on supply. This is how housing works in several dozen US cities.

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http://www.barfoot.co.nz/508569

Over 1mill for this very basic little place today.

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Gee- the owners could retire to this;

http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-643000308.htm

and put a quarter of a mil in the bank as well!!!!

 

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But it's Palmerston North! Ask John Cleese for a reason to live there..  

Yes, I lived in PN for 3 years, Fergusson St, Terrace End.

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Yes, we named Mt Cleese after him; 

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/37117/mt-cleese

We came here from the Kapiti Coast for work at Massey.  Huge wide streets, parking right outside anywhere you might want to go, no traffic to speak of, every chain store you get everywhere else in NZ, and the same pay rates for uni, hospital, council, education, government, police etc. etc. jobs as per anywhere else in NZ.

Apparently it has become the 4th fastest growing city in NZ - and, given the ever so sensible house prices, I can quite understand why.  

We just recently sold one which we extensively renovated (private sale via TM) - 43% capital gain over a three year period (reno cost taken into account, so that's the actual gain) - took six weeks from listing to unconditional contract. We love this place. 

 

 

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Sorry I've done my stint at PN, (and Wellington, Auckland, Napier, Nelson)  Now in the sunny Brisbane.

To put in perspective how expensive Auckland is; For around $750K you can own this in Brisbane, approximately 4km to the CBD.  Forget the exchange rate, if you work and live in Aust, earning AUD you will spend in AUD. 

http://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-qld-albion-115243455

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Lovely!  But I prefer those Q'landers as the one level they originally were. Still.. gorgoeus though I does highlight the bubble that AKL is - even if you take the exchange rate into account..

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need a pool in brisbane tho?

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Yeah but then you have to live in Brisbane ...

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Yes, a bit like Auckland without the traffic jams (and no Len Brown) - My rates in Brisbane is only $1300/yr 

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The Grey Lynn one is a much cheaper do-up. 440sqm of bad taste interiors isn't cheap to fix - the repairs won't be much cheaper in Palmy than Auckland.

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Surely there would be no money in doing that up as seen in The Block auctions. That's the problem with AKL as I see it - the price pre-renovation is just so high - there seems to be no discount/price consideration given in terms of a property's condition on sale. Add value - and you pretty much just cover your costs (as per The Block), but the risk is you also push an already inflated price up higher. The "day of the do-up" may have passed in AKL for the time being, I think.  

 

But, just a very distant/outside impression.

 

 

 

 

 

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You might break even on the Auckland house and could live in it as is. There's no way you could break even on the Palmy one. It's 440sqm of floor area and every room needs major work before you could move in.

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every room needs major work before you could move in.

 

Are you looking at the same Palmy house? Looks ever so liveable to me!  But agree, don't think either of them have decent "do-up" potential - not if speculative profit is your primary intention.

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 wats the price - auction isnt it?

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If u mean the Palmy one - it's PBN. Order the listing by price and it come in around the $750K mark that way.

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Now why would someone pay that - you can buy much the same thing on a bigger site for $289K -  http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-580982717.htm - is not cheap the only measure of good?

 

I'm sure in Houston both these houses would cost $289K. If we had no RUB the Grey Lynn one would apparently drop $800K in value.

 

 

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Business is difficult enough in the natural circumstance.  But we seem to also have a raft of junior analysts in Wellington who have copious time to make life complicated.  And who don't appreciate that the person in business does not have copious time to deal with what they generate.   But that could be made to be different. 

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