Investment property prices were up and rental yields were down as the Capital Gains Tax debate raged

Investment property prices were up and rental yields were down as the Capital Gains Tax debate raged
Image Nick Youngson http://www.nyphotographic.com/

By Greg Ninness

The possibility of Capital Gains Tax being introduced on rental properties did not appear to affect house prices at the investment end of the market in the six months to March, according to interest.co.nz’s Rental Yield Indicator.

The Indicator tracks the REINZ’s lower quartile selling prices for three bedroom houses over a six month period in 56 locations around the country where there is a high level of rental activity, and matches them with the median rents for three bedroom houses in the same areas.

Those figures are then used to calculate an indicative gross rental yield figure in each of those areas, with a rising yield suggesting rents are rising more strongly than prices, and a falling yield suggesting prices are rising more strongly than rents.

The figures are updated every three months. Over the six months to the end of March the REINZ’s lower quartile selling price for three bedroom houses was higher than it was in the six months to December last year in 40 of the 56 locations monitored, was lower in 15 and unchanged in one.

That reverses the previous trend where the number of locations where prices were rising had been declining, and suggests that if the possibility of CGT was having a chilling effect on investment property sales, it didn't flow through to prices.

Even in Auckland, where the residential property market has shown the clearest signs of weakness over late summer, lower quartile prices for three bedroom houses rose in five of the 10 locations monitored (Beachhaven/Birkdale, Torbay, Glen Eden, Henderson and Avondale), and declined in five (Orewa/Whangaparaoa, Massey/Royal Heights, Highland Park, Papakura and Pukekohe).

Rising prices may bring a smile to the face of investors who already own rental properties and are banking on a capital gain, but it has done little to improve the relative attractiveness of buying additional rental properties because rents haven’t risen at the same pace and overall, rental yields have declined.

For the six months to March the indicative yields were down in 29 of the 56 areas monitored compared to the six months to December, while they were up in 18 and unchanged in nine.

In the six months to December, yields were down (compared to the six months to September) in 26 locations, up in 19 and unchanged in 11.

So there has been a shift in the market over the six months to March, where lower quartile prices for three bedroom houses in popular rental locations have firmed at a faster pace than rents, forcing down rental yields in the majority of those locations.

Around the country there continues to be a substantial variation in indicative yields, and therefore in the relative attractiveness of buying rental properties in different locations, with the lowest indicative yields being in Auckland 3.4% to 5.1%, the Tauranga area 3.7% to 5.0%, Waikato 4.4% to 4.9%, Kapiti 4.5%, Wellington City 4.6% to 4.9%, Tasman 4.3% to 4.4%, Nelson 4.6% and Queenstown 4.0%.

The areas with the highest indicative yields were Invercargill 7.2%, Flaxmere in Hastings 8.2% Wanganui 8.1% and Waitara/Inglewood 7.6%.

The table below tracks the indicative yields in all 56 locations monitored by the Indicator.


Indicative gross rental yields for three bedroom houses in 56 selected areas with high rental activity during the previous six months. Based on REINZ lower quartile selling prices and median rents recorded by Tenancy Services' Bonds Centre in each area over the previous six months.
    Indicative gross rental yields for the six months ending:
Town/region March
2019
Dec
2018
Sept
2018
June
2018
March
2018
Dec
2017
Sept
2017
June
2017
March
2017
Dec
2016
Sept
2016
June
2016
March
2016
Dec
2015
Sept
2015
June
2015
March
2015
Dec
2014
Sept
2014
Whangarei:                                      
Kamo/Tikipunga/Kensington 5.3 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.4 5.5 5.3 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.9 6.1 6.0 5.6 7.1 6.5 6.9 7.6
6.4
                                     
 
Rodney - Orewa/Whangaparaoa 4.2 4.1 3.9 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 3.8 3.9 4.1 4.1 4.1 4.3 4.5 4.5 4.6
4.8
                                     
 
North Shore:                                    
 
Beach Haven/Birkdale 3.8 3.8 3.9 3.9 3.8 3.8 4.0 3.8 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.9 3.8 3.9 4.0 4.3 4.3
4.6
Torbay 3.8 3.9 3.9 3.7 3.7 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.7 3.6 3.4 3.6 3.8 3.6 3.8 4.0 4.5 4.6
4.5
                                     
 
Waitakere:                                    
 
Glen Eden 4.0 4.1 4.1 3.9 3.8 3.9 3.9 3.9 4.0 3.8 3.7 3.9 4.0 4.0 4.1 4.3 4.6 4.9
5.1
Massey/Royal Heights 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.2 4.2 3.9 3.9 3.8 4.0 3.9 3.8 4.1 4.1 4.0 4.1 4.4 4.6 4.9
5.1
Henderson 4.1 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.0 3.9 3.8 3.8 3.8 4.1 4.1 4.1 4.4 4.7 4.9
5.0
                                     
 
Central Auckland:                                    
 
Avondale 3.9 3.9 4.1 4.0 3.7 3.6 3.6 3.5 3.6 3.6 3.7 3.6 3.7 3.7 3.9 4.1 4.2 4.4
4.5
                                     
 
Manukau:                                    
 
Highland Park 3.4 3.3 3.3 3.6 3.7 3.6 3.8 3.6 3.5 3.5 3.4 3.3 3.3 3.6 3.6 3.8 3.8 4.1
4.3
Papakura/Drury/Karaka 5.1 5.0 4.9 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.3 4.3 4.4 4.4 4.7 4.8 4.8 4.9 5.5 5.6 5.9
6.0
Franklin - Pukekohe/Tuakau 4.7 4.6 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.8 4.8 4.6 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.6
5.6
                                     
 
Hamilton:                                    
 
Deanwell/Melville/Fitzroy 4.9 4.9 5.1 5.1 5.1 4.9 4.8 4.8 4.8 5.0 5.1 5.4 5.3 5.5 6.2 6.8 6.9 6.9
6.9
Fairfield/Fairview Downs 4.4 4.4 4.8 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.5 4.5 4.9 4.8 4.8 5.1 5.4 5.7 6.0 6.8 6.7 6.2
7.0
Te Kowhai/St Andrews/Queenswood 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.9 5.3 5.4 5.4 5.6
5.8
                                     
 
Cambridge/Leamington 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.6 4.3 4.2 4.4 4.4 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.8 5.2 5.3 5.2 5.5 5.5 5.6
5.9
                                       
Te Awamutu 4.9 4.9 5.1 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.1 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.2 5.7 6.2 6.3 6.5 6.2 6.3
6.4
                                     
 
Tauranga:                                    
 
Tauranga Central/Greerton 5.5 5.1 4.9 4.8 4.7 4.8 5.1 4.7 4.6 4.4 4.3 3.7 5.2 5.2 5.6 6.0 6.1 5.9
5.9
Bethlehem/Otumoetai 3.7 4.0 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.3 4.1 4.0 4.1 3.7 4.2 4.2 4.6 4.8 4.8 4.5 4.8 5.3
5.4
Mt Maunganui 4.6 4.5 4.6 4.6 4.4 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.4 4.2 4.2 4.4 4.8 4.6 4.7 5.4 5.7 5.6
5.2
Pyes Pa/Welcome Bay 4.8 4.7 4.5 4.6 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.3 4.8 4.8 4.9 4.8 5.4 5.5 5.3 5.9 5.7 5.7
5.8
Kaimai/Te Puke 5.0 5.1 5.1 4.8 4.9 5.5 5.0 4.9 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.8 5.9 6.2 6.4 6.2 6.2
5.7
                                       
Whakatane 5.7 5.9 5.8 6.1 6.3 6.0 6.1 6.0 6.1 5.8 6.5 6.6 6.4 7.1 7.3 6.7 6.3 6.7
6.9
                                       
Roturua:                                      
Holdens Bay/Owhata/Ngapuna 6.1 6.3 7.0 7.8 7.8 7.4 9.3 10.5 8.0 9.7 10.7 9.4 8.7 8.3 8.7 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Kuirau/Hillcrest/Glenholm 4.9 4.9 5.5 5.4 5.8 4.9 5.6 5.5 4.9 7.3 7.5 6.4 5.9 6.3 6.6 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Ngongotaha/Pleasant Heights/Koutu 6.1 6.5 6.7 6.0 6.7 7.6 8.5 6.2 8.6 8.2 7.2 7.9 7.7 8.0 8.2 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
                                       
Hastings - Flaxmere 8.2 8.3 8.4 9.2 9.6 9.8 9.9 9.3 8.9 8.6 9.4 9.3 10.9 11.5 11.0 12.1 12.2 11.7
11.8
                                     
 
Napier - Taradale 5.0 5.1 4.9 4.7 4.6 4.4 4.4 4.9 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.5 5.4 5.6 5.5 5.3 6.2 6.3
6.1
                                       
Taranaki:                                      
New Plymouth Central/Moturoa 5.3 5.1 4.6 4.8 4.6 4.7 5.4 4.9 4.7 5.3 5.1 5.4 5.8 5.4 5.5 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Waitara/Inglewood 7.6 7.4 6.6 6.5 6.4 6.1 6.0 7.2 8.1 7.0 7.7 7.7 8.8 8.9 8.0 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
                                       
Whanganui 8.1 8.2 8.5 9.0 9.0 8.9 8.7 8.6 9.1 9.7 9.7 10.3 9.6 10.0 14.9 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
                                       
Palmerston North:                                      
Kelvin Grove/Roslyn 5.6 5.7 5.9 6.2 6.3 6.5 6.3 6.5 6.6 6.6 7.0 7.3 7.4 7.2 7.2 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Palmerston North Central 5.3 5.2 5.1 5.1 5.0 4.9 5.5 6.0 5.9 5.6 6.5 6.3 5.6 5.5 6.2 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Takaro/Cloverlea/Milson 5.6 5.7 5.8 6.1 6.0 5.9 6.2 6.2 6.1 6.3 6.7 6.8 7.2 7.1 7.3 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
                                     
 
Kapiti Coast:                                    
 
Paraparaumu/Raumati 4.5 4.8 5.2 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 4.9 4.8 5.3 5.6 5.7 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.1 6.1
5.9
Waikanae/Otaki 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.5 5.4 5.2 4.7 4.7 5.2 5.5 5.8 5.8 5.9 6.5 6.8 6.6 6.7 5.5
5.4
                                     
 
Upper Hutt:                                      
Heretaunga/Silverstream 4.9 5.0 4.9 4.9 4.8 5.0 5.4 4.7 4.7 4.6 5.3 5.6 5.8 5.8 6.1 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Totara Park/Maoribank/Te Marua 5.2 5.3 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.8 5.2 5.7 6.2 6.3 6.2 6.8 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
                                       
Lower Hutt:                                      
Epuni/Avalon 5.2 5.1 4.5 4.7 5.0 4.5 4.8 4.9 5.1 5.6 5.1 5.5 5.8 5.2 5.1 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Taita/Naenae 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.5 5.7 5.9 5.5 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.2 6.5 6.8 6.9 7.1 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Wainuiomata 5.5 5.5 5.3 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.7 5.9 5.9 6.3 7.0 7.2 7.7 7.7 7.7 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
                                       
Wellington:                                    
 
Johnsonville/Newlands 4.9 5.1 5.0 4.9 4.9 4.6 5.0 5.0 4.9 4.8 4.8 5.2 5.5 5.4 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.5
6.2
Vogeltown/Berhampore/Newtown 4.6 4.4 4.3 5.0 4.9 4.3 4.5 4.5 4.2 4.1 4.6 4.9 5.4 5.2 5.5 5.1 5.5 5.2
5.6
                                     
 
Tasman:                                    
 
Motueka 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.2 4.2 4.5 5.0 4.4 4.0 4.0 4.7 5.3 5.2 5.4 5.3 5.3 5.5 5.6
5.5
Richmond/Wakefield/Brightwater 4.4 4.3 4.3 4.5 4.5 4.6 4.8 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.8 5.3 5.3 5.3 5.5 5.6 5.6 5.8
5.9
                                       
Nelson - Stoke/Nayland/Tahunanui 4.6 4.5 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.9 4.8 5.0 5.1 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.5 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.7 5.7
6.0
                                       
Blenheim 5.3 5.3 5.4 5.7 5.6 5.5 5.7 5.6 5.8 6.3 6.5 6.5 7.0 7.0 6.4 6.5 6.5 6.6
6.5
                                     
 
Christchurch:                                    
 
Hornby/Islington/Hei Hei 5.9 5.8 6.0 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.7 6.1 6.1 6.0 6.0 6.2 6.2 6.3 6.5
6.3
Riccarton 5.2 5.1 5.6 5.6 5.2 5.7 5.1 4.7 5.0 5.2 5.5 5.0 5.7 5.0 4.9 5.9 5.2 4.9
5.1
Woolston/Opawa 6.5 7.1 7.2 7.4 7.8 6.7 6.2 6.0 6.2 6.5 6.6 7.4 6.3 6.4 6.6 6.8 7.3 7.2
8.0
                                       
Ashburton 5.8 6.3 6.3 5.2 5.3 5.8 6.3 7.0 8.3 8.4 6.3 6.1 6.2 7.0 6.9 7.0 6.8 6.7
7.2
                                     
 
Timaru 6.1 6.1 5.8 5.6 5.8 6.2 6.0 5.7 6.0 5.9 6.1 6.4 6.5 6.4 6.2 6.6 6.8 6.7
6.3
                                     
 
Queenstown/Frankton/Arrowtown 4.0 4.1 4.3 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.6 4.3 4.1 4.5 4.3 4.6 5.2 5.0 4.8 4.9 4.7
5.3
                                     
 
Dunedin:                                      
Kenmure/Mornington 5.1 5.5 5.7 6.2 5.9 5.4 5.8 6.3 7.5 6.5 6.3 6.7 7.9 7.1 6.6 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Mosgiel 5.2 5.3 5.5 5.8 5.6 5.4 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.7 5.7 5.7 6.4 6.4 6.1 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
South Dunedin/St Kilda 6.9 6.4 6.8 7.3 7.6 7.6 8.6 8.0 7.9 7.5 8.1 7.4 7.2 8.0 8.2 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
                                       
Invercargill 7.2 7.7 8.3 8.2 7.9 7.9 8.9 8.3 8.3 7.9 8.3 8.4 8.7 9.1 9.0 6.7 9.0 9.2
9.5

Source: Base data from REINZ / MBIE

*Yield is a property's annual rent expressed as a percentage of its purchase price. The indicative yield figures in this table are gross, and are calculated from the REINZ's lower quartile selling price for three bedroom houses in each area during the previous 6 months, and the median rent for three bedroom houses calculated from new tenancy bonds received by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment for the same areas/period. This gives an indication of the gross rental yield that would have been achieved in each area if a three bedroom house was purchased at the lower quarter price and rented at the median rent for that area.

The comment stream on this story is now closed.

*This article was first published in our email for paying subscribers early on Thursday morning. See here for more details and how to subscribe.

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.

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.

19 Comments

Investment yields from rental houses are not particularly high - but a bit higher than I thought they would be. (I would surmise that many (most?) landlords can generate a reasonable positive cashflow at present, especially if they stage/manage their outgoings.)

Despite being expressed in gross terms, rental yields compare pretty favourably with current interest rates for term deposits. (Mind you, there's not much out there that doesn't compare favourably with term deposit returns at the present time.)

TTP

"(I would surmise that many (most?) landlords can generate a reasonable positive cashflow at present, especially if they stage/manage their outgoings.)" - Translation from TTPish to English - "Landlords can get cashflow positive if they slumlord".

It's a rare property that's cashflow positive these days. Give it a year or two, and we'll see more cashflow positive opportunities.

Ocelot, that's an ignorant, envious comment. No professional landlord would just buy a house for a 5% yield and hope "the value goes up", that's speculation, not investment. I would never buy a house where I cannot create a 20% improvement in value within 6 months, this doesn't not mean "slumlording" as you claim but it means creating something of sufficient value so that a tenant is happy to pay more rent.

Sounds like you have the skills of a long term landlord with some building nous thrown in? As opposed to the lemmings who have rushed in with thoughts of overnight tax free gains for nothing - as has has occurred in the last 3-5 years..

Thanks rastus, I've been investing in property for over 20 years and I would be perfectly happy to do it in an environment where average property prices don't rise. Like any other profession you have to create some value that makes your customer (tenant) happy to part with his/her cash because they think it's worthwhile and they stay long term because they get treated well (I do also own businesses that have nothing to do with property)

It's arbitrary to calculate the yield based on a lower quartile price and median rent, it cannot be generalised beyond other yield calculated the same way, certainly not to compare to term deposits.

Seems reasonable given most rentals will be in the lower quartile, so median rent is likely the rent paid for a lower quartile property.

I agree it's probably reasonable, but there's going to be some inconsistency (which also probably varies between region, and maybe even over time) that means it's not directly comparable to instruments that you know the precise yield of. Probably good for tracking yields though.

A gross yield of ~4% in Auckland is pretty sketchy when you haven't even accounted for maintenance, rates and insurance yet - just adding them will put you somewhere lower than term deposits for a riskier and less liquid investment. If you have a decent sized mortgage, then there's going to be very little left over.

I would argue it's inappropriate to compare rental yields to term deposit rates - I would expect a significant premium to justify taking on the extra risk of buying rental property vs sticking money in a (relatively) safe bank account. Full disclosure - I have a rental property (not in NZ), but have done rather better with my share portfolio.

Winnie just took the handbrake off the property market, watch it gather speed......uphill.

yeah...like winnie can change the global credit markets. Oh boy.

"Investment property prices were up… as the Capital Gains Tax debate raged

Very strange, I must admit being very surprised and unable to explain this headline.

I think its the first homers wisely getting in to a home...obvs cgt would not have affected them. They want more security in life and realize that it is safe to ignore the doomers

Probably is. But I disagree that's it's 'safe to ignore the doomers'. I think that's a rather irresponsible statement. It's very sad for those who've bought in Auckland in the last couple of years. If you've never seen a market tank it's hard to believe it could, especially when you're suffering cognitive dissonance because you really, really want to buy a home. Those who wait it out a year or two (maybe more) will be in a much better place once the market resets to where it should be. It's impossible to time the market but when prices are flat, then falling, and it's much cheaper to rent than buy even with a huge deposit, you're better off to wait.

"...wait it out a year or two". It has been almost 10 years since I joined this site. How many more years are these FHB's going to wait? Till they're in their 50's?

Well spoken, DGZ.

There'll be a good many people who read your comment that wish they'd purchased a house 10 years ago.

TTP

Yeah glad I never found this Website before I bought my first house. The DGM's on here would have ruined my whole life as I know it. I would be sitting here age 52 with nothing.

FHB here in Auckland, my take is wait another 6-12 months to see where the market goes, is there any advice out there weather this is the best method?

Hi Jaytwo,

Lately, we're having a bad spell of "weather".

TTP (-;