UPdate July 2017

With the America’s Cup now in the trophy cabinet, the shortest day behind us and interest rates stable, the glass is undoubtedly at least half full in the Auckland property market. While commentary continues to point to low sales volumes, the big picture includes the fact that Auckland’s population is projected to double over the next 25 years and along side that the housing shortage is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.

So why the sluggish market? Two things – firstly we are suffering the pause prior to an election and secondly, the 40% deposit limit on investors has had an effect. The flip side however is that in the preferred areas we serve around central Auckland and the Bays, there is actually a shortage of options for many buyers looking to purchase.

The current reality is that our open home attendance is robust, our auctions have been well attended and most vendors are enjoying buyer competition for their property. This fact is born out by our 50% clearance rate on the day and 81% during the auction period.Add to this one of our strongest June results on record. In short while there is much talk and various interpretations of the markets direction, we are not expecting a significant down side looking forward. Our prediction is that the market activity will bounce back post-election and that Auckland will respond to the positivity of an America’s Cup win.

The speak around interest rates is that they may trend upwards – it appears this is not imminent and will only be slight. In the meantime rates remain low. Add to this Dairy prices turning around, strong population growth, a tourism and construction boom– the big picture is New Zealand Inc. is doing well.  In short. If I was a buyer I would not hesitate to act. Every home is different, you still have to find what you want, never easy – and the medium term future is bright. Plus there is always a bounce in activity post-election. If I was a seller, I would look at how many similar homes/properties are being offered in my area right now. The answer is probably very few – I would take advantage of that and list now.

MARKET COMMENTARY MAY 2017

Does anything affect decision making more than confusion? Our observation is that this is the malaise that is currently undermining decision making dynamics that have driven the market in recent years and is the reason for its current sluggishness. Since Christmas there have been many reports and headlines indicating a slowing, particularly with regard to sale volumes. There’s no doubt that banks have taken a new very cautious approach to lending – this as well as the more stringent L.V.R. (Loan to Value Ratio) seem to have affected investment buying. In central Auckland however we have little or no indication of prices softening, just buyer attitude becoming more cautious. Add an extended summer and Easter/school holiday period with three short weeks and its not hard to understand why momentum has not built as in other years. Put the overlay of macro issues like the Trump effect, North Korean sabre rattling and bombing in Syria and you can understand why there has been something of a confused wait and see attitude.

 

In the meantime there are many factors that have not changed, consequently house prices continue to firm in central Auckland. These factors include record immigration, rising land value and building cost, an overall shortage of homes and a shortage of labour to build them. Given the issues around compliance and consent, there will be no quick fix to the supply side of the ledger any time soon. Given the likes of the macro issues described above its no wonder the rest of the world is becoming increasingly curious about the lifestyle we enjoy. Record tourist numbers are testament to this. Of particular interest is the 25% increase in tourist numbers from America.

 

Driving around Auckland leaves you aghast at the investment that is going into the city – its huge. We are undoubtedly becoming one of the most desirable places to live on earth and as a consequence developing into a big city. This won’t change. Big picture – don’t be confused. If the locals can’t see it, the rest of the world can and they want to live here. In short the demand for a piece of Auckland/New Zealand is here to stay. We have too much going for us. Yes there are many things that can slow the market in the short term like election year, the use of financial tools and a media that often creates confusion. Don’t expect a crash however, our view is to the contrary and has the weight of world opinion on our side. In short, its actually a great time to buy.

REAL ESTATE BY DESIGN

Rare Art Deco AEPB substation conversion hits the market – Stuff

Photographer and artist Sally Tagg found the perfect home and studio when she moved into this converted Auckland Electric Power Board substation seven years ago.

But she says it wasn’t the first time she had been in the Herne Bay house, although she never dreamed she might one day own the property.

“The house once belonged to Joanna Paul (media executive, actor and TV newsreader) and I had been there for a photo shoot,” Tagg says. “Joanna and her partner undertook the original conversion project, turning the substation into a home. And I came along a couple of owners later.”

Owner Sally Tagg, a photographer and artist, added the large canopy at the front of the house.

Owner Sally Tagg, a photographer and artist, added the large canopy at the front of the house.

The photographer says each owner has made their own mark on the building – she herself has added a large canopy at the front of the house, which provides shelter for photo shoots when the weather is poor. And she converted the garage into an art studio.

READ MORE
New loft-stye penthouse has transformed Auckland Magistrates Court
No expense spared on $15m Mt Eden council chambers and fire station conversion
Ponsonby’s historic Masonic-style hall is getting a major makeover by young couple

Sally Tagg (left) has added her artistic flair to both the interior and exterior.

Sally Tagg (left) has added her artistic flair to both the interior and exterior.

But with a son and four grandchildren in Switzerland, Tagg has now decided to sell up so she can spend a lot more time with the family. “I would like to do the half-and-half thing, spending time over there and back here in a smaller home,” she says.

Consequently, she has listed the three-bedroom, 249 square-metre property with Patrick McCarthy of Unlimited Potential Herne Bay.

Tagg says the solid concrete building dates back to the early 1940s. “At that time the power board buildings were all in the industrial Deco style,” she says. “They were all very simple, very sturdy and rectangular. They have quite a Deco look, which you can see in the detailing, such as the fluting around the top edge of the front – that is very typical of the Deco style.

And this is the unexpected delight - a rooftop terrace with views back to the city centre.

And this is the unexpected delight – a rooftop terrace with views back to the city centre.

“The walls are 30cm-thick and incredibly hard. Someone has told me they were built to withstand internal combustion. If anything ever exploded inside, it would be contained.”

Large windows maximise the sunlight. “Because this is a corner site, there is sun pouring through the windows right throughout the day. I love light. I couldn’t live anywhere dark.”

The house features a soaring ceiling with a double-height living area. Two original skylights remain, along with two new ...

The house features a soaring ceiling with a double-height living area. Two original skylights remain, along with two new smaller ones, which help to ensure the interior is flooded with light.

But another special feature that may well be Tagg’s favourite, is the rooftop terrace (with spa), which is accessed via a window in the master suite on the upper level. “The roof area really sold me on the property – it was quite unexpected. The first time I went up there I just stood there with my mouth open. There is a wonderful view back to the city and it’s not a view you get to see very often from this part of town.”

Tagg has ensured the property is relatively low maintenance. “There are blueberries, a couple of fig trees and a lime tree on the roof. The rest of the garden is quite subtropical, and there is no grass anymore. I did have a small area, but that is now ‘planted’ with white Artic pebbles and dwarf mondo plants.”

The property is for sale by negotiation through Unlimited Potential. It has a 2014 RV of $2,200,000.

The timber kitchen is positioned in one corner of the living space.

The timber kitchen is positioned in one corner of the living space.

Large windows are lightly draped with Duette blinds or fine, transparent curtains, which replace the heavy dark brocade ...

Large windows are lightly draped with Duette blinds or fine, transparent curtains, which replace the heavy dark brocade drapes the previous owners had used.

This TV room has an intimate ambiance.

This TV room has an intimate ambiance.

The house 249 square-metre house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The house 249 square-metre house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Sally Tagg has converted the garage into a studio.

Sally Tagg has converted the garage into a studio.

In this contemporary bathroom, it's possible to soak in the tub while enjoying the leafy outlook.

In this contemporary bathroom, it’s possible to soak in the tub while enjoying the leafy outlook.

The property is defined by both the character building and the subtropical planting.

The property is defined by both the character building and the subtropical planting.