House ownership to last longer??

The lifespan of home ownership may increase as a result of government policy targeting those seeking short-term gains.

Mike Bayley, managing director of one of Auckland's largest real estate companies, Bayleys, says he expects new government policy which has targeted investors will encourage home-owners to hold properties for longer.

"Sustained housing growth and the subsequent rise of wealth creation through property investment has caused the Reserve Bank, financial institutions and the government to clamp down on the sector by supplementing current loan-to-value restrictions (LVR) with initiatives like bright line test extensions," he says.

"We've seen activity from investors halve over the last 12 months," he says. "However a resurgence of first home buyers and owner-occupiers has underpinned current market demand."

His comments come following the release of figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) showing the median sale price for residential property across all companies in the Auckland region fell by 3.2 per cent year on year to $850,000.

But he says softening sales volumes of standalone houses and an increase of apartment sales are contributing to this result which he believes can be misleading if not fully investigated.

When the REINZ statistics by average price is calculated, prices for Auckland and nationally in October compared to October a year ago stood at $1.06m and $644,750 respectively - an increase of 2 per cent in both cases.

Bayley says the company's latest auction result statistics for the 12 months to September show a 70 per cent clearance rate with properties selling approximately 40 per cent above the average for both Auckland and nationally.

"This shows quality property brought to the market under the right circumstances is still achieving positive results," he says.

Sales activity across Auckland's suburbs in 2018 will be
impacted by varying infrastructure improvements, the
availability of amenities and the quality of housing

In west Auckland, thought to be New Zealand's
largest residential growth area, massive developments
are underway in Riverhead, Hobsonville, Westgate and
Massey, projects which Bayley expects will spur value
gains as job opportunities, dining and retail precincts
attract new residents.

On the North Shore, a lack of new listings has caused
some sellers to hesitate for fear of moving without the
security of another property in the pipeline.

However Bayley says sales activity is not expected to fall further due to the imbalance between supply and demand which continues to drive an appetite for quality, well-located properties.

Sales in excess of a million dollars showed the most growth in central Auckland during the first half of 2017, largely because of the construction of new luxury apartments.

"Larger homes in city-fringe suburbs such as Parnell, St Mary's Bay and Ponsonby have held their values well," he says. "We expect this to persist throughout the implementation of new investment regulations in the first quarter of 2018."

In east Auckland sales of lifestyle properties have been stable despite suffering a wetter-than-usual winter. But sellers have been tentative and buyers choosey, seeking properties finished to a high standard in favour of 'do-up' properties.

Bayley believes the most promising opportunities for buyers will be in high growth areas with significant investment in infrastructure and public transport taking shape across Auckland's south and west - the recently revealed plans by Infrastructure New Zealand to build a satellite city capable of housing 500,000 people centred near the small settlement of Paerata north of Pukekohe being an example.

"Despite sales volumes for homes under $600,000 starting the year slowly, this price bracket has performed better in the second half of the year with first home buyers filling the void left by other buyer classes."

From The New Zealand Herald 

Auckland residential suburb