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As the Covid-19 Dust Settles

This newsletter is being written in Level 2 and as we head, hopefully, in less than four weeks, to Level 1. (Isn’t it interesting how quickly we have adapted since Covid-19 to so many new terms and restrictions?). The Dunedin real estate market also appears to have adapted well. While the number of sales, during Level 4 in April, decreased something like 85% and sales consultants were unable to show property other than on-line, there has been a flurry of interest and activity from...

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Covid-19 Makes Impact. A Virus with a Punch.

Well, when I commented in my last newsletter that at the current pace of change I wouldn’t be surprised at any developments in real estate, I did not quite foresee the events of the past few days. Not only are open homes and private inspections temporarily outlawed, real estate transactions have entered a new phase as the country goes into lockdown for at least four weeks. Taking and communicating offers by email is now the norm. And, yes, despite some buyers’ reluctance to become...

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VIRUS EFFECTS ON HOUSING (Written Thursday, 19th March 2020)

Buyers and sellers are asking if the coronavirus crisis will affect the Dunedin housing market? My response is — almost certainly yes. As we come to the end of the first quarter of 2020, the full impact of some of the most dramatic economic events have yet to be felt here. But already the economic impact of Government quarantine requirements and restrictions on travel is showing. The lives and livelihoods of many thousands of people, not only in tourism and hospitality, but across many...

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What Will 2020 Market Bring?

Once again, at the start of another calendar year many buyers are asking for real estate market predictions. For some who have delayed buying and watched prices continue to rise, it is a question of timing. Do they buy now or wait in the hope that prices might fall? My standard advice on real estate markets, no matter what the market is doing, is: There’s never a better time to buy than now. Ideally, buying property, especially investment property, should not be a short-term move. The...

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Merry Christmas

A very merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone. It’s been a memorable year, not least, sadly, for the tragedies that have befallen our country in 2019. It’s also been a tight and competitive residential housing market in Dunedin and there’s no reason to believe that will change in 2020.  We have some exciting properties lined up for the early part of the year and we look forward to showing them. Remember that for any contracts subject to conditions confirming...

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Changing Properties

While buying your first home is difficult enough in this climate, many buyers are finding changing properties, whether moving up or downsizing, even more daunting. From my discussions with buyers, I know that many have given up trying to find a new home. This might help explain, in part, why the Dunedin market is experiencing some of the lowest listing numbers in its recent history. To move, many homeowners need to rely on the proceeds of their existing home and, sometimes, a bigger...

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More on Back-up Offers and Cash-outs

In these times of heightened competition for Dunedin property, it is worth knowing how back-up offers and cash-out clauses work, including some of the finer details. Back-up offers and offers invoking a cash-out clause both come after a contract is already on a property. The first contract is then referred to as the “prior agreement”. Any subsequent offer must acknowledge the prior agreement by the insertion of a clause under the “Further Terms” section.  The two...

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Capital Gains – Long-term Property Investment

In strong property markets, thoughts of capital gain on property investment naturally surface. In this rising market, a common question is: “When should we sell?” Capital gains is an even hotter topic now as the Government’s Tax Working Group appears set to recommend, except for the primary family home, a broader tax on property capital gains. In times gone by, particularly in the years 2000-07, many amateurs turned to home improvement as a way of making money from property...

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Making Money from Property Investment

Residential property has been on an upward swing since late 2015. Just how long this growth stage will last I have commented on previously (Blog – February-March 2018, See Other Blogs on my web site).  The market is still rising, attracting first home buyers and investors. It is slowing but is unlikely to come to a halt for at least another 18 months, while interest rates are low and demand outstrips supply. Any property can be a good investment, but there are some general...

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Improve Your Chances

In times like these of intense competition for property, with the number of offers received sometimes  into double figures, it’s crucial for buyers to put themselves in as competitive a position as possible. I’ve said this before (OFFERING IN COMPETITION) but the simplest offers are the ones vendors will look to accept or work with first. If an unconditional offer is the highest, vendors will often accept that and not look to negotiate further. If an unconditional offer is...

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Pre-Sale Info - What to Expect

Real estate salespeople are obliged to encourage buyers to carry out full inquiry into a property they are thinking of purchasing. Indeed, any prudent buyer should satisfy themselves they are well informed about all matters relating to their prospective purchase. Vendors also have an interest in providing as much information as possible. Salespeople have a duty to disclose any relevant information they uncover or are advised of by the vendor. But what information should the vendor provide to...

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What Will 2018 Hold?

With a new year already more than a month gone, many home-owners and buyers will be wondering what lies ahead. The past few years have been full of change, nowhere more than in Otago. While Auckland’s soaring property values have finally taken a breather over the past 12 months, Dunedin residential values, as in many other regional centres, have continued to be in catch-up mode after six or seven years of stagnation, with median sales values rising close to 15% a year. The median sales...

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Does the Market take a Holiday?

Over the past few decades it’s been common for the residential real estate market to slow in December and take a while to wake up again after the balmy January holiday period. Occasionally, there has been a late flurry of activity in December as some buyers have rushed to get property purchases sorted before Christmas and a few vendors, running behind schedule, have launched property to the market late. Last December there were 215 sales. Compare that with October sales this year of...

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New Political Landscape

Several buyers and vendors have asked recently what effect the new coalition government might have on real estate, and particularly the Dunedin market. The short answer is probably very little. One of the promises made during the election campaign by new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was the  early introduction of legislation ending overseas buyers’ rights to purchase existing property. Although if the buyer intends to reside in New Zealand they could escape the ban, if previous...

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An Attractive Investment City

It might surprise many Dunedin property owners to know that our city is coming to be highly thought of by specialist property investors. Many investors I meet are convinced that Dunedin offers some of the best potential investment property of any city in the Southern Hemisphere. They like the fact that our property, despite recent price rises, still represents good value and offers an attractive return for a relatively low capital investment. Experienced investors look for net returns around...

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Eight Years at the Top

t’s very pleasing to report I’ve retained the No 1 sales position with Nidd Realty for the past 12 months. That makes it eight years now, since 2010, in the top spot. Awards were presented recently and my year-old business partnership with Kerry Sizemore-George has proved a real success, adding extra value for clients and improving our team’s overall performance. My thanks also to personal assistant Leanne Evans who keeps everything running smoothly.

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Market Turnaround

The state of the market now – very much a sellers’ market – has prompted me to look back to 2010 and the years since to see if we can draw any conclusions. The market has certainly changed since 2010. Back then the market was sluggish, multiple offers were rare and unconditional offers rarer still – a contrast to the tough conditions facing buyers today. In May 2010 there were just 154 sales in Dunedin compared with 200 this May. Notably, 106 of the May 2010 sales were...

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Best Buyer Wins - Every Time

Few people would be surprised to learn that the Dunedin residential market continues to be a sellers’ market, with a shortage of listings and many more buyers than properties available. Even though sales have been humming along around 250 per month, the listing numbers have hovered around 450 in Dunedin for the past few weeks. That’s around half the number that might be expected to be for sale in late autumn (see our monthly market report on www.graemepennell.co.nz). In one...

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Vendors Ask: Auction or Deadline?

As the market continues to rise, property owners thinking of selling might be wondering what sale method they should choose to ensure they get the best possible price. Two sale methods are proving popular with vendors in this market – deadline sale and auction. Which one would be right for your property? Both methods can have excellent results. There is one very basic difference between the two: an auction is an open bidding process, while a deadline sale is a closed offering system in...

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How Long Will the Market Stay Heated?

If we could see into the future, buyers and sellers would be able to time sales and purchases to maximum advantage. We can’t foresee the future but we can learn a lot from the past. Many buyers and sellers are asking will property prices continue to rise through this year. Some estimates put Dunedin house values rising up to 15% in the past 12 months. REINZ figures for December 2015 compared with December 2016 put the median house price increase for the Otago area at 10% (Read More...

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Agency Agreements Vital

In the old days of real estate it was not uncommon for a property owner to tell a sales consultant that they could bring a buyer through the property on a casual basis but they did not want to formally list their property, pay for advertising  or have it marketed. But since the Real Estate Agents Act 2008, which came into effect in November 2009, it is very clear that a sales consultant must have an agency agreement (often called a listing authority) in place before they can market a...

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Rating Values Update & Deposit Constraints

RATING VALUES UPDATE All Dunedin properties were re-valued for rating purposes in July. Home-owners will be receiving their revised capital valuations in November. Rating valuations are carried out every three years in Dunedin. The city council engages Quotable Value New Zealand to do this work. QV values each property for market value (excluding chattels). It is very likely this year that many property owners will discover their properties have increased in value substantially since 2013...

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Clarifying Capital Valuations – Part 1 & Part 2

CLARIFYING CAPITAL VALUATIONS – PART 1 Buyers and vendors often have a confused understanding of capital valuations, sometimes abbreviated to CV. The confusion surrounds not only what a CV is but what it means. A capital valuation is carried out by a largely independent organization to provide property values for rating purposes for a local authority.  For some time in Dunedin, these valuations have been done every three years by Quotable Value (QV) for the Dunedin City Council...

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