December 2013 As we head into the Christmas – New Year break it is time to reflect on 2013 and what we have seen in the market in the last twelve months. It has been very similar to 2012 with prices moving upwards but not at the levels seen in Christchurch and Auckland, but there is still strong demand. The big event that occurred was the announcement of the LVR (Loan to value ratio) restrictions by the reserve bank to try and slow down the markets especially in Auckland and Christchurch. Last week the Reserve Bank has announced new builds will be exempt from LVR restrictions. This is a wise decision given the huge demand for development that exists, particularly in Auckland and Christchurch. To jeopardise the construction of thousands of new houses through LVR restrictions is detrimental to what the Reserve Bank is trying to achieve, and Graeme Wheeler should be given credit for listening to the building industry and going back on this original stance. Meanwhile, there are no obvious indications that LVR restrictions are tempering house prices nationwide. The average national house price now sits at $468,943 – which is an all-time high. Anecdotally we have seen a slight decline in the number of first home buyers attending open homes, however this has not affected the number of written sales, which nationally has been increasing since August. There is enough demand from investors and other buyers to counter any significant effect on sales and prices. First home buyers will also return to the market when alternative ways of securing 20% deposits – such as second tier lending and parental guarantees - are better understood. We are also starting to see buyers come in from Christchurch especially investors who have been paid out EQC money as well as South Canterbury Finance investors getting their monies and looking for alternative investments than the bank. Permanent material homes that have low maintenance sections are very attractive for the rental market. What is a QR Code? I have been asked by people what is that “black and white squiggly thing” on our advertising, signage and now on my car. It is a QR code or quick response code which is a bar code that smartphones such as Iphones can read and then take you to an internet site that relates to that property. It is one more way that we can reach more potential buyers to show off your property. Timaru Market Statistics. Month No. of Sales Median Sale Price Median Days to Sell November 2013 59 $260,000 22 October 2013 59 $255,000 29 September 2013 66 $267,500 26 August 2013 60 $255,000 32 July 2013 55 $268,500 27 June 2013 54 $263,500 33 December 2013 Final thoughts. Thank you for making my second year in real estate a success. A highlight for the year was winning the “Harcourts NZ Most Promising Auctioneer”. I love calling auctions and we may see more of them in the local market for 2014. They work well around the country and get great results for property owners as well as being an open clear process for buyers. I hope that you get some time off over the break to spend with family and friends. The weather may be fickle at times, but there really is no better place to be in summer! Take care and seasons greetings to you.
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