PROPERTY INVESTORS NOT TO BLAME FOR RECORD HOUSE PRICES

Property investors are not to blame for record house prices or the reason first home buyers in Taranaki are struggling, experienced investor Colin Comber says. In an emailed statement, Real Estate Institute NZ (REINZ) chief executive Bindi Norwell said it was the third month in a row a new record had been set and first time buyers and investors were especially active in the market. But former Taranaki Property Investors’ Association president Colin Comber believed it was the demand from first home buyers and owner-occupiers that was causing the increase in house prices. Comber said property investors typically avoided multiple offer situations and looked to buy at or below market value. “Experienced property investors are not chasing the market and typically residential property investors are not price makers. It’s the first home buyers I believe and others that are looking to be owner-occupied. “When the market is moving as rapidly as it has you’ll find investors will be very cautious and tend to be sitting on the sidelines.” https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/123080125/owner-occupiers-and-first-home-buyers-pushing-up-property-prices-long-time-investor-says 17 October

RENTING TO A FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND – THE ISSUES

Landlords are often faced with an awkward decision – whether to rent an investment property to a family member or friend. Is it a good idea or a potential problem? Andrew King, the president of the New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation, says many landlords avoid it because it can sour relationships. And it often comes down to expectations. “People live in different ways. As a landlord you might think your family tenants are being disrespectful of your property, but they feel it’s their home, and they may not see it that way,” King says. There is often an expectation that family members or friends might receive a discount. But there are a couple of points to consider first, including the fact that it could affect your tax return. https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/renting/122861730/landlords-what-are-the-pitfalls-of-having-family-or-friends-as-tenants – 17 October

FIRST HOME BUYERS AND PROPERTY INVESTORS ARE A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THE BUSY PROPERTY MARKET

The property market has heated up significantly since the end of the alert level 4 coronavirus lockdown, thanks in part to low interest rates, the temporary removal of loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions, and a lack of homes for sale. The economy is in recession, but many parts of the country are seeing record high median prices with people flocking to buy properties. First home buyers made up a record high portion of the market over the last three months, and property investors are busier than last year, according to CoreLogic. https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/real-estate/123107799/bnz-warns-overzealous-investors-will-push-house-prices-to-unsustainable-levels – 16 October

RENTING AND PETS

Most renters know and dread the process of finding a flat. Viewings on top of viewings, rushed walkthroughs that give you 10 minutes to imagine the space as a home. There are sometimes dozens of potential tenants hoping to impress the landlord. But for some, the most disheartening part of the process is the “no pets” caveat on every listing. In the past, renting was mostly a temporary situation, said Renters United representative Anna Mooney. But these days, some people would be renting for the rest of their lives, putting pet-lovers at a disadvantage. “Hundreds of people apply for property. Landlords advertise with the criteria of ‘No pets’ as an easy way to screen people, but immediately discount potentially great tenants,” Mooney said. A new law in Victoria and New South Wales in Australia prohibits blanket pet bans. Some advocates want a similar law in New Zealand. https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/renting/122992463/no-pets-allowed-wellingtons-secret-animals – 16 October

EXPANSION OF HEALTHY HOMES PROGRAMME ALSO INCLUDES MORE FUNDING FOR MORE INSPECTORS TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE

Labour has just announced a plan to tackle what it’s calling ‘a national shame’. If elected, the party wants to expand the Healthy Homes programme for housing basics like heaters, curtains, and bedding. It would also boost funding for Tenancy Services to monitor compliance of Healthy Home Standards – which start coming into effect from July 2021
https://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=319847 – 4 October
https://www.rnz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018766805 – 4 October – – Labour to roll out more rental inspectors to ensure that landlords are meeting requirements at a cost of $16million.

LABOUR’S PLAN TO EXPAND THE HEALTHY HOME INITIATIVE AND TO INCREASE TENANCY SERVICES COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT TEAMS

Labour wants rheumatic fever to “vanish from New Zealand,” and has promised to expand the Healthy Homes initiative to help rid the country of the illness. Ardern has promised to pour more money into efforts to eliminate the illness – an extra $55 million over four years on a number of initiatives. According to researching unit Branz, 22 per cent of New Zealand rental homes have no fixed heating. That figure is 7 per cent when it comes to owner-occupied properties.
“It is unacceptable that poor-quality housing is causing lifelong heart damage, as well as swelling and pain in joints and skin, and increased risk of asthma and other respiratory illness,” Ardern said. She added that the problem is much worse for Māori and Pasifika children. “We want this disease to vanish from New Zealand.” The remaining $16m will be put towards beefing up Tenancy Services compliance and enforcement teams to ensure rental accommodation meets standards. That funding, also split up over four years, allows inspectors to target high-risk areas sand communities. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12370122 – 4 October