Median house prices in Auckland were the highest Auckland has seen for three months

The REINZ monthly property report has shown in Auckland, the number of properties sold in March fell by -18.2% year-on-year (from 2,451 to 2,006) – the lowest for the month of March since 2008.

Banks continue to remain competitive with their mortgage rates and there is a high chance of an OCR cut in the near future. However, the uncertainly surrounding the CGT (capital gains tax) legislation are having an impact on the housing market with many taking a 'wait and watch' approach.

Median house prices
Across New Zealand increased by 4.5% in March to a record $585,000, up from $560,000 in March 2018. Median house prices in Auckland were the highest Auckland has seen for three months although compared to the same time last year, this number fell by 2.7% to $856,000 – down from $880,000

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Note: Auckland’s 2.7% decrease in median price to $856,000 is partly a result in the number of properties sold for more than $2 million which fell from 8.1% of the market in March 2018 to 5.5% in March 2019. This median price has just continued to hover around the $850,000 mark – the same thing we’ve seen for nearly three years now suggesting that perhaps the Auckland market has found its ‘new normal’ for the time being.

Days to Sell drops significantly since February
Auckland saw the median number of days to sell a property increased by 5 days from 37 to 42 when compared to the same time last year, but this was a drop of 15 days when comparing to the previous month.

Price Bands
The number of homes sold for less than $500,000 across New Zealand fell from 41.8% of the market (3,328 properties) in March 2018 to 38.5% of the market (2,668 properties) in March 2019.

The number of properties sold in the $500,000 to $750,000 bracket increased from 29.0% in March 2018 (2,307 properties) to 30.5% in March 2019 (2,113 properties).

At the top end of the market, properties sold for $1 million or more decreased from 15.5% in March 2018 (1,232 houses) to 14.8% in March 2019 (1,029 houses). Source

Manukau features as one of the top 10 suburbs where the property market is about to boom. Read more here.

Manukau features as one of the top 10 suburbs where the property market is predicted to boom
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Manukau features as one of the suburbs that are among the 10 New Zealand suburbs and towns that have the most potential for growth in new residential dwellings, according to research from Colliers International.

Pete Evans, Colliers national director of residential project marketing, says the focus in 2019 has shifted to the supply of affordable homes and regeneration of traditionally less expensive suburbs.

“Investment in these suburbs through new development and infrastructure will invigorate these areas and create more desirable places to live with continued growth potential,” he says.

The "Golden Triangle" centres of Hamilton, Tauranga and Raglan – along with the Auckland suburbs of Onehunga and Westgate - remain among the pick of top growth areas for the second year in a row.

At the higher end of the market, Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter is expected to experience continued improvement in the lead up to Apec in 2020 and The America’s Cup in 2021.

SO WHY MANUKAU?

Manukau is one of three centres outside of CBD that Auckland Council has prioritised for growth through to 2050 and is expected to undergo significant change.

The Transform Manukau project involves major investment by council and central government and covers 600ha of land including the metropolitan centre and Wiri suburban area to the south.

This will regenerate the town centres at both Manukau and Wiri, support substantial residential and commercial development and focus on improving services such as healthcare and schooling, as well as increased tertiary education presence in the area.

Transportation improvements include a new integrated rail and bus station, upgrades to Great South Road, a mass transit route from the airport to Botany via central Manukau, and creation of a comprehensive cycle network. The Auckland suburbs of Onehunga, Northcote, Manukau, New Lynn and Panmure are primed to defy the city's housing market slowdown.

Source

Healthy homes standards - here's what you need to know as a landlord.
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There are five healthy homes standards that all rental properties will need to comply with by 1st July 2024, and sooner if you have a change to a tenancy after 1st July 2021.

Heating Standard

A fixed heating device must be installed that can achieve a temperature of at least 18°C on the coldest of days. This temperature is a standard recommended by the World Health Organisaton for the minimum indoor temperature. It is important to note that this requirement is only for the living room of the property. It is anticipated that in most cases the fixed heater will be a heat-pump or wood burner for the larger living rooms, however a fixed electric heater may be enough for smaller rooms.

Insulation Standard

Properties managed by Harcourts are set to meet the 2016 insulation requirements by the 1st July 2019 deadline. However, under the new insulation standard, there is a new group of rental homes affected. The minimum level of ceiling and underfloor insulation must now either meet the 2008 Building Code, or for existing ceiling insulation, have a minimum thickness of 120mm. These affected rental homes will already have approximately 70-120mm of ceiling insulation, so the requirement is to increase this to a minimum of 120mm.

Ventilation Standard

Under the new standards, all kitchens and bathrooms must have mechanical extract ventilation. In addition, all living rooms, dining, kitchen and bedrooms must have windows that can be opened.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) is calling for the Government to make an exemption for shower-steam domes, arguing that these are cheaper and quicker to install than an extractor fan and don’t have an ongoing cost to run.

Moisture Ingress and Drainage Standard

Properties must have adequate drainage and guttering, downpipes and drains. If there is an enclosed subfloor, it must have a ground moisture barrier (if possible to install) that will protect the home from rising moisture.

Draught Stopping Standard

The standard states that landlords must stop any unnecessary gaps or holes in the walls, ceilings, windows, floors, and doors. If there is an unused chimney and/or fireplace, these will need to be blocked.

The final date for complying with the new healthy homes standards is 1st July 2024, however if you have a new tenant or a varied tenancy after the 1st July 2021, you will only have 90 days to comply.

Find out more

https://www.hud.govt.nz/residential-housing/healthy-rental-homes/healthy-homes-standards/