Home Inspection News – Issue 48


  •  Andy Le – Dunedin
  • Rafael Hidajat – Mt Eden
  • Bharat Prajapati – Taupo Area
  • Jazz Singh – Tauranga

March Real Estate Results

Onwards and upwards. March saw new highs for prices and sales of residential property. In the past 12 months property prices have risen across New Zealand by almost 25%. Of the 16 regions in New Zealand, 12 set new price records:

Region New Record Price % Increase in 12 months
Northland $710,000.00 26.8
Auckland $1,120,000.00 18.5
Waikato $730,000.00 22.7
Gisborne $630,000.00 56.9
Hawkes Bay $711,000.00 30.5
Manawatu/Wanganui $567,000.00 31.9
Tasman $801,000.00 19.6
Marlborough $664,000.00 27.7
West Coast $300,000.00 36.4
Canterbury $575,000.00 17.8
Otago $700,000.00 30.8
Southland $415,000.00 12.2

Houses sold at their fastest pace ever for a March month, down to 28 days across NZ. It may be expected that prices will continue to rise in the coming months but at a slower pace than over the last 12 months. The LVR (loan to value ratio) changes and the traditional winter slow down should be factors in a slowing pace of price increases.

The number of properties for sale has continued to fall. In March the stock of homes for sale fell by 6.1% compared to March 2020. Across New Zealand over 1/3 of all sales were over $1,000,000. Only 15.3% of sales were under $500,000.

The Renting Market

With house purchase becoming less affordable more people will look to rent. The government seems to be hitting the renter by hitting landlords. Recent government changes include the extension of the “bright line test” from 5 years to 10 years. Meaning if a buyer sells within 10 years they will pay tax on any capital gain.

This will dissuade people from buying property to rent = less rentals = higher rents. Landlords buying any rental property will not be able to claim interest / mortgage payments as an expense for tax purposes again dissuading people from buying investment property. With the government clearly not able to provide affordable housing it seems wrong that they have made it harder for tenants to afford to pay rent.

Preparing Your Home for Winter 

There are a few simple things that every home owner in New Zealand should do as winter approaches. Just like home maintenance it can save a lot of extra work and money later if you prepare your home before winter arrives. Wind, rain, frost, snow and yes even some sun can be expected in our winter.

Winter wind tends to blow more often and stronger than any other season. Ensuring the roof has no loose iron or tiles can prevent large repair bills. A little bit of silicon sealant as a temporary fix for cracked roof tiles can keep the weather out until a new tile can be installed.

Check that gutters are secure and downpipes are fixed to the walls. Check the TV aerial is well fixed in in place. Loose fence palings can be blown off and damage the house in high winds – screw or nail them in place.

Don’t forget to either secure or stow away garden furniture and peg the trampoline down. Any awnings should be closed for the winter and garden shade sails taken down.

Water can get into the smallest of holes or cracks and cause serious expensive repairs. Check the roof for any corrosion, loose roofing nails or damaged / loose tiles. For low pitch / flat membrane roofing ensure the drain / gutters are clear and there is no loose or peeling membrane.

The cladding especially monolithic should be checked for cracks (even hairline cracks will let in water) and sealed / painted. Check the sealant around doors and windows and the putty and paint for wooden windows. A repair before winter weather arrives will be a lot easier and cheaper than afterwards. Clean out the gutters and drains as they will have a lot more rain over winter.

Winter Means Colder Weather

In many parts of NZ frost can occur in the winter. Drain any water from pipes that are not going to be used over winter (eg at holiday homes). In colder parts of the country check the frost protection (lagged pipes for example) is in place. When water freezes it expands and can split water pipes.

This often only shows itself when the ice thaws out and can cause a lot of expensive damage. If a dwelling is to remain empty for some time even draining the hot water cylinder is a good idea.

At high altitudes in the North Island and many parts of the South Island it is wise to prepare your home for snow. High levels of snow on a roof can add a huge weight to a roof and can “seek out” any unrepaired cracks. The added weight can also worsen any existing roof problems.

The winter sun is not as strong (levels of UV light) as summer sun but in combination with wind, rain, frost and snow it can cause more rapid damage than the other weather elements alone.

Lets hope we get some good sunny days anyway.


Home Inspection News – Issue 45

New Zealand Real Estate Market

Congratulations to Aaron McDonald for achieving the top international award, Presidents Club!


It seems that every month new real estate residential sales and price records are being set. December 2020 once again set more record median house prices across New Zealand. Prices increased by 19.3% from December 2019 to a new record price of $749,000.

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Home Inspection News – Issue 43

October Market Update

Yet more new records were set for Real Estate prices across New Zealand in October. Auckland’s median price reached $1,000,000! 9 other regions across the country reached new record median prices too. Last month alone in Auckland prices rose 4.7% and 5.2% across New Zealand.

For the last 12 months Auckland prices have increased by 16.3% and nationally they have increased by 19.8%. Here are the regions with new record median prices and their 12 month

Gisborne up 34.1% to $570,000
Marlborough up 26.8% to $565,000
Otago up 22.7% to $532,000
Wellington up 20.8% to $785,000
Manawatu / Wanganui up 17.5% to $470,000
Northland up 16.5% to $600,000
Auckland up 16.3% to $1,000,000
Bay of Plenty up 16.2% to $720,000
Waikato up 15.9% to $565,000
Canterbury up 9.7% to $465,000

Despite the price rises, sales volumes or number of property sales has been up both on last month and for 2020 compared to 2019. Nationally there were 25% more residential sales than in 2019 and in Auckland sales were up 50.9% for the year.

No LVR (loan to value ratio) or minimum deposit restrictions by the reserve bank, a big shortage of houses, record low interest rates and influx of kiwis returning to NZ due to Covid19 has lead to these increases. At the last OCR (official cash rate) announcement the rate remained unchanged. The reserve bank signalled that it would bring back the LVR restrictions when it next meets (February 2021) which would be implemented in March.

The LRV restrictions will certainly apply to investors, reducing the number of rental properties available and driving up the rents. It is not clear if first home buyers will be affected. It is very likely that they will but the restrictions may be lower.

Why you should use an A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspector 

Did you know that there are no regulations that control house inspectors in New Zealand. Literally anyone can print a business card, say that they are a home inspector and that in New Zealand is legal.

Such a person can operate without any insurance, let alone the proper insurance and that too is perfectly legal in New Zealand. That is not the situation in most developed countries around the world.

In Canada and USA for example, home inspectors must pass exams after completing an extensive home inspection training course – either at a college or online.

As part of an international franchise operating in 19 countries around the world, all A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspection inspectors have to complete the same course and pass the same exams as inspectors in USA and Canada.

Furthermore all A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspection inspectors including those in New Zealand must pass the InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) membership examination.

Qualifications and Professionalism!

InterNACHI is the worlds leading professional body for home inspectors who have members in over 82 countries world-wide. To maintain membership of the prestigious professional organisation, all members must abide by its code of ethics and undertake 24 hours of continuing education every year.

As well as the formal qualifications all A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspection inspectors in New Zealand have to complete a 5 day in-house training course.

That is followed by the newly qualified inspector accompanying our experienced, qualified inspectors on 10 onsite inspections. All new inspectors reports are reviewed before release to customers until quality assurance it satisfied.

Next there is the matter of professional indemnity insurance. All A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspection inspectors in New Zealand carry the best available professional indemnity insurance underwritten by Lloyds of London.

Don’t be mislead by some who claim to have professional indemnity insurance – for your own protection ask to see their policy. Ensure it clearly covers home inspections and is profession indemnity insurance, not some other type of insurance.

Home inspections are a specialised service which requires specialised qualifications and training. It is not a job for a builder who is specialised in building, but perhaps not electrical or plumbing or a waterproofer or HVAC, or many other specialised trades that go into constructing a dwelling.

Finally the reputation of the inspector used is of great importance. All inspection companies will say that they are the best. Check them out on the leading building related INDEPENDENT website NoCowboys where all reviews are verified and cannot be altered except by the person posting the review.

Google A Buyer’s Choice on No Cowboy’s and check us out!


Home Inspection News – Issue 42


  • Eric Wong – Howick Area
  • Bharat Prajapati – Rotorua Area
  • Mohan Singh – Wellington & Johnsonville Areas

September 2020 Market Update

Once again house prices have increased in every region of New Zealand. Prices are up 16.4% compared to September 2019 and up 2.4% compared to a month earlier (August 2020). 8 Regions saw new record median prices:

Auckland $950,000 up 16.0%

Northland $590,000 up 16.6%

Waikato $628,000 up 16.7%

Manawatu / Wanganui $450,000 up 15.1%

Taranaki $451,000 up 15.3%

Canterbury $497,000 up 13.0%

Otago $580,000 up 17.2%

Southland $373,000 up 20.3%

All increases are compared to prices in September 2019. The number of sales nationally are down 5.6% in the last month. The time to sell was down Nationally by 5 days to 34 days compared to the same month last year.

For Auckland it was down by 9 days to 35 days. 7652 properties were sold in September making it the highest number sold in a September month for 5 years. The number of properties for sale nationally was 17,974 which fell for the 14th month in a row.

A mixture of fewer houses for sale, historically low mortgage interest rates, the removing of the LVRs (minimum amount of deposit required) and a lot of returning kiwis have all payed a part in price rises.

Is Now a Good Time to Buy a House?

The table above with the current median prices of homes and the current 12 months fixed mortgage interest rate of 2.55% shows it is cheaper to buy than rent. The figures in the table use the full purchase price of the home and only the interest part of a mortgage. Banks will require a deposit and usually principle repayments too.

These costs however could be regarded as savings. Also we know that over time house prices rise so capital gains is in addition to the benefit of buying rather than renting. Providing you can find a suitable deposit and meet mortgage payments now is a good time to buy a home. Safeguard your investment with a detailed home inspection report from A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections.



Home Inspection News – Issue 39

Real Estate Market June 2020

The residential property market in June 2020 was the first full month of real estate marketing, open homes, auctions and sales under level 1 (border only)
restrictions. The result was the highest number of property sales for a June month in 4 years. Not only did the number of properties sold increase but so did the prices.

Across New Zealand prices increased by 3.8% compared to a month ago and in Auckland increased by 2.8% for the month. The median house price in New Zealand is now $639,000 which is up 9.2% in the last 12 months. In Auckland the median house price is now $928,000 also up 9.2%. Every region in the country has had price increases from 12 months ago.

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