Home Inspection News – Issue 31

Congratulations to Elliott & Carol Drayton on achieving the prestigious Gold international award for inspections!


There is Gold in Christchurch!

Housing Market in October 2019

House prices in New Zealand reached a new record high in October. The national median price is now $607,500 which is up $46,000 or 8.6% from 12 months ago.

In Auckland the median price rose by $7,000 or 0.8% from a year ago. At $868,000 this is the highest Auckland price in 19 months. The increase from the previous month was 2.4%.

The only region in New Zealand to experience a decrease in median price for the last 12 months was Taranaki with a small fall of 0.5%. All other regions saw increases and new records were set in:

Bay of Plenty $620,000 up 7.8%

Northland $525,000 up 9.4%

Waikato $570,000 up 9.6%

Otago $550,000 up 15.8%

Hawkes Bay $535,000 up 16.3%

Manawatu / Wanganui $407,500 up 20.9%

Canterbury equalled the record median of $465,000 set in October 2018.

The number of dwellings sold in October compared to the month before was up nationally by 12.1% and in Auckland by 8.5%. The time to sell nationally was 34 days and in Auckland 36 days. Both were 1 day less than October 2018.

Unpermitted Building Work 

Many properties over the years since they were built have had additions and alterations done to them. When purchasing a property buyers want to be certain that any alterations have been permitted.

This is why a purchaser will obtain a LIM (Land Information Memorandum) report from the local authority for the property they wish to buy. A LIM report will record all permitted (a building permit has been issued) work done over the years on the property.

If work has clearly been done (say a bedroom or bathroom added) but is not shown on the LIM report then the work may not be permitted. Not all building work requires a building permit.

For example decks less than 1 metre above the ground, a single carport or a sleepout under 10m2 in size among others don’t need a building permit. The sleepout however must not have any sanitary services – bathroom, W/C, etc.

But what about building work that has been done and did require but does not have a permit?

If the work was done after 30th June 1992 the unpermitted work would have to be checked by the local authority. A Code Compliance Certificate can not be issued for such work. The council may however issue a Certificate of Acceptance (COA).

A COA is issued by a council following their building inspectors checking the work done. Then reporting that it was done in a manner which complies with the building code (required standards). For work done before the 1st of July 1992 the council will not inspect the work and no COA can be issued.

Such properties can have a third party report (previously called A Safe and Sanitary report) produced. The report can then be lodged with the council authority and recorded on their file for the property.

The third party who produces the report is a suitably qualified independent building inspector such as all A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections Inspectors. Before a satisfactory report can be issued modifications or improvements to the unpermitted work may be required. These will be identified by the inspector.

Without a COA or a third party report it may not be possible for a buyer to get a mortgage on a property with unpermitted building work.