Home Inspection News – Issue 41

August 2020 Property Market Results

The residential property market across New Zealand continued on its upward trend during August 2020 despite the effects of Covid19. House prices were up 16.4% across New Zealand and up 16.0% in Auckland compared to August last year.

The number of properties sold was the highest for an August month for 5 years and every region in New Zealand had a median sales price increase in the last 12 months. Here are the figures:

Southland 20.3% $373,000

Hawkes Bay 20.1% $594,500

West Coast 18.1% $254,000

Otago 17.2% $580,000

Waikato 16.7% $628,000

Northland 16.6% $590,000

Auckland 16.0% $950,000

Taranaki 15.3% $451,000

Manawatu / Wanganui 15.1% $450,000

Marlborough 13.2% $492,000

Canterbury 13.0% $497,000

Wellington 12.8% $720,000

Bay of Plenty 11.0% $665,000

Gisborne 9.5% $460,000

Tasman 9.1% $660,000

Nelson 2.2% $599,000

Sales volumes were also up again with an increase nation wide of 24.8% compared to August 2019. The number of days to sell was down 5 days to 34 nationally and Auckland was down 9 days to 35 compared to 12 months ago.

So why is this happening when “experts” predicted a housing market slump?

  • No LVR (20% mortgage deposit removed)
  • Lowest ever mortgage interest rates
  • Shortage of houses
  • Lots of returning New Zealanders escaping overseas Covid19
  • Investors buying since almost nil return from bank deposits

Add to this the fact that most of the people who are / have lost jobs are in hospitality, retail and other lower paid sectors where homeownership was low equals few forced sales.

The Covid19 pandemic worldwide is far from over and difficult economic times lie ahead. Note the old saying – “as safe as houses” this will have a lot of truth now and going forward.

Building a New House – What Materials to Use?

When building a new house today there is a staggering array of building materials that may be used. In this article only the exterior of the house will be addressed: Roof, Walls (Cladding), Windows, Doors and Floors.

Roof
The roof has the primary function of keeping the house dry and weatherproof. All types of architectural designs add charter and appeal. The steeper the slope of the roof, the more effective it is at shedding rain to the gutters and away from the building. Very low pitched (near flat) roofs make this more difficult.

Walls
Like all exterior surfaces of a building, walls are designed to keep out the weather – snow, rain, wind and sun (ultraviolet light causes degradation).

Doors and windows
Doors can be glass or solid and are to allow entry and exit into a house. Windows let in the light and allow occupants to see out. Doors and windows are special parts of the walls.

Floors
The floors may be flat on the ground (concrete) or above ground on piles usually timber or concrete in which case the floors are usually timber, particle board or plywood.

The following table looks at some common types of material used, relative costs, benefits and disadvantages.

While style and design are what usually appeal to a new house buyer, it also pays to consider the advantages and disadvantages of the building materials used.