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.