Home Inspection News – Issue 56

Real Estate Market November 2021

Prices continued to rise in November 2021. In November prices had increased nationally by 23.8% from 12 months ago to a new record high of $925,000.

The price increased by 3.7% since October 2021. Auckland prices increased by 26.2% annually to another record high of $1,300,000. For the month Auckland prices increased by 4.4%. The following regions reached record median prices in November:

Region Increase Price Nov 2020 Price Nov 2021
Northland 26.5% $589,000 $745,000
Auckland 26.2% $1,030,000 $1,300,000
Waikato 27.6% $670,000 $855,000
Hawkes Bay 25.8% $660,000 $830,000
West Coast 42.9% $245,000 $350,000
Canterbury 31.4% $525,000 $690,000

The number of sales across New Zealand dropped 18.0% in the last 12 months but was up 12.4% in November compared to the previous month.

The market seems to be rebounding after the lockdowns. The number of properties for sale (listings) increased by 10.4% in November following a low number of listings in October.

The time taken to sell was 29 days nationally, the same as the November last year. In Auckland the number of days to sell was 30, the same as the same month last year.

What is a Property File?

Many property buyers are familiar with a LIM report (Land Information Memorandum). The buyers lawyer will usually suggest their client obtain a LIM report as a condition of purchase.

Few however suggest the Property File for the property be obtained. The Property File is the file held on record at the council and contains extensive details relating to the property.

 

The file usually contains the building application, the building permit, plans and the specifications. Between the plans and the specifications a buyers has at their fingertips all the details of the way the house was built and with what materials.

What’s Included?

Details included go as far as the size of the timber used, the cladding, roof and so on. The Property File will also contain any correspondence between the owner and the council relating to the property.

If any additions or alterations had been made after the initial house was built all the details will be in the Property File if they were done (legally) with a permit.

A buyer is able to compare the information in the property file with the actual house and see if alterations or additions are in the file. If changes or additions  are apparent but not in the file then these may well have been done without a permit and have not been inspected by the council.

A huge red flag for any buyer. For more recent property (from the 2004 Building Act change) the Property File will contain “producer statements” from various trades that worked on the house during construction.

These producer statements are statements saying that the tradespeople did the work according to the approved plans and specifications and it guarantees their work.

What Else Should You Know?

The Property File will also show a record of the council inspections during construction and (after 1992) the issue of a CCC (Code Compliance Certificate). Also in the Property File will be plans of the drainage on the property, both public and private.

The private drainage plans are referred to as the “As Built” plans. They relate to the sewerage, stormwater and drinking water connections to the house from the public services. The Property File only has information as to what is on the actual site.

It does not have information about adjacent land such as road widening, proposed off-street parking changes or other works that may impact the property. That information is normally to be found in the LIM report.

Because a property purchase is such a high cost transaction it is good advise to obtain the property file and the LIM report prior to unconditional purchase.