Home Inspection News – Issue 7

Regional Sales Volume Year on Year

Property prices nationally in New Zealand were steady in May but there were regional variances. In Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga prices reached a plateau. In Christchurch prices dropped slightly. Wellington and Dunedin saw continued price increases. The strongest price increases have been in Rotorua, Hawkes Bay, Whangarei, Northland and the Kaipara district.

The number of property sales in New Zealand has fallen in May compared to April. This is due to the effects of the latest LVR (loan to value ratio) restrictions and tighter trading bank lending

Buyers are likely to be more cautious until they know the results of the general election in September. It is thought the long weekends of Easter and Anzac which were close together this year had an effect on real estate sales

Asbestos in Houses

Asbestos is no longer used as a building material in New Zealand. There are still however many tens of thousands of homes that have Asbestos containing materials used in them. By the mid 1980’s Asbestos was no longer used in any component of house building. So if your property was built later than the mid 1980’s it is highly unlikely to contain Asbestos.

Prior to that time Asbestos was used as a component of textured ceilings – “porridge ceilings”, “Glamatex” or “Whisper” were common names. Asbestos was also used as a component of Asbestos cement. The cement was used as a cladding either in sheet form or as weatherboards plain and profiled “fibrolite”.

Asbestos cement was also used as a roofing material and had a corrugated profile similar to galvanised iron roofing used today. Older vinyl floor coverings as sheet vinyl or tiles often contained Asbestos.

So are these products dangerous to your health?

As long as the Asbestos products such as those described are not treated in such a way that they produce dust there is no real danger. That means do not sand (for painting), saw cut (producing sawdust = Asbestos dust) or high pressure waterblast, which when the blasted off material dries will expose the fibre. Also do not scrape off textured ceilings applied earlier than the mid 1980’s without testing for Asbestos first.

For vinyl flooring definitely don’t floor sand to either remove it or to provide a surface for new vinyl to go on top if it may contain Asbestos. There is certainly no need to panic or be scared of these products. Your A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspector can have your materials tested for Asbestos if you are concerned.