Government Set To Amend The Residential Tenancy Act

Dr Nick Smith photo

Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith has announced that the Government is considering changes to the Residential Tenancy Act over when property damage costs can be reclaimed from tenants.

Dr Smith was quoted as saying “This review has been prompted by recent court decisions and Tenancy Tribunal rulings, which have sparked confusion over how the Residential Tenancy Act (1986) and the Property Law Act (2007) interact. This is resulting in uncertainty for landlords and tenants, and is affecting the effective functioning of the Tenancy Tribunal.”

This announcement follows pressure from the NZ Property Investors Federation, which has argued the current law is making it nearly impossible for landlords to claim costs for accidental damage caused by tenants.

In a recent decision the Tenancy Tribunal ruled a woman should pay nearly $1000 to their landlord for damage to carpets and curtains after she left five cats shut in a room in her Wellington rental. The NZ Property Investors Federation has praised the decision, saying “it is a positive move in the aftermath of the Holler and Rouse v Osaki case, in which the Court of Appeal ruled in April a tenant did not have to pay for damage caused after leaving a pot of oil on the stove which started a fire.”

Dr Smith said the “The issue is tenant damage to a property through carelessness or negligence. The latest court rulings mean landlords cannot recover the costs of this damage where they have insurance, including for their costs such as the excess. The problem with this approach is that it reduces the incentive for tenants to take good care of the property they rent. It also reduces the landlord’s incentive to have insurance as it lessens tenants’ responsibilities.

“My concern about this new interpretation is that it will add to the overall costs of the residential sector, driving up insurance costs and rents. However, we do not wish to return to the situation where tenants may be sued by their landlord’s insurance company for hundreds of thousands of dollars, such as with an accidental house fire.

“The proposal I am considering is that tenants would be liable for damage caused by carelessness or negligence up to the value of their landlord’s insurance excess but not exceeding four weeks’ rent, which is aligned with the standard tenancy bond. A different amount could be mutually agreed if specifically provided for in the tenancy agreement and would enable the tenant, if they wished, to take out their own insurance.

“The tenant would remain fully liable for damage caused intentionally or caused by a criminal act, with no limitation. The landlord would remain liable for fair wear and tear, and any damage caused to the property by an event beyond the tenant’s control, such as a storm or an earthquake.”

Dr Smith has asked the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to do targeted consultation with tenant and landlord organisations, and the insurance sector, on possible changes to the Act.

“New Zealand has 450,000 tenanted properties, and both tenants and landlords need certainty about their rights and responsibilities. I am looking for a practical solution that will work for both tenants and landlords.”

Tauranga Property Update September 2016

photo of papamoa beach in tauranga used for connect realty blog post

 

The latest QV House Price Index figures were released this week and the Bay hit another record high over August. Average house price for a Tauranga property is $633,638, up 28.5% from the same time in 2015. Nationwide the average is $612,527.  The figures show that every suburb in Tauranga saw property values increase in the last 12 months, often by more than 20%!  The top three suburbs were Parkvale (35.5 per cent), Greerton (35.2 per cent) and Gate Pa (33.8 per cent).

Interestingly actual volume of sales in Tauranga dropped 11.1% last month compared to 2015.  We believe the huge price growth we have seen this year may slow with the new LVR restrictions coming into play, however there is still strong demand from first home buyers who want to move to our stunning region.

Average rent has also increased in the last 12 months and the good news for investors is that demand for rental properties in Tauranga and Papamoa is still very strong.  As discussed in previous articles, areas such as Greerton, Gate Pa and Parkvale are seeing huge rental demand.  Papamoa also remains a favourite for families new to the area.

The Council has announced that structure planning for a new urban development area at Te Tumu is underway.  Te Tumu land lies between the eastern end of Papamoa Beach Rd and the Kaituna River.  This development is expected to house between eight and fourteen thousand people, depending on how many homes are built. Once the planning stage is completed the actual development is expected to start in 2021.

New construction and development in Tauranga is still going gangbusters as well.  In August there were 254 residential and building consents worth a total $62 million!

Finally, good news for Tauranga residents who find parking in town an issue.  With construction of the top floor now complete, the Elizabeth Street building now provides 342 public parking spaces plus 278 leased spaces, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Top Suburbs For Tauranga Property Investors Blog Title Image Connect Realty

Top Suburbs For Tauranga Property Investors

Tauranga property investors have had plenty to smile about lately. The latest Quotable Value New Zealand figures show property prices in Greerton, Gate Pa and Parkvake have risen more than 30% in the last 12 months!  The popular family suburb of Greerton had the biggest gain with median house prices rising from $323,200 to $429,650 in the last year, a gain of 32.1%.

QV Suburb Report Tauranga 2016

Situated on the southern gateway to Tauranga, Greerton is very handy to Tauranga downtown only 6km away.   This suburb has always been popular with families due to good local schools and a shopping ‘village’ complex with over 120 retailers –Tauranga’s third largest shopping centre.  Astute property investors are investing in the $400-500,000 bracket because of the excellent rental returns they receive, and the knowledge that they are getting good long-term tenants.  Investors in this area will also find well-built established homes that do not require large renovation costs to bring them up to market standard.  Often the homes just require some insulating and cosmetic touches to lift their street appeal.

Gate Pa is handily located 5km from central Tauranga. This suburb also contains a shopping centre, supermarkets, restaurants and schools.  Tauranga Girls College is a very popular high school and many families are looking to rent in this area.

Parkvale is located on the coast about 5km from the city centre. Parkvale is a pleasant residential suburb with a range of lovely family homes throughout the area. The local primary school is Merivale.

These suburbs also appeal to investors because it is difficult to find a property under $400,000 in Tauranga, with houses in many other suburbs being snapped-up the day they are listed and/or before they even get to auction.

This, unseen, demand for housing is pushing up house prices in the whole of the Tauranga Region.  Real Estate figures show that most sales in April 2016 were for homes in the $400-499,000 price band whereas the same time last year it was for homes in the $300-399,000 band.  In addition, the sales of million-dollar homes in Tauranga has jumped by 93% compared to the same time last year!

Demand for rental properties is also huge, with many great tenants on our waiting list waiting to find a decent home in a good suburb.

So if you are considering investing in property in any of these suburbs, or Papamoa, Mt Maunganui and other suburbs in Tauranga, call Christine Jenkins at Connect Realty. Chris will guide you through the process, give you a free rental appraisal, find you high-quality tenants and manage your property with expertise and experience.

Chris Jenkins, Connect Realty 0800 333 221.

Photo of Mt Maungani for Property Investing News Blog by Connect Realty Property Managers

Tauranga Property Investing News

Photo of Mt Maungani for Property Investing News Blog by Connect Realty Property Managers

There have been plenty more articles about Tauranga property investing and the real estate market since our last blog post.  In a recent Bay of Plenty Times article journalist Sonya Bateson discussed the property market ‘frenzy’ that has taken place in Tauranga after the latest lowering of the Official Cash Rate. The article highlighted that property sales had continued to climb every month over the last 12 months, partly due to the many Aucklander’s ‘cashing up’ and moving to the area – https://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11605824

There is also a lot of investment in Tauranga and business confidence is at an all time high. According to one article “Both total and per capita gross domestic product (GDP) are at all-time highs, with GDP growing 8 per cent in the last two years”. What’s more astonishing is that “Total GDP rose to $12.29 billion for the 2015 financial year, up from $12.02 billion a year earlier and $11.37 billion in 2013.”! https://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11604932

New property figures discussed in another article “show home values in some Tauranga suburbs rose by as much as 10 per cent in the quarter to December 2015.” https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11600732

5 hotspots were revealed in one Bay article, these are Parkvale, Gate Pa, Tauranga South, Greerton and Welcome Bay.  These areas are increasingly attractive to property investors because of good capital gains and increased rental returns due to a rental shortage in the Tauranga Region. Many investors are finding property ‘bargains’ in older homes that have been left unmaintained and which, after renovations, are seeing an excellent rental return. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11600559

Papamoa also continues grow with sections in new subdivisions being snapped up the day they come onto the market. Demand for housing in this area in huge and “The average house and land package was $560,000 to $630,000 compared with $500,000 to $580,000 just 18 months ago.” https://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11597301

If you would like to discuss any of these articles and property investing in these areas then give Chris Jenkins at Connect Realty a call.  Chris is an experienced Property Manager who has a wealth of experience in Real Estate in the Bay of Plenty area and she is happy to provide her advice to investors.

Connect Realty also offer top of the range Property Management services to clients located in Tauranga, Mt Maunganui and Papamoa. They also provide a free rent appraisal for potential property investments.  Give them a call today 0800 333 221.

Tauranga Property Investment – Predictions for 2016

Image of Tauranga sunrise over ocean for Connect Realty blog.

Another year has started and the Bay of Plenty real estate market doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. As with last year, rental properties are in hot demand and the Tauranga Region is still the place where everybody wants to move.  After such a fantastic summer it is not hard to see why families and business owners want to move to the best Region in the country!

But it’s not just our sunny climate and beaches making Tauranga attractive, last year Tauranga was said to have New Zealand’s fastest growing economy, and the fastest growing job market.  With the continued growth of the City we are seen as a great place to invest by property investors from all over New Zealand and overseas.

So with 2016 in mind what are we predicting for Real Estate and property investing in the Bay? Here are our predictions:

  1. Current demand from Aucklanders wanting to move here will continue. This migration has been caused by increasing house prices in Auckland, traffic woes, and the attraction of our Tauranga lifestyle – none of these factors look to change anytime soon so we expect many more to be migrating south to our shores.
  1. We expect high demand for housing in suburbs such as Papamoa, Bethlehem and The Lakes to continue. We discussed these three suburbs in a blog at the end of last year.  They are areas that have proven to be ‘hot’ in the housing market and we expect demand for rentals in these areas will continue throughout 2016.
  1. With current low interest rates and high rental demand there are good yields possible for property investors who invest in the area. We predict rents will continue to increase through 2016 as demand for rental properties still far outweighs supply.
  1. Renovations and rebuilds in other suburbs have caught our eye and point to an increase in value in these areas. When value is added to a number of properties in a neighbourhood it has the effect of lifting the values of all those properties around the neighbourhood as the desirability of the location improves.  Astute property investors should also keep a look out for these areas.

 

If you are considering a Tauranga Property investment give Chris Jenkins a call at Connect Realty Property Managers. Chris has a wealth of experience in Real Estate and property investment in the Tauranga area and can provide you with the latest property stats and rental information to help guide you with your real estate choices.  Connect Realty also offer a free rental appraisal for your future house investment.

Call the Connect Realty team today on 0800 333 221 or email chris@connectrealty.co.nz

Image of Tauranga for blog about Bay of Plenty Top Of ASB regional economic report

Bay of Plenty Takes Top Spot

Image of Tauranga for blog about Bay of Plenty Top Of ASB regional economic report

More good news for the Bay of Plenty region this week with ASB’s economic report showing we are now New Zealand’s best-performing region! This is the first time the Bay of Plenty has been at the top of the regional economic scoreboard, knocking Auckland off the mantle.  Here is the scoreboard for the regions:

ASB/Main Report Regional Economic Scoreboard (Q3, 2015):

  1. Bay of Plenty
  2. = Auckland
  3. = Northland
  4. Waikato
  5. Canterbury
  6. = Hawke’s Bay
  7. = Otago
  8. Southland
  9. = Tasman
  10. = Nelson
  11. Manawatu-Wanganui
  12. Gisborne
  13. Marlborough
  14. West Coast
  15. = Taranaki
  16. = Wellington

Over the last 12 months we have shared many articles about a surge in business confidence, a huge increase in employment in the region and a housing market boom for Tauranga and the surrounding areas.  All these factors have played a part in getting us to the top spot on the rankings.

Along with the economic boom we have seen a large increase in Aucklanders and Hamiltonians arriving in the region.  They have come for the jobs and the lifestyle that our stunning region has to offer. With current mortgage rates at record lows and further drops expected we can only expect more people to find their way to our sunny shores.

What does this mean for property investors? If you’re not already in the market then now is the time to jump onboard the property investing boom!  At Connect Realty we have all the latest real estate market figures for the Bay of Plenty.  Combined with our extensive experience as property managers in the Tauranga, Mt Maunganui and Papamoa areas we can help you make the right investment in housing and find you quality long term tenants to keep your investment protected.

Call Chris today to discuss your next property investment, or if you have a property you would like managed then our team are happy to help.

Visit our website www.connectrealty.co.nz or call 0800 333 221 today.

For more information about the ASB regional report follow this link – https://reports.asb.co.nz/report/article/21774/18/0/bay-of-plenty-top-of-the-pops.html

Outdoor Space – Why It’s Important For Rental Properties

Connect Realty Tauranga Property Management Blog outdor space for rental property tenants

We all love the outdoors in New Zealand, and outdoor living is often a key driver for people moving to the Tauranga region.  Here in the Bay of Plenty we have surf beaches, picturesque harbours, long stretches of white sand beaches and more, all adding to the attraction of coastal living.  But it is not just the open outdoors that are important, many rental property tenants also look for a home with their own private outdoor area.

At Connect Realty Property Management we have tenants looking for a range of outdoor areas including large backyards, small low maintenance gardens, apartments with a terrace, BBQ areas, or even just a small area to entertain friends on a summer’s evening.

What many landlords don’t realise is that the outdoor space of a home or apartment can help rent the property, or it can spoil the deal.  While indoor layout and amenities are important, outdoor space is just as significant to many people.  This is especially true in the Tauranga region where our climate suits outdoor entertaining.

From our experience as property managers, outdoor space needs to be easily accessible, sheltered, and preferably easy to maintain.  Well kept gardens that are low-maintenance are the best for properties with large sections.  Examples are bark or stone gardens, shrubs and bushes that don’t require watering or pruning, and easily mowed lawns.  For apartments and flats we recommend providing an outdoor space for a BBQ and room for a small table and chair set.  Small garden boxes can also make a single story or downstairs apartment/flat look more appealing to potential tenants, along with suitable outdoor lighting.

The key is to make sure your property’s outdoor area is attractive and functional.  For some homes this may require alterations such as adding a ranch slider or French doors to connect outdoor space to the home.  Other more simple changes include adding pavers where there will be the most foot traffic, or defining paths by adding railway sleepers and stones or gravel.

We also recommend that you clean outdoor areas before we advertise your property.  Water-blast footpaths, walkways, patios and decks.  Fix broken trellis, reapply grout where needed, remove or prune foliage that blocks sunlight on the house, and remove plants that require a lot of maintenance such as roses.  These simple fixes require minimal investment but can generate maximum returns in rental price and in real estate value in the longer term.  We have a number of ground and maintenance people on our books and can provide quotes for any work you need done on your rental property.

If you require more advice about how to improve the curb appeal of your rental property, or any other rental property investment tips, then call Chris at Connect Realty Property Managers.  Chris has many years of real estate experience and is an expert on all matters about property management in the Tauranga Region.

Property managers Connect Realty give tips for helping kids adjust to new home

5 Tips for Helping Kids Adjust To A New Home

Property managers Connect Realty give tips for helping kids adjust to new home

Papamoa is proving to be a very popular location for families, with people shifting there from all over the North Island to enjoy the warm climate, the beaches, and the lifestyle this area offers. Over the last 10 years especially there has been a huge increase in subdivisions, commercial development and of course population. This has resulted in new schools, new shops, new sports clubs and a whole new way of life for those families arriving in the district.

But relocating your family is not always a straight forward process.  The adjustment is often stressful for all those involved, especially children.  Children not only have to say goodbye to their old house, school and friends, but they also have to meet new teachers, make new friends and adjust to a new bedroom and a new house.

We deal with many families through our Papamoa Property Management service, many who are new to the Bay of Plenty region.  To help navigate the moving process with children we provide the following tips:

 

1.Talk To Your Children About The Move & Stay Positive

Make sure you are open with communication.  Listen to any fears or concerns your children may have and come up with solutions to ease any anxiety. Also make sure you speak positively about the transition.  If you act excited about the new adventure then hopefully your children will too.

 

  1. Make Your New House Feel Like Home

Children are creatures of comfort, so having some of your their favourite things around the house or in their room will help them feel comfortable in their new surroundings. This could be a poster on their wall, a favourite stuffed animal or a photo of their old friends.

 

  1. Be a Tourist In Your New Area

Once you arrive take your children to local attractions, like the Papamoa Plaza, Thursday Night Market, a walk along Papamoa beach. Show them what makes their new home so appealing.

 

  1. Help Build Your Children’s Social Network

We encourage families to get involved with local sports, clubs and activities.  This will not only help your children make new friends in the neighbourhood and at school, but will also introduce you to new families in your area.

 

  1. Be Patient And Understanding

Lastly, be patient with your children.  Be sure to give them time to adjust to their new home and their new friends. They may not adjust as quickly as you, often it can take a few months to settle in and feel at home with a new area, but it will eventually happen.

 

To learn more about Papamoa and other Bay of Plenty districts, such as Tauranga and Mount Maunganui, call us at Connect Realty.  We offer investment property and rental property advice for these areas  and property management services.