Tag Archives: Harcourts Complete New Zealand
It’s been a long-held belief in the real estate world that the best time to list your property is in spring. There’s definitely merit to this, with gardens looking their best and with the warmer weather, but that doesn’t mean you should hold off listing your property as we come into autumn. Here are five reasons why:
1. LESS LISTINGS MEANS LESS COMPETITION
Typically we see fewer properties coming onto the market during the cooler months, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be fewer buyers out there. Listing your property during autumn means your property will have fewer properties to compete with and may attract more interest.
2. NO LONG SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
In early autumn, namely March, there are no school holidays to compete with, meaning most buyers will be available to attend open homes. Unlike summer where the long Christmas and New Year break often means potential buyers are distracted and possibly travelling, March is a relatively quiet month with students still in school until the Easter break in April.
3. THE WEATHER IS OPTIMAL
Much like spring, the weather in autumn is actually great house-hunting weather. We’re just past the storm season of summer, and we’re not yet into the much colder months of June through August. This means crisper, sunny days and less sweltering, humid, rainy or cold days that may deter potential buyers from inspecting in other seasons.
4. MORE SERIOUS BUYERS
One drawback to listing your home in peak seasons is the interest you’ll get from ‘tyre kickers’. These are the browsers who go from open home to open home without the serious intention of buying. In off-peak times, you’re far more likely to attract serious buyers who are looking to move due to circumstance rather than season.
5. NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS
Lots of us make a plan to tick off the big ticket items on our list after New Years and that includes buying a property. Serious potential buyers are trawling through new listings in the first few months of the year and making plans to attend open homes, so make sure yours is listed!
If you’re wondering how many homes are on the market in your local area, chat to your Harcourts agent. They’ll have a comprehensive list of homes on the market and can let you know if now is a good time to list your property for sale.
In January, major cities in both New Zealand and Australia were listed as some of the world’s most unaffordable, with both Sydney and Auckland appearing in the world’s top 10 most unaffordable cities according to the 11th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.
It’s not exactly great news if you’re looking to buy, invest, or live in these markets, however, despite Sydney being listed as the third least affordable city in the world, and Auckland as the ninth least affordable, there are still reasonably priced pockets in both property markets.
Where are the affordable properties in Sydney?
Blacktown in Sydney’s west remains an affordable and family-friendly suburb, with the area becoming a major commercial hub, close to schools, and transportation, and still only 35 minutes to the CBD.
Blacktown had an average list price $535,500 over the month of December 2014, but two bedroom homes in the area averaged even less, at just under $500,000. Two and three bedroom units offer even more affordability, with the average two bedroom apartment listed for $360,000.
Other Sydney fringe suburbs with comparatively affordable average prices include:
Rouse Hill – Average house price: $811,000
Campbelltown – Average house price: $423,750
Dee Why – *Average unit price: $591,000
*Whilst Dee Why house prices are relatively high, units still present an affordable option.
Many of these areas are considered growth areas, with Rouse Hill one of the new North-Western Rail Link subdivisions.
The satellite city of Campbelltown in South-West Sydney is only 50 kilometres from the Sydney central business district and is home to the Campbelltown campus of the University of Western Sydney.
Most of these areas are family-friendly, growth areas, but coastal suburbs like Dee Why present a unique opportunity to invest or buy a unit in a real lifestyle area.
Sydney properties have also proven to be a sound investment over 2014, increasing in value by 2.3%, one of the largest increases of any capital city in Australia.
Where are the affordable properties in Auckland?
According to news website, stuff.co.nz, some of the most affordable houses in Auckland are in the city’s southern suburbs.
According to the website, Core Logic’s Residential Price Index for December listed Central Manukau, Papakura and Franklin as the three Auckland suburbs with an average house price of less than $500,000.
Central Manukau is home to the Manukau Institute of Technology, and is easy to travel to with Manukau Station, a central transport hub for both buses and trains established in 2012.
As of December 2014, the average list price for South Auckland properties was:
Central Manukau – Average property price: $479,063
Papakura – Average property price: $463,342
Franklin – Average property price: $483,529
These areas are all ones to watch for potential growth, not just because of affordability, but because of their relatively close proximity to the Auckland CBD and amenities.
Papakura is home to several sporting facilities, including an international-quality athletics track. Franklin is known for its quiet, country lifestyle and is popular with tourists, with antique stores and fresh produce making it a real lifestyle destination.
As with any outer suburb, commuting costs need to be factored into a move, with the suburbs listed above around 20 to 30kms from the Auckland CBD.
The bottom line? When it comes to entering the seemingly unaffordable Sydney and Auckland housing markets in 2015, it pays to look at growing outer suburbs for your next property.
The loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions have created a lot of discussion about the affordability of buying your first home. We’ve put together some helpful advice to help you determine if you’re ready to take your first step onto the property ladder.
How much deposit will you need to buy your first home?
Most lenders will require you to have a 20% deposit for your home loan. For example, if you wish to purchase a home worth $400,000, you would require an $80,000 deposit. However, most lenders have loan products to borrow up to 90% of the property value. Reserve Bank regulations allow for 10% of a lender’s home loan customers to have an LVR of over 80%. Certain property developers have also offered as low as 5% according to the article First-home buyers beat deposit rule in the New Zealand Herald. If you don’t have a 20% deposit and need to borrow more than the 80% threshold you should speak to a mortgage adviser who can talk you through your options.
Housing New Zealand also offers a Welcome Home Loan that requires a 10 percent deposit rather than the 20% deposit.
Create a budget to determine what you can realistically afford to spend on mortgage repayments. Your budget should include all your regular outgoing expenses along with estimates for the cost of ownership of a home (insurance, rates, interest on your mortgage, applicable body corporate charges and maintenance for your home). These costs will vary depending on where you live and the type of home you wish to buy.
Use a budgeting tool such as that on www.sorted.org.nz to help.
Once you’ve worked out your budget, you can use a home loan repayment calculator to get an idea of what your mortgage repayments would be. Mortgage-express.co.nz has some useful tools you can use.
It’s probably a higher figure than you are used to paying in rent but the benefit is that instead of being an expense, your mortgage repayment is paying off a capital investment.
If you’re happy that you can afford to pay this amount each month, then you can start looking at financing.
Approach lenders to get finance pre-approved so that you know what price range you can look at for your new home. Given your income and financial commitments banks will provide a pre-approved amount (to which terms apply) beyond which they would not lend. This gives you a ceiling for the maximum you can spend on buying your first home.
Mortgage advisers can help you find the best deal from lenders. Remember, mortgage advisers’ fees are paid for by the lender, not you.
Mortgage Express General Manager, Sarah Johnston says, “A Mortgage Express mortgage adviser has the knowledge and expertise to find the best option to suit your individual needs. Your first home is one of the most significant investment decisions you will make and we’re here to make sure that you know the different ways you can structure your loan and what the different lenders will offer you.”
Financing your first home
Along with your savings, there are other sources of income that can help to supplement your first home deposit. For instance, if you meet certain criteria you may also be able to secure a FirstHome grant of up to $20,000 through Housing New Zealand. KiwiSaver members should also look into the scheme’s deposit subsidy and savings withdrawal options. You may also like to consider entering a shared ownership agreement with friends or family if you don’t have enough savings or a high enough income on your own.
Finding your new home
Now that you’ve got your finances sorted and know how much you can afford to invest in your first property, it’s time to find your dream home.
Check out harcourts.co.nz for our latest listings in your area.