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Property investors still there, but opportunists fewer

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Property investors still there, but opportunists fewer

“Claims that property investors in Auckland have all but dried up and have now turned their attention to the regions is by no means true,” says Geoff Barnett, National Manager of Century 21 New Zealand.

Mr Barnett’s comments follow the release of the latest monthly QV House Price Index which showed residential property values across the Auckland region had increased slightly by 1.0% in the past year.

The subdued increase prompted some commentators to claim it was proof that the Reserve Bank’s tough loan-to-value ratios (LVRs) had caused property investors to vacate Auckland and buy rentals in the likes of Hawkes Bay instead.

“Yes, the LVRs have slowed down some residential investors, but not the long-term ones where rentals are often their primary business. They are still out there in droves and can easily structure their business to meet any LVR requirements.

“The investors who have dried up are what I call the opportunist ones. They were jumping into the Auckland market a few years ago primarily because of the promise of great capital gains. With sale prices now levelling, the prospect of coming up with a 40% deposit to buy an investment property is obviously a lot less appealing.”

Mr Barnett says losing many opportunist property investors will help first-home buyers get into the Auckland market, but it’s also not a bad thing for the region’s many renters.

“When we saw a flurry of opportunist investors motivated by big capital gains, and often very financially stretched to make it all work, the likes of property maintenance and tenant wellbeing were probably not their priority. Whereas long-term investors often make better landlords simply because they’re playing a much longer game.”

The head of Century 21 New Zealand says property investors often get a bad rap in Auckland, blamed for steep price increases then accused of abandoning the ship when the market normalises. However in reality, he says, property investors are increasingly critical to the housing of more and more Aucklanders and deserve a break.


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