Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Developers Abusing Use of Sunset Clause – Expert

Developers Abusing Use of Sunset Clause – Expert

A property investment expert is warning that a loophole in New Zealand law needs to be closed to prevent mum and dad investors from losing money in the rapidly growing property market.

The loophole allows property developers to exercise a ‘sunset clause’ in property purchase agreements where the agreement is entered into before the property’s construction has been completed.

A sunset clause is often included in contracts where the property is still under construction, it effectively puts an expiry date on an offer if certain terms within a contract are not met.

The director of Propellor Property Investments, Nikki Connors, says some developers are using the sunset clause to exit the contract once a building has been completed for their own pecuniary advantage.

Connors says a home buyer or property investor may enter into the agreement while the potential home is at ‘blueprint stage’ and pay a deposit to secure the property.

At this early stage the developer has a secured purchaser for the dwelling which provides cashflow and security for their financier, she says.

“With this agreement the buyer proceeds in good faith with the understanding that as they view the ongoing progress of the building the contract terms will be met on schedule and they will take possession of the new property,” says Connors.

Connors says often buyers feel safe in the knowledge that construction is proceeding according to plan and the home buyer takes themself out of the property market, often for a year or more as construction continues.

During the course of that year the value of the property may rise so significantly, that it provides an incentive for developers to stall the final stage of construction in order to delay the council consent process and, subsequently trigger an exit/sunset clause in the contract.

“What this creates is a risk free, capital investment for the developer who is able to evaluate whether it’s in their best interests to adhere to the terms of the contract or simply remarket the property in the final stage in order to get a better price,” she says.

Connors is calling on regulators to make legislative change which makes it harder for developers to exit contracts for their own financial gain.

She advises buyers to exercise caution when buying off the plans, maintain a close watch on the progress of construction and ensure all correspondence with the developer is well documented.

For a high-res image, please click here


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Stats NZ: Election Boosts October Job Numbers

Job numbers were boosted by general election staff in October 2020, along with rises in the manufacturing, retail, and hospitality industries, Stats NZ said today. Filled jobs rose by 27,667 to 2.2 million in October 2020 compared with September, after ... More>>

Government: New Year Border Exception For Seasonal Workers In The Horticulture And Wine Industries

2000 additional RSE workers to enter New Zealand early next year employers must pay these workers at least $22.10 an hour employers will cover costs of managed isolation for the RSE workers RSE workers will be paid the equivalent of 30 hours work a week ... More>>


Grey Power: Is Disappointed To Learn Of More Bank Closures

Many older people are being left without essential services because of cost cutting and the march of modern technology. It is now expected that most banking transactions can occur via the internet or telephone. Jan Pentecost, President of the Grey Power ... More>>


Department Of Conservation: Big Year Underway At Albatross Colony

Familiar faces are returning for the new season of Royal Cam, with a big breeding year underway for the toroa/northern royal albatross colony on Otago’s windswept Pukekura/Taiaroa Head. More than 120 albatrosses, a taonga species, have returned ... More>>

Real Estate: ASB Survey Reveals Majority Of Kiwis Expect House Prices To Keep Climbing


House price expectations are soaring as New Zealand’s housing market shifts up a gear. But stretched affordability is putting a dent in perceptions of whether it’s a good time to buy. While Kiwis reveal they do expect interest rates to fall further. ... More>>

ComCom: How Real Is That Bargain?

The Commerce Commission urges retailers and consumers to think hard about the bargains being offered as ‘Black Friday’ and Christmas draw near. Black Friday has now overtaken Boxing Day in terms of retail spending, according to data from electronic ... More>>

Stats NZ: Births And Deaths: Year Ended September 2020

Births and deaths releases provide statistics on the number of births and deaths registered in New Zealand, and selected fertility and mortality rates. Key facts For the year ended September 2020: 57,753 live births and 32,670 deaths ... More>>