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Restrictions working so no more needed

Restrictions working so no more needed, says real estate boss

October’s much tougher loan-to-value ratios (LVRs) hitting the likes of property investors are having the desired impact this summer, making it increasingly unnecessary for the Reserve Bank to introduce the likes of loan-to-income restrictions as some speculated last year, says Geoff Barnett, National Manager of Century 21 New Zealand.

“We’re definitely seeing the return of a more normalised real estate market. More and more we’re seeing buyers setting the price with vendors’ expectations slowly but surely getting more realistic. I doubt that the Reserve Bank or the Government will be looking at implementing any further restrictions at the stage as the current ones are working,” he says.

Mr Barnett predicts 2017 won’t see any major market shifts. Rather if there are any changes they’ll be moderate and sustainable, helped also by housing supply improving in Auckland and interest rates slowly rising.

“While 2017 may not reach the giddy and record-breaking heights of previous years, it’s still looking pretty strong with consumer and business confidence solid as is population growth. The regions also continue to do well.

“However, let’s not forget that this year is an election year, so I suspect the second half of 2017 will be a bit quieter than usual as people for whatever reason keep their hands in their pockets. So this could really be a year of two halves.”

Late last year Century 21 New Zealand celebrated four new office openings and Mr Barnett says the company is expecting more franchise openings this year.

“Century 21 is definitely on a growth drive in New Zealand and that just doesn’t mean more offices. We’re also set to see more internal growth with many of our existing offices expanding with plenty of experienced and successful agents joining us given all the support and international reach we can offer.”

Mr Barnett says the company is placing a lot of emphasis on business development and is currently seeking expressions of interest from qualified and ambitious industry professionals for new franchise opportunities.

“Our business and brand is only getting stronger in New Zealand. The company’s profile is up, not to mention the number of offices, agents, listings, and sales. With considerable growth planned for 2017, Century 21 remains clearly confident in the New Zealand real estate market. We’re certainly putting our money where our mouth is,” says Mr Barnett.


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