Category Archives: Property

Rental WOF

Recently, there have been calls for all houses that are rented out in NZ to be subject to a rental warrant of fitness.  This would mean all rental properties would have to comply with a checklist of items around safety, insulation etc.

I reckon this will be about as effective as the dog micro-chipping laws:

Some years ago girl got badly bitten on the face, the government said”We will fix that” and introduced a law requiring all dogs to be micro-chipped. All good owners do so. All ratbag owners don’t. Result? As many dog bites as before, costs up on all good dog owners.

Rental WOF? All good owners will get them, ratbag owners won’t. Result? As many crappy houses for rent as there are now. Costs up for all good landlords (99.55 of them).

Further results? Tenants rents go up to pay for the new compliance which actually results in the people who are supposedly being helped paying more rent i.e. harmed.

So all the do-gooder out there calling for a rental WOF, you might want to think about that.

Also, what about owners of houses living in them?  Why are they not part of this?  Do their needs not matter?  Or are they not considered to be as disadvantaged as the poor down-trodden renters?

Blunt Article from Fran O’Sullivan

Blunt but true:

Fran O’Sullivan: Memo – This is not a pissing contest

John Key and Graeme Wheeler should fix the housing crisis – not point the finger at each other.

Key is on the money as he rarks up the Reserve Bank over its failure to further tighten the screws on property speculators.

Everyone knows he is playing diversionary tactics.

 

Link

Shanty Towns Here We Come!

Auckland Council has totally failed at it’s job for the last 20 years (previously 7 councils).  They have strangled supply.  They have ramped up costs.  They have stopped many developments in their tracks – often after a great deal of money has been spent by the prospective developer.

And what is the result? Surprise, surprise, a housing shortage.

And the National government, has basically stood by and tinkered a little bit.  And kind of hoped the problem would go away.

But it hasn’t.

So what do we have now? 2 things.  Firstly an infrastructure loan facility of $1b and secondly, and comically, some ‘pop up’ houses.  Sigh.

So firstly we have an infrastructure loan facility for fast growing cities (they mean Auckland, but for some reason don’t like to lay the blame all at Auckland’s doorstep) so that they can borrow off of the government to do what they always used to do, but seems now can’t do, i.e. put in infrastructure so that developers can subdivide land and build houses.

This is a) A tiny amount of money and b) Auckland council wouldn’t need it if they hadn’t pissed away sooooo much money on stupid shit.  Sorry to be blunt, but that’s basically it.  They’ve spent and spent and spent, incurred a lot of debt, and now they can’t perform their mandated functions such as providing infrastructure.  They’re like a teenager who spent all their money on booze and now want their parents to give them petrol money so they can get to work/school/uni/tech.

And then secondly, we have Paula Bennett wanting to create some pop up houses.  Why? Because this issue is starting to hurt the government.  They’ve tinkered around for the last 7 years or so and tut tutted while the situation gets worse.  And of course, they’ve watched immigration levels get to +70,000 people per annum – which all governments like because it stimulates the economy.

But the situation is now undeniable.  We are damn short of houses in Auckland and when it comes to allowing the creation of more housing units, the council has been dragging it’s feet the whole time.

So what to do? Well some quick fixes apparently!  Nothing that will solve the long term problem, just some things that will say “We take this issue seriously”  Try to keep a straight face when reading that 🙂

You know what they need to do?  You really want to know?

The answer is: THEY JUST NEED TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY AND LET THE PRIVATE SECTOR BUILD HOUSES!!!

Simple.  Costs the taxpayer and ratepayer nothing.  No risks either.  Just let developers and builders get on with the job and the situation would be resolved pronto.

Sadly I don’t see this happening in the near future.

Instead we’ll get some shanty towns for the poor people, and a loan to the poor council.

Is the GC the Answer?

Interesting Article: Here.

Why the Gold Coast is the answer to our soaring house prices

A former Reserve Bank chairman has called for the Government and Auckland Council to enact policies to deliberately “collapse” the city’s house prices by at least 40 per cent and intensify building along Tamaki Dr with Gold Coast-style towers.

 

I agree with some of the articles content but not all of it.  I still think the council just needs to get out of the way and let private developers build.

David Henderson in the News Again

David Henderson, long time IRD battler, who had a movie made about him which I have reviewed here on the movies page, is in the news again: Link

Some time ago Rodney Hide wrote about a situation where he was having to provide information to the Official Assignee about a friend.  They wouldn’t say who it was, or why they were investigating, only that they needed information and that he had to give it.  Which he found extraordinary, of course!

So today I see the story linked to above, and Hide’s friend is David Henderson (the Christchurch one) who has had troubles with his property development business since the GFC.

The Official Assignee is chasing him over a various matters.

Funny how I take David Henderson’s side in this fight – after bankrupting Michael Robert McDonald for non payment of his debts and seeing what a fraud he is.

It will be interesting to see how both these cases proceed through the courts.

Papakura

I have a small commercial/residential property in Papakura, Auckland.  I was just reflecting on how much is going on there right now:

1) There are 48 townhouses being built around 550m from the CBD.  19 in stage one, being done now.  Corner of Ray Small Drive and Elliot St.  Here’s a picture off of the signboard on the property.  Try and ignore the graffiti :
Elliot Mews

2) They are working on the old Warehouse site to turn it into a medical centre now:
The Warehouse
3) There’s a few apartment developments around the town you probably won’t be aware of:
  • These ones have just been completed and are very close to the subject property.  The guys who did these are doing more just down from the current property on the Great South Road, across the road from the Warehouse – in the medical centre building.  So the medical centre people are moving out and across the road to the Warehouse site.​

Stanley Building

  • There are 11 planned just up and across the road from my building, above the Post Office.  Resource consent granted, construction not started.:

138 Great South Road, Papakura

  • 12 are being built (Nearly finished) in Railway St West.  I don’t have a photo of these, but they’re of very good quality.  Approximately 1km from the centre of CBD.
  • I think there are 4 being built in Wood St.  But haven’t seen this, just been told by an agent.

So anyway, I was listening to something on the radio the other day about the revival of run-down towns in the US and the key they said, was to get people living there.  Then the rest would come e.g. restaurants, cafes, shops etc, people feel safer at night and so on.

 

So I think this may happen to Papakura, but it won’t happen overnight, might take a few years.

Good Article on Earthquake Prone Buildings

Ann Brower: Earthquake risk? Fix the parapets first

 

 

Ann Brower was the sole survivor of 13 people who were crushed in a bus on Colombo St during the February 22 earthquake. Photo / Martin Hunter
Ann Brower was the sole survivor of 13 people who were crushed in a bus on Colombo St during the February 22 earthquake. Photo / Martin Hunter

On February 22, 2011, I was riding a bus up Colombo Street in Christchurch, when a parapet and façade collapsed onto us. Only I survived. And I was far from unscathed.

During that Christchurch earthquake,16 people were killed on that one block of Colombo Street – and New Zealand is full of places just like Colombo Street – with masonry facades, parapets, and gables.

Link

I agree with pretty much everything she says.  And so does everyone else in the seismic area it seems.  Just gotta get the politicians on board.

Rats

I’ve written a couple of posts on how I’m trying to catch/kill rats around our property in west Auckland.

I’ve tried a GoodNature trap – which has caught a total of 1 rat in over 6  months.  Got to say I’m dissappointed with it.

And a couple of weeks ago, we started hearing rats in the roof/ceiling cavity.

So we investigated, found lots of rat droppings up there.  Put the GoodNature trap up there along with 4 conventional traps.  We have caught 1 in a conventional trap.

Today we had a ceiling hatch put in a part of the roof/ceiling cavity we couldn’t get access into.  And I’ve set 2 conventional traps along with a bait station.

I hate to use the toxic stuff, but have no choice really, the rats are making a real mess up there and are really noisy too, waking us up each night as they scurry about, scratch etc.

Also put 2 bait stations outside the house.  Will be interesting to see if they get rat attention.

The cat has been catching one about every 10 days or so as well.  The other day he caught and killed a really big one.

So there’s obviously heaps of them about.  Will be good to get rid of them!

First Home Buyer Plops Down $920,000 for House in Melbourne

How on earth does a first home buyer, described as a student, buy a house for $920,000???

http://news.domain.com.au/domain/real-estate-news/firsthome-buyer-pays-100000-above-reserve-in-glen-waverley-20150131-132swm.html

But it was a management student from mainland China who sealed the deal with a final bid, entering the race just minutes from the finish line.

So just another story about a mainland Chinese person winning an auction?

Well yes, but the really interesting thing was what he said, in the video, which (in Chinese) were words to the effect that he’d expected to pay over $1 million.

So, this kinda highlights how in fact, auctions can achieve lower prices than otherwise possible.  Something the likes of Neil Jenman et al keep saying.