Opinion

Property headlines continue to promulgate misinformation

In my opinion we suffer from continual misinformation on property which surfaces through the media but which at its core comes from a continual belief that the real estate industry somehow feels responsible and therefore needs to justify the state of the property market.

The property market is far larger than the role of agents and is too important for it not to have a balanced perspective of news, analysis and opinion. We as a country should deserve such respect.

 

Realestate.co.nz invests in new commercials when they should be investing in the user

Realestate.co.nz has released a new TV advert focused on the message that they have the most homes in NZ. I have a problem with this approach.

Firstly this mantle of leadership is not likely to last long and then the advert will then become redundant and secondly brands have to deliver compelling experiences not just funny TV commercials - this they are not doing enough of.

 

Reviewing agent performance - the transparency challenge in real estate 

We review everything or so it seems these days, and with good reason. From research we hear that 85% of transactions are influenced by reviews. So what about real estate - how influential are reviews? Where do you go to get objective reviews and are testimonials really what you want?

 

Yet more innovation in the marketing of property for sale

Mention virtual tours of homes and you will turn me off - it feels like the worst use of tech. But thankfully the experience just got a whole lot better thanks to some wonderful new tech that could transform this component of property marketing

 

Selling your home - a personal perspective: 4 - The Sale!

The sale of your home, second only to buying your home is a stressful event, it tends to comprise of weeks of tense anticipation and nervous expectation. The whole process for us was illuminating, surprising and ultimately satisfying. These chapters detailing in great detail the whole process have hopefully been helpful

 

Mobile platform - getting smarter and growing in importance

For real estate marketing mobile is the platform - as a tablet or smartphone of choice. In addition to technical enhancements, enhanced advertising solutions could well be driving this as may be the case with the latest update of data for Trade Me Property's app downloads

 

Selling your home - a personal perspective: 3 - The Marketing

The marketing of your home for sale is far more than just deciding on print vs online (although for me that was a no-brainer) - there are many components to smart marketing that attract attention and  generate interest from prospective buyers

 

Selling your home - a personal perspective: 2 - Choosing an agent

Approaching the decision of which agent to choose to represent you and your interests when selling you house is a critical decision. For us it was a combination of experience, knowledge and expertise - not a surprising list of criteria. Understanding why we chose the one we did vs. the other two candidates may be enlightening

 

Digitally enhanced photos could provide a new marketing service

Forget the photoshopped hyper-green lawn and perfect blue sky - the trickery of property images heavily photoshopped are not only misleading but unprofessional. But imagine an alternative set of photos to complement the originals to show 'Concept photos' - an honest and valuable demonstration of enhanced photo presentation of property.

 

Selling your home - a personal perspective: 1. Method of sale

Having recently sold and moved house I felt it was an opportune time to detail in a series of articles the process from a personal perspective and in so doing provide some valuable insight into the challenges, decisions and options that we as a couple discussed and agreed around the process of selling our home.

This first article focuses on the decision around the method of sale - DIY or an agent?

 

A patchwork quilt of selected data does not make a property report

It seems that all real estate companies want to publish stats on the market and all want to be the first. In my view these PR driven insights are of value only to those in these companies. What is needed and what comes out regularly is consistent comprehensive data and this should be the focus for the media

 

Consolidation in the US property portal market

This week the leading US digital property portal operator Zillow announced it intention to acquire it closest competitor Trulia in an all stock deal valuing Trulia at US3.5 billion. 

The deal makes sense and signals further developments in the property portal industry that have implications globally

 

Real estate industry abandons print media!

The real headline should read the Real Estate Authority abandons print media. I liked the potential to headline the story reflective of a long-held hope!

The story is the move by the REAA to remove the requirement for prospective agents to have to make public notices of their intention in the newspapers

 

Trade Me Property changes its pricing model - again!

Trade Me has listened and realised that the model introduced less than a year ago at the very least was poorly communicated. The new policy is a degree of a capitulation - however within the various options are some interesting moves.

Overall I think Trade Me will gain back the ground they lost through this move - a case of regrouping before advancing again in the future. The industry will have gained a short term win - however the overall winners and losers are mixed.

 

Real estate, the generational challenge

A weekend article from Inman News triggered a collection of thoughts that have long been swirling around in my mind around the fundamentals of the real estate process. The role of prospecting, the place of real estate in the community and the critical cultural and attitudinal shift that has pervaded our lives over the past 20 years in a large part the result of the information revolution of the internet which is creating vast generational voids. 

 

Agents breaking with convention to demonstrate their success

Real estate is all about success - success in a complete sale, success in a marketing campaign, success in the selling price. Agents by choice or by request have in the main steered away from using analytics to demonstrate this level of success - well maybe things are changing, in one corner of Auckland they are!

 

A radical change for real estate websites?

Most real estate company websites, both franchise group, independent and office sites all look the same - a blind focus on searching for property - why? 

The core audience of a real estate company website will be, should be prospective clients doing prospecting for an agent to sell their home - this is the focus that these websites should address - sadly they don't, but take comfort 'NZ real estate' industry your counterparts around the world think the same as you!

 

Private sale or agent sale?

With around 10% of sale each year being sold privately added to which Trade Me Property creates a level-playing-field for marketing, there is much to be learnt by examining the different approach to online marketing of a private sale and an agent sale. In my view there are valuable lessons for agents and private sellers alike.

 

Property signboards - a vital part of real estate marketing

They have been around for as long as the real estate profession and whilst technology may be transforming the industry piece by piece the classic street sign is in my view here to stay. Other people hold the view that they represent excessive agent profile advertising or that they will be superceded by digital displays.

 

Property price searching online needs to be more accurate

When you search for a property to buy, you tend to have a clear budget; one where every dollar counts. Why is it then that when you search for a property around $700,000 you find properties which vendors expect to sell for close to $1m - something is wrong with the system and needs fixing.

 

Just how competitive is real estate in New Zealand?

Choosing an agent relies heavily on personal recommendation and local profile - why is that the determination of the right agent? Why are there not more objective criteria as is seen in other countries? I believe that openness and transparency whilst a high hurdle to climb over provide rich rewards for businesses and consumers alike

 

New Property Dashboard brings greater clarity to the state of the property market

The original Property Dashboard I developed over a year ago has been popular as a key measure of the state of the property market both nationally and locally by region. I have felt for a while that a single gauge to highlight the state of the market relying solely on inventory was limiting - so I have created a new 3 gauge dashboard measuring - pace of the market, supply of property and the rate of price inflation

 

Video has its place in real estate marketing

Photos are at the heart of real estate marketing and it is a poor presentation that lacks a portfolio of 20+ professionally shot photos; however when it comes to video opinions differ. I hold the view that they are not going to become ubiquitous - they should be used selectively to suit the property and be hosted to suit the process of property search.

 

Trade Me Property - an insight into a new design?

Now apps for Windows 8.1 may not be the chosen platform for the majority of tablet devices given a current sales share of 4% - but given this low share may actually provide Trade Me Property with a sandpit in which to experiment with a new design look and feel.
I have not seen the app on a device but the screenshots certainly look impressive and may be part of a redesign - who knows!?

 

Competing property portals in Australia go head to head

If you think we have issues between real estate portals and real estate agents, cast an eye across the Tasman - its close to outright war as the challenger Domain fires off an inflammatory email as an open letter to the real estate industry challenging the industry to boycott the REA site of Realestate.com.au - fireworks are flying!

 

Do agents warrant such front page public censure?

I am sure I was not the only one to wonder if the headline story of the Herald On Sunday really was warranted?
In my opinion this was a clear case of a cheap media grabbing story where the short term profit motives of the media company rides rough-shod over the career and reputation of the real estate agent concerned.

 

The UK's challenger property website Zoopla heads for an IPO

The UK market looked at one time to be a one-horse race with Rightmove taking the prize, however over the past 5 years Zoopla has snuck up to become a serious challenger and now is lining up for an IPO in the next few weeks. However not everything is rosy in the UK portal marketplace with dissenting voices within the industry and a new industry owned start up - some smart moves could see a lot change in the next few years

 

Realestate.co.nz - Where to from here?

I find myself in a unique position, standing back and observing the current turbulent goings-on in the online real estate marketplace. An environment I know so well. Trade Me Property has without seriously stumbled and Realestate.co.nz has gained ground. Is this change a pivotal moment that could displace the current market leader. With such insight and objectivity I have decided to share my thoughts about a future strategy for Realestate.co.nz to press the advantage.

 

The LVR policy - a successful policy for the property market

This policy implemented by the Reserve Bank back in October may well have had a more significant impact on the property market than originally thought or projected, however I would judge it a success for the task of cooling a hot property market without impacting the wider economy.

 

Spring has arrived in the US and with it a new battle of real estate websites

Its a big stakes game for real estate websites in the US - there are three and each is out to grab consumers attention with TV adverts and huge budgets. Its interesting to compare and contrast the creative differences and how they reflect the positioning of the respective companies

 

Property Statistics can be misleading

Too often median price and property value are juxtaposed and an inference is made that they are the surrogate of each other. This inference is misleading especially when the type and condition of property being sold is so different from the bulk of property in an area. This can and does lead to media headlines saying property prices are out of control 

 

Trade Me Property adds map based search

Property and location go hand in hand as demonstrated by the usage of mobile apps, it is therefore somewhat surprising that Trade Me Property has taken so log to add map based search to the website. Not only that, the execution whilst up to the usual Trade Me high standard of design style misses a core piece of functionality - draw your own search!

 

Properazzi on Facebook - w/e 2 May

A busy week of anecdotes and opinions posted to the Facebook page including real impact of LVR impact in first home buyers, interview on Breakfast TV discussing the rise in home un-affordability, a bizarre listing description borrowing the words of Winston Churchill, and finally what could well be the worst property images ever - who could live in these conditions? 

 

Trade Me vs. Real Estate Agents: 5 months on, could the boycott be growing?

At the outset it seemed an illogical reaction by some in the real estate industry to boycott the use of Trade Me to advertise listings at a cost of less than $200 for unlimited advertising, yet that is what the industry wanted to do - they didn't want to pay the 300%+ increase or ask vendors to pay.

5 months on the issue is still very real and in my view the power balance may be shifting as the boycott appears to be growing outside of its original regions.

 

Real estate agents - a new documentary is addictive viewing

The UK has this month aired a new documentary series on the real estate profession. This one focuses on the life of an agent - well a number of agents from very varied parts of the UK. From areas where $100k is the average house price to central London where below $10m is not really worth touching!!

A great watch and the best bit is its there on YouTube for all kiwi's to watch

 

Property price trends become harder to forecast

When a Chief Economist from one of the leading banks states that it is impossible to tell what is really going on with house prices, then we should be worried.

However there is a solution - ensure the right data is available to analyse - and that responsibility rests entirely with the Real Estate Institute - they could assist the economists of this country to help us all better understand property price trends

 

Smart marketing

I would judge that smart marketing is about opportunism - grabbing an opportunity, being flexible and taking a risk to do something different, not just for the sake of it without regard for the brand values. Trulia this week grabbed the opportunity of April Fool's Day to undertake some smart marketing - Trulia partners with Truluvia! 

 

 

Better data could assist our collective understanding of the property market

Good decisions can be made based upon complete, accurate data. Vested interest groups and politically minded people love to hijack incomplete data.

Property is intrinsically a rich data set - however incomplete data leads to the current discussion about overseas buyers impacting the property market and driving prices out of the reach of ordinary kiwis - FACT or SUPPOSITION? 

If we had better data then we could have facts upon which we could really debate the issue - here is my view of what’s wrong and what should be done by whom to fix the issue

 

Is virtual reality a disruptive technology for real estate

The term virtual reality will be significantly elevated in the public's level of awareness as Facebook splashes out $2bn to buy Oculus VR - the question to be asked in the context of the property market is - will it be a game changer? - I don't think so

 

TV advertising in real estate

It my be a declining advertising medium but the creative potential of videos given the medium of YouTube is being used by companies across the spectrum of the real estate industry around the world. Here are some examples of recent campaigns and videos - some of which I consider bland and uninspiring, others worthy of note

 

Can real estate really be disrupted?

Following my assertion that the industry has side-stepped the technical transformation of the digital age, I was interested to read of a new aspirant in the UK attempting to transform the UK real estate industry and it lead me to reflect on the attempt made by The Joneses to disrupt this market in 2007 and what was learnt from that and what might happen in the future

 

Can an agent achieve a higher price than a private sale?

This is a classic question of real estate answered differently according to the perspective from which you approach this - an agent or a private seller. However regardless of opinion the core fact is real estate is not a scientific process for which objective evaluation can be assessed - it is a skill based process which is all about optimising the potential at a given time - worth considering if you are about to buy or sell a property

 

New boundary view - a step down a narrow lane!

Trade Me Property has just added a boundary view to property listings - good! ... however it is long overdue that we saw some innovation from these property portals, additionally I am concerned that access to such data may be more difficult given the merger of the two leading players in the market last year

 

Why has real estate side-stepped the technical transformation of the digital age?

I feel that this is an opinion article long overdue, something I have talked about for many years and never written. Just why is that we have witnessed the transformation of so many businesses and industries over the past decade or more as a consequence of the digital revolution and yet real estate continues in the same old fashion of 20 or 40 years ago?

 

QR codes in real estate - a missed opportunity?

Whilst not a recent innovation their use in real estate is at best sporadic, in my view largely as a function of the lack of strategic thinking by real estate companies and print media. I do however think is better described as a technology looking for a solution

 

Double shot interview with Interest.co.nz

I recently sat down with David Hargreaves of Interest.co.nz to talk through the trends in the property market as well as to discuss these going on between agents and Trade Me 

 

Could the agent boycott of Trade Me end up driving more people to private sales?

As a buyer in the Hawkes Bay particularly you may have noticed a decline i new listing by agents and a rise in new private sales listings - how would you interpret this I wonder - could this be agents hurting their prospects of future business as much as the hurt they are causing their existing clients?

 

Further ideas on being a smarter buyer

I regularly contribute to Squirrel Mortgages - here is a collection of recent articles covering the decision as to what type of house to buy and amusingly what not to say to a real estate agent when you are the prospective buyer

 

TV campaigns by Trade Me Property & Realestate.co.nz

The new year has seen the start of a competitive campaign playing field between the leading two portals - trying to capture more consumer traffic? - I don't think so, more likely a trade marketing push thinly disguised in a consumer message

 

Trade Me appoints new Head of Property

The new executive chosen to lead the development of the property division of Trade Me is a seasoned executive with a great knowledge of the real estate industry. The appointment may well come as some surprise to some in the industry - here is my take on the news

 

Agents and portals - the differing approach of UK and NZ

I was recently in the UK and naturally could not help but observe the differing approach to property marketing. What struck me most surprisingly is the UK agents approach to web referencing property portals whereas NZ agents drive traffic to their sites.

 

Could it be time to celebrate housing unaffordability?

The annual Demographia survey tracking ratio of house prices to income across major cities tends to come up year after year with the same story - maybe instead of bemoaning our place as the one of the least affordable cities, Auckland should celebrate its status - we are unaffordable for a reason!

 

No paper - no news

So it was often said that without the newspaper there was no news. Not so these days and certainly in the world of real estate advertising this is far from the truth, yet the industry seem intent on denying this reality. The Christmas period though proves them wrong!

 

What were the Top 10 articles of 2013?

With close to 100 to choose from its interesting to reflect what were the most read articles of last year - some surprises

 

What is a listing?

Its strange how a word can be adopted into the language of modern conversation yet its origins hold fast to  bygone era - so it is for a listing.  A property advertised on line is not a listing, this word is of a different era governed by the column inch in the newspaper. We need a new term - perhaps Digital Profile.

 

Why I love the internet

Sometimes it is valuable to stand back and reflect on things, an initiative by a friend of mine who write an excellent blog on HR matter made me do just that - stand back and reflect how valuable the internet is and how we can gain so much value from it

 

Some further thoughts on the industry reaction to Trade Me Property new pricing

The earlier article generated a ton of conversations and lead me to look at possible scenarios that might eventuate with real estate agents as they go about their everyday job of prospecting for business in explaining the logic of a move to boycott Trade Me and reaffirming my belief that no boycott will eventuate

 

Agents to boycott Trade Me - I don't think so

The new pricing model for agents to advertise their clients listings has spawned a potential revolt by agents in the Waikato, who say they will not be supporting Trade Me and not recommending the site to clients as they feel the increases are unreasonable. Whilst their views are potentially valid I cannot see this reaction turning into a wide scale revolt by all agents as they seek to support their own industry website Realestate.co.nz

 

Access to ultra fast broadband is a critical aspect of a property for sale

There are now over 10,000 properties with UFB in the target to connect 75% of NZ by 2019 - in fact over 170,000 premises have the ability to connect. However when it comes to property marketing the real estate industry seems to be slow to recognise the critical marketing opportunity that broadband speed and access makes to prospective buyers interest. This needs to be addressed and fast! 

 

Living with greater transparency - the challenge for real estate

We live in a world with ever greater access to relevant and accessible information in the form of data and experience, all of which can be shared at the touch of a screen. This I think is a challenge to the real estate industry - a challenge that if embraced could help the property market become less volatile

 

It's all change at Trade Me Property

A single week and Trade Me Property faces two major changes - implementation of a new pricing model for real estate companies sees a massive increase - I asked should this be absorbed or passed on, the response surprised me. Also Brendon Skipper Head of Trade Me crosses the floor to join Realestate.co.nz! 

 

What The Block can tell us about the Property Market

The latest series of The Block was a media success and with all properties sold at auction last night a property success story. So what lessons can we learn from the programme as an indication of the state of the Auckland property market? 

 

You are a savvy buyer

We may well take for granted the access to valuable property information we have at our finger tips today. Pause for a moment to reflect on house buying was 20 years ago, it certainly allows us to be savvier buyers today!   

 

Hometopia - everything home buyers & sellers need online

The new website developed by the team that publishes the great book "Where to live in Auckland" has received great media coverage and interest since recently launching. I have used and reviewed the site and provide some feedback to what I think are great features and functionality, as well as some pointers to what i think could make it a little better

 

Why taking a home for a test drive is illogical

The idea seems logical, you take a new car for a test drive - why then when you spend 10 to 20 times that amount you make a decision based on a 20 minute walk through - that was my original impression. 

However having seen a video of such a scheme in New York I have seen some of the emotional and psychological reasons why test driving a house is illogical

 

The inappropriateness of using the emotions of fear and greed to prospect  

A local agent in what is becoming a regular barrage of leaflet has reached out and used the emotions of greed and fear to endeavour to prospect for new business - in my judgement inappropriate and unprofessional

 

Some ideas on being a smarter buyer or seller

A couple of new articles I have penned for Squirrel Mortgages which provide some thoughts and ideas for people looking to buy or sell property in the near future  

 

We need young blood in the real estate industry

The average age of real estate agents in this country is probably well over 55, this is considerably older than comparable agents across the Tasman. Barely 5% are under 30 years and the fact is the industry is not a option of choice for graduates outside of family businesses.  

The industry has an image problem and addressing the age profile is part of it - imagine a real estate company attending a careers event at a university? - hard to believe but in the US you will see it. 

 

TV3 - The Nation, How to address the Housing Crisis

I was invited to participate in the weekend TV3 political programme 'The Nation' as they discussed the LVR changes and Reserve Bank actions. This discussion soon moved to discuss the housing crisis. I expressed some opinions on air that I have expounded upon in this extension to that programme. 

 

Plain speak - why is it so hard for the real estate industry? 

To my mind we constantly seem to see obfuscation by those in the real estate industry. We have rich data, but despite this we seem to have an industry that always seem to want to make out the world is always perfect and there are never any problems - its a great time to buy/sell. The industry is going to be here for the next 50 years so lets have some plain speak.  

 

Do we need open-home direction signs? 

They are so common that in some ways our brain fails to see them. The impact of technology has not only transformed property advertising with the web replacing print media, but old fashion direction signs to open homes have largely been made redundant through the great facility offered by smartphone apps and GPS mapping in car and in the hand.

It's time we cleaned up our neighbourhoods and removed these signs

 

Trade Me makes a radical change to real estate agent fees

It has come as something of a shock to the real estate industry, with effect from November agent offices will no longer pay a flat fee per month for unlimited listing, instead they will be charged on a per-listing basis just as private sellers have to do. 

The question is - will agents absorb the near 200% increase or as Trade Me recommend pass on the cost? 

 

So what's the feedback? 

Why is it that having established with the vendor an estimated price that is expected for the property at time of sale, the agent then spends time eliciting 'feedback' as to buyers view of the selling price? 

Every agent is required by the governing body of the industry to provide a Comparative Market Assessment as to the selling price  - this should be more open - transparency is the fuel of efficiency

 

1st Birthday for Properazzi

Its been a year since I launched this site and this is the 163rd article I have written. Its been fun and I have thoroughly enjoyed the year - here are some interesting stats

 

When does prospecting become stalking? 

I am no fan of the disproportionate amount of time that real estate agents employ to seeking out their next meal ticket as a commission based listing, I believe their has to be a better way.

Having said that even accepting the fact that the industry is slow to change there has to be better ways to approach prospecting rather than what I have been experiencing recently which is tantamount to stalking

 

Property Market interview with NZ Herald - September

I sat down this week with Chris Daniels to discuss for 10 mins the key issues facing the property market at this time - prices trends, LVR policy, seasonality and the every interesting topic of auctions! 

 

Industry Authority issues warning over 'Quick Flick' auctions

The REAA the industry regulatory body has communicated to all agents in the industry sharing their concern over short notice auctions, requesting agents to bear consideration to the buyers and sellers in such situation to ensure sufficient time is allowed for adequate due diligence

 

Auctions now judged to include pre and post under-the-hammer-sales

I have been concerned for some time regarding the reporting of auctions to include all sales of property that are "marketed as auctions" rather than just those that sell under-the-hammer. Particularly where a property fails to sell at the auction event and is then sold afterwards - calling that an auction! I took my concerns to the Advertising Standards Authority to test the validity of the advertising of such reporting 

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Choosing the right marketing plan to sell your home? 

Selling your home involves choosing the right marketing plan. Thankfully for you this is very easy and the fact is there is no difference or should not be any difference between any marketing plan from any real estate company - after all two words (well four words) are all you need to know!

Incentivising agents to list properties for auction

I have consistently stated that auctions are the preferred method of sale for properties - the fact is the reason may not be wholly the belief in the effectiveness of the process, it maybe because agents can end up earning more income by listing properties for sale by auction than by other methods  

What turns a buyer off a property?

An personal experience of a memorable (in a negative way) property viewing matched to comments on Twitter in the past few days prompts me to share what people find real turn offs to prospective buyers when searching for and ultimately viewing property for sale

Auctions - perfect for  $million racehorses, so why not for property?

Racehorses much like Fine Art are bought and sold largely at auctions, so why do I hold such a negative view on auctions for propert

y? This was the question posed to me at a recent presentation I gave, so I thought an detailed answer was required  

 

Unintended consequences of macro-prudential economic policy

In my opinion in the short term the actions signalled by the Reserve Bank to reign in the property market are likely to be the equivalent of a volatile accelerant applied to an already heated market - stand well back! 

 

Are real estate agents trying to establish a "Paywall" for buyers? 

Recent comments in relation to the 'Quick Flick Auction' got me thinking as to whether agents dis-empowered by the democratisation of their marketing by the power of the web are trying to corral buyers into a two tier buyers processing system requiring a pre-registration - effectively building a 'paywall' for the industry. Could this be the case? - here is my opinion

 

Real estate agents fondness for auctions may be their downfall

Agents love auctions, the frenetic hyper-theatrical event that will as they say "let the market speak" as to the true value of a property. Certainly the latest data on auction sales clearly shows how many properties are being marketed by this means, however this very behaviour may actually eroding the very point of difference for agents over private sales and opening the door for vendors to save themselves thousands of dollars

 

Are policies directed at the property market too little, too late? 

We are in a very active stage of the property market (particularly in Auckland) - is it a bubble which is going to burst? - it could be. My view is its too late to do anything to change what is going to happen. However what could have been done differently - here is some perspective

 

Video interview with NZ Herald

I was invited to an interview with Chris Daniels the Online editor of the NZ Herald to talk about the property market. In the space of 14 minutes I managed to share my thoughts, opinions and insights on 7 key questions on the property market

  

Extreme property marketing forces buyer to front-up to auction in 33 hours! 

It seemed to me at first a misprint in the listing, a property going to auction one day after listing! - how can a property be effectively marketed to secure the interest of all possible buyers if it has one open home and one day's marketing - how can this be in the best interests of the vendor? 

 

Innovation does exist in the real estate industry

I have often commented that the real estate industry has not witnessed as much disruption as a result of the digital revolution as other similar industries, however we are starting to see innovation. 200Square are providing online real estate which is challenging the existing operators in being a true professional licensed real estate company charging a flat fee of $4,500 rather than a commission based fee

 

Can social media sell your house? 

The private sellers of this Auckland property reached out to mainstream media to showcase their approach to using social media to market their house, which sold this week. The reality as ever is always different from the headline - they sold successfully because they were smart and used a well known technique to sell  

 

Digital advertising could be so much better if.. 

Digital advertising is fast approaching the scale of the main segments of print & TV and is the only sector which is growing, stealing as it does revenue from traditional media. However the medium is so often wasted through lack of thinking about an integrated consumer experience. A recent example within the real estate sector got me thinking about how a digital campaign could be so much better

 

Frustration with auction process boils over

All the real estate industry seem to talk about is auctions, auctions, auctions. There is no doubt that the process given the strong demand especially in Auckland works, however for a buyer it is a high pressure environment as this personal story tells

Changes in house insurance - will it change our view of property CV's? 

The method by which insurance companies assess the replacement premium for houses is changing as a consequence of the Christchurch earthquake. The new process requires full replacement valuation to be established. This will be quite eye-opening to many home owners as that "trusted" view of the CV providing the value of the buildings is in most cases no where near the replacement cost

Read more... 

 

Will algorithms spell the end of the real estate agent?

Technology is pervasive in our world and every more likely in the future to impact any decision that involves data. Real estate whilst a very personal decision making exercise at its heart involves data - algorithms will I believe be more and more a part of the process of buying and selling property removing some of the tasks carried out by current real estate agents

Read more... 

Digital marketing - the solution for selling or renting property 

When it comes to selling your home, investment property or looking for tenants. Presentation and Promotion is key, but most of all a focus to digital marketing is paramount - don't abdicate the responsibility to the agent, get involved, it's easy and will save you money

Read more.... 

When is an auction not an auction? 

As it turns out the Real Estate Agents Authority has a clear definition which differs from the measure of statistics adopted by some real estate companies. The real figures show that only just 6 out of 10 properties sold in Auckland by Barfoot & Thompson that were marketed as auctions sold at auction - under the hammer

Read more.... 

Should a real estate agent be paid $1.5m a year?

 

The top agents in each of the major firms earn in excess of $1m a year - as Barfoot & Thompson own figures show their top 3 earned an estimated $1.5m each - they sold around 100 house in the past year to make that money. That level of earning puts them well into the Top 20 earning CEO's of multi-billion dollar companies.. is that right?

Read more....

 

How might the property market function better without CV's

 

So I have established through the opinion piece that there are inherent weaknesses and flaws in using the CV as a surrogate for a property's market valuation so what is the alternative - looking overseas shows us some very attractive options

Read more....

 

Let's get rid of Property CV's

It's usually the next question at an open home after  registering - 'So what is the CV of the property?" - it is far too often judged to be an official government valuation of a property. IT IS NOT! - In my view it would be better for everyone if we got rid of CV's

Read more.... 

What you can learn from tracking the 'digital history' of a property listing

By keeping a watching eye on individual properties online you can learn a lot about the vendors situation and enable you to be a savvy buyer, here's a current example from the Auckland market, were not everything sells in a matter of weeks

Read more.... 

Making sense of the monthly property statistics

We are fortunate in NZ to have a rich and comprehensive database of property statistics, however such richness and diversity can lead to a sense of paralysis. Here is a summary of what is available  from where and when and most important of all, what to pay attention to

Read more.... 

Realestate.co.nz mobile app gets important upgrade

The app first launched in 2010 and has now got what it badly needed the upgrade to sync your favourite properties between web and mobile

Read more.... 

Real estate agents endorsing digita media - the tide has turned

The solid universal industry support for print media may at least be weakening - at least in Australia with this Melbourne based real estate company endorsing digital media and looking to gain a competitive advantage from the initiative

Read more.... 

 

New appointment at Property Portal Watch

I have accepted the role of CEO of Property Portal  Watch, however I can assure you that Properazzi is still part of my life and the site will continue it role in delivering insight, analysis and opinion on the property market and the real estate industry

Read more.... 

Open homes - of questionable value for sellers so why are they so common? 

The majority of open-home visitors are nosey neighbours early-stage sellers checking out the market, for sellers this is not good news, but agents love them - are they though another element of the inefficiency in the industry? 

Read more.... 

Leveraging technology to be a smarter investor

Technology offers so many valuable tools to assist property investors, here's a selection of my collective wisdom

Read more.... 

Ask me Anything!

I was kindly invited to be a participant in the NBR's 1 hour Q&A session. It proved rewarding and the variety of questions was stimulating - worth reviewing

Read more... 

Should we implement restrictions on overseas buying of NZ property? 

It's a hot topic and I hold the view that there is less of an issue here than other media would believe. I believe we have had this debate before and will have it again, the fact is it is an opportunity - not without risks but better to have the inbound investment

Read more.... 

Privacy and security when it comes to open homes

Where would the property buying and selling process be without the open-home, it is engrained in our social experience; yet as feedback from within the industry has highlighted there is concern over security & privacy. What's your views? 

Read more.... 

Property data - do we really have what we need?

Each month an endless array of data is published from various sources to highlight the market - certainly up-up-to-date, but is it really as rich in content as it could be? - I judge not and I challenge the Real Estate Institute to step up their game to the challenge

Read more.... 

New iPad app from Barfoot & Thompson

This app is an excellent consumer experience and praise should go to the company and the developers. However it could be the definitive property search tool for all Aucklanders - a real game changer if Barfoot's were really brave! 

Read more.... 

Are there more overseas buyers snapping up NZ properties

The latest BNZ/REINZ survey looked into the question of the extent to which overseas buyers are buying properties. The data says 9% of sales were to overseas buyers. I have a problem with the survey, the data and the implications. 

Read more.... 

How should REINZ invest its asset sale - how about technology investment?

The Real Estate Institute has announced it is selling its head office - how about  investing that money back into the industry by nurturing tech start ups that add value and services to the industry?

Read more.... 

Property searching on the go - a review of mobile apps

A smartphone is a key part of house hunting these days and purpose designed apps are key, I have reviewed the options (which boils down to Trade Me and Realestate.co.nz) and provide me perspective of which to use

Read more.... 

Scheduling property viewings just got a whole lot easier thanks to Skedge.Me

I was recommended this service by the smart guys at 1000Watt Consulting - my experience has been good and I see opportunity for agents and portals

Read more...

Auctions - the most favoured method of sale or the favourite method of sale by agents?

Whilst property sales remained strong in January in Auckland (the home of auctions) up 24% yr-on-yr auctions fell from favour halving from 37% to 19% of sales why?

Read more...

10 Stereotypical real estate agent behaviours showcased on Agent Anna

The new TV One comedy is all about an aspiring real estate agent - enduring the first episode I witnessed 10 classic stereotypical behaviours of real estate agents - real or imaged

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Watch My Street - Your property information (if you live in Wellington)

This new service is a great example of local authority open data being used by smart people to help people find out more property information - shame only Wellington City Council allows free access to such data

Read more....

Golden rule of advertising - never apologise

I was literally taken-aback by a large poster in my local suburb by a large real estate company. To me the campaign could be misconstrued.

Read more....

Closing down email newsletter

I have decided not to continue to provide a weekly email newsletter due to constraints on my time.

Read more....

Finance Weekly Interview - Jan 2013

I was recently invited as a guest on the TV9 Asian channel to talk about the impending housing crisis. Here is the full interview - avery detailed and interesting watch

Read more....

What value do real estate agents add?

Agents facilitate the vast majority of property sales in NZ - over 200 per day, yet a key question prompted by a recent experience of a friend of mine got me asking this question as to value for money of their services

Read more....

Properties should have a 'sell-by-date'

Analysis shows there are close on 20% of all listings on the web of properties for sale that have been on the market for over 12 months - freshness in listings is key

Read more....

Find My Real Estate Agent - a new service that falls short of expectation

This new website would like to be the holy-grail for sellers trying to decide which agent to choose. Sadly it ends up as valuable as that old Yellow Pages

Read more...

Trade Me now free from the Fairfax shackles has significant upside potential

As an exercise of amateur financial analysis based on benchmarking online sector specific listed companies in the UK and Australia provides a guide to a future valuation for Trade Me that is well ahead of current market values - potential is there for them

Read more....

Choosing the best real estate agent

 

The statement that buying and selling a home is one of the most significant financial decisions of life, yet the decision as to which agent to use seems to be undertaken with much less consideration. Here is a guide to choosing the best agent

Read more....

 

Why you should appraise your agent before getting your property appraised

 

The offer is always forthcoming from agents, 'let me appraise your property' - its free! However before you get your property appraised, my recommendation is 'get your agent appraised'!

Read more....

 

Insight into social media strategy

 

I have set up the Facebook page for Properazzi - a bit late, but my views of the role of Facebook and the content strategy for Facebook as a part of marketing for Properazzi have been forming over the past few months and I have shared them here - welcome your thoughts and opinion

Read more....

 

Blink and you've bought a house

 

So many homes are bought or at least the decision is made within moments of viewing a property. Malcolm Gladwell's excellent book "Blink" provides some great insight into this behaviour

Read more....

 

New visual search for property uses Trade Me API for more intuitive experience

Trade Me have collaborated with a couple of US entrepreneurs to deliver a new web based visual search - this in my view is smart move as a showcase of how they want to see others develop solutions atop their API platform

Read more....

 

The affordable housing solution from the UK - for under $20k

No it is not the solution - a flat-pack build-it-yourself home for under $20k, but it is a demonstration of what can be achieved in affordable construction with a bit of thinking!

Read more....

 

Tablet devices are the future when shopping for a home

Real estate search is a perfect mobile environment - the tablet is the form factor that will be the future when searching for a home. My views and opinion are shared by research and data from Google

Read more....

 

Advertising property for sale - online or offline - that is the question

There is no possible way to provide a categorical answer to this question - however real estate companies feel threatened by the shift to online

Read more....

 

All marketers are dumb!

For the majority of the time I write about real estate and the property market - occasionally I am drawn to write about my functional experience in marketing and especially digital marketing - here is my take on why so many marketers appear to be bowing at the altar of Facebook

Read more....

 

Housing affordability involves a multiplicity of issues

The response by the government focused on 4 solutions to the affordability question and the Auckland housing crisis - I think there is a more fundamental question as yet unasked and answered around non-home ownership affordability and tenancy structure for the future of Auckland

Read more...

 

 

Auckland housing - a crisis in the making

 

 

The NZ Property Council conference on Residential Development in Auckland certainly brought together the key players in the ring from public and private sector - their task is to work together to deliver the vision for Auckland - this is my take on the crisis facing Auckland, the issues and facts

Read more....

 

 

 

Online marketing is the new prospecting tool for real estate agents

Just as the industry has adjusted to the role of online for advertising listings of property for sale and rent, so it is becoming with that all important personal profile for agents - shifting dollars from print to online

Read more....

 

 

 

The great auction debate!

It is the theatrical showpiece of the real estate process, but does an auction suit your property or the market - does it favour buyers or sellers? - some thoughts and opinions that I would be interested in debating

Read more....

 

 

 

There's something inherently wrong in real estate - a NZ perspective

The insight of 1000Watt consulting in the US have shared a challenging and insightful blog post today - have a read and let's here the NZ perspective

Read more....

 

 

 

 

Surge in forced sales of property is not as alarming as reported

The latest quarterly data from Terralink of mortgagee property sales would have some commentators beleiving that we are about to revisit 2009 - a lot has changed as deeper analysis of the data shows

Read more....

 

 

 

What can be learnt from The Block NZ

The hugely popular TV3 series "The Block" was a renovation series or a human interest reality series - you choose, what I wanted to look at in 3 separate blog posts is what can be learnt from the series

Pt 1. Read more on the commercial aspects

Pt 2. Read more on the marketing of the properties

Pt 3. Read more on the lessons for buyers and sellers

Insight / Analysis

Follow the money in the real estate industry

For quite a while I have been meaning to do the analysis of where the commission fees go as they flow through the real estate industry. An industry employing around 15,000 people and operating from over 1,000 offices across the country and in the last year transacting over 80,000 house sales.

 

Just how unique is NZ Property Market?

We are often told in articles that the circumstances of the NZ property market are unique - we place too much reliance on property as our investment asset and that is why our prices are amongst the highest in the world - but does the data back that up?

 

July Property Market Statistics

The latest data from REINZ shows further slippage of sales volumes in July continuing a trend that began in October last year. The trend of sales volumes is key to the future trend in prices inflation which continues to be driven by Auckland, Christchurch and interestingly other parts of the South Island whilst Wellington and other North Island property markets struggle to show any movement

 

Does the General Election impact the Property Market?

I have read the statement many times over the years, that the mood of the country is impacted by the election as the property market "marks time" / "goes quiet" / "is subdued" - but on what basis is this assertion ever made?

I've looked into the data to shed some light on the situation of the past 8 elections - the results surprised me!

 

What's behind the banks approach to LVR policy?

The latest data still shows high Loan-to-value mortgage lending is well below the 10% threshold. The questions is whether this is the banks deliberately constraining supply or if in fact demand has dried up. I try and make sense of the data and the argument.

 

Auckland Property Prices - so much data!

This month the NZ Herald has been awash with the reporting of the property market - 4 articles in 14 days tracking 4 sources and 6 sets of data all trying to provide insight to the state of property prices in our major city.

I thought it was worth analysing these sets of data and examining what each is telling us about the market and which are the best to following in the future

 

The shortage of property myth

The headlines constantly talk of a property shortage, how the shortage of property for sale especially in Auckland has been driving rampant demand and leading to rising prices. It may surprise you to know that the first half of 2014 has seen pretty much the same level of new listings as last year, and the year before and the year before that - even in Auckland the variance year to year is surprisingly small - bottom line. There is no shortage.

Property websites becoming more and more valuable

Consolidation in the Australian online property market has seen one of the most successful niche sites - AllHomes acquired by Fairfax media owned Domain. The valuation places it well up in the global rankings - not bad for a market of only 380,000

 

The real estate industry's transition to digital marketing

Armed with insight as to the level of marketing spend of the UK real estate industry, courtesy of the IPO prospectus for Zoopla Property Group, I have undertaken a parallel assessment and forecast for the marketing spend of the NZ real estate industry over the past 5 years and forward to 2017 and assessed just how different the transition to digital is between these two markets

 

New builds and property sales follow a very close correlation

Tracking the trend of property sales and new build consents shows a striking degree of correlation which to some extent is not all that surprising. Both are governed by economic confidence. What is interesting is the perceived reliance the construction industry has to the property cycle

 

Trade Me Property continues to struggle

Based on analysis of the new listings on both Trade Me Property and Realestate.co.nz it appears that less than 3 out of 4 of these new listings in May were displayed on Trade Me Property. This is a clear demonstration that agents are voting through their listings placement online and it must be hurting Trade Me especially when examining the take-up through the major real estate companies.

 

Law change will effect the reporting of auction sales data

On the 17th June an amendment to the Fair Trading Act will limit the rules defining what amounts to an auction sale to a transaction upon the fall of the hammer or within one working day to parties who attended the auction. This is very likely to have a significant impact on the reported statistics of auctions by real estate companies and REINZ.

 

Latest B&T data reinforces impact of LVR

The trend continues of property sales volumes declining as the combined impact of tighter controls on lending and rising interest rates bite ever harder. Behind the headline number of sales volumes down 14% in May is a very clear picture of what has happened to the low price bracket of the Auckland market most significantly hit by the LVR policy

 

"Where is my property"? - Lost in Canada

This is a somewhat amusing insight into how NZ properties can end up effectively being lost on a Google map based search on the mobile app. Not amusing when you reflect on the agents responsibility to market their clients listings with due care and attention - moral of the story "proof all listings"

 

Rent vs. Buy - a new financial calculator

The decision of renting vs. buying more times than most involves the financial implication, that is where this online app from The New York Times is an invaluable guide providing a variety of inputs to personalise the decision process to suit your financial situation

 

KiwiBank ups the ante with Home Hunter mobile app

The retail banks love property buyers and despite the LVR restrictions they crave the opportunity to get closer to buyers and walk them through the home buying process. To date we have seen initiatives from ASB and Westpac in the property searching space. Now we have KiwiBank launching an app that sadly has serious flaws and yet one massive gem!

 

Housing Crisis / Property Bubble - what does the data tell us?

We have been experiencing a very bubbly period of sales price growth which has triggered a large amount of media commentary and political joisting. The question is do we have a crisis or are we in a bubble? - sadly we only ever really know after the event. However the data of sales price breakdown by region for the last 4 years and the last bubble period gives some valuable perspective

 

We still know so little about overseas buyers of NZ property

Despite the new data presented by both sides of the political spectrum in the past week, whether t be the Treasuries insight into IRD returns for non-resident investment property owners or the data on Chinese property website views, the fact is we still do not know enough to make any informed comment or decision. This has to change. 

 

The facts behind the headline when it comes to property do-up's

The headline in the paper read "Owners make $220,000 in a year" - the facts though speak to a more likely $70,000 barely a third of that figure, especially when tax is considered into the equation. It is though a smart makeover.

 

What can we glean from the April property market data?

The Real Estate Institute's data for April shows the extent to which the property market has slowed and it hasn't stopped falling yet. Whilst prices appear to be holding up, this is in many ways an artificial inflation, a function of the significant composition change in the make up of sales

 

Trade Me Property adds School zones

It is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a property yet despite the access to the data it has taken until now for either of the leading property websites to address this issue.

Good on Trade Me Property for fixing this issue - well executed but could do better!

 

How can the median price be rising when property sale prices aren't rising?

It is a conundrum that is starting to raise concerns around the validity of the core data of median price and stratified price. I do however believe that the reason for the wide fluctuations in price reporting can be traced back to the impact the Reserve Bank's LVR restriction has had in the lower priced segments of the property market.

I believe underlying the headline figure of property prices is a fairly subdued property market already seeing sales volumes weaken and prices loose momentum.

 

In a heated property market do sellers's price expectations become inflated?

Logic would suggest that with demand high and a strong sellers' market in play, then vendors and their agents would feel confident to pitch property price expectations a little bit higher in the logic of seeing "what the market will bear". It seems based on the data from the past 7 years and particularly the past 3 this is not the case. 

 

Barfoot & Thompson - the powerhouse behind the Auckland property market

Barfoot & Thompson are the largest real estate company in NZ's largest city, accounting for over 40% of the city's property sales. This family in my opinion exhibit smart marketing and deliver excellent performance metrics which puts them in a leading role in the industry - a true powerhouse!

 

Is there really a shortage of properties for sale?

The constant theme of comments from within the real estate industry as well as respected economists is we are facing a serious shortage of properties for sale, which is driving this sellers' market.

I am always keen to see if suppositions can be backed up by the data and my analysis says the opposite. We don't have a shortage of listings and the market has already turned a corner - a significant corner in terms of the clearance rate of properties being sold.

 

Choosing the right Property app for the iPad - a review of the NZ options

The iPad fulfils a very different role in my opinion from the iPhone or other smartphone as such I believe that applying the same underlying user experience is a wasted opportunity - with this in mind I have reviewed what I see as the 3 top contenders in NZ. As you will see the review is extensive and enlightening and the result not surprising and sadly not that valuable for users!

 

Trade Me Property vs. Realestate.co.nz - the debate continues

Following the recent analysis of the strides made by industry owned website Realestate.co.nz, the Head of Commercial for Trade Me offered his very detailed response. This allowed me to provide my response and in so doing highlight some more highlights, insights and analysis

 

 

Realestate.co.nz making serious moves on Trade Me Property

Whilst I don't think the statement I made a few months ago that all you needed to focus on for property marketing in NZ was Trade Me, I have to say I am interested to see what is happening with Realestate.co.nz. They have published some impressive new stats that having delved a little deeper shows the comparative advantage in online property advertising may be shifting

 

NZ's aspiration for new McMansions wanes

It seemed to be the trend that property sizes were growing in proportion to the girth of the population, however examining the data from building consents we seem to be getting slimmer. The US on the other hand seems to be letting out their belts!

 

Realestate.co.nz releases a new version of its successful mobile app for iPhone

I have thoroughly tested the new Version 2.0 (as well as an updated 2.1) of the app and sadly find the resulting experience to be a case of 1 step forward and 2 steps back. I hope this review can be of value to correct what I see as shortfalls in adequate user testing as the mobile app is so critical for any property portal 

 

Do rising mortgage rates depress price appreciation?

My recent analysis of the history of mortgage rates matched to property prices and sales volumes brought some challenging comments - as ever I am open to debate and to being questioned as to my hypothesis in regard to rising mortgage rates - so here is some further analysis

 

Latest census provides valuable insight into property in NZ

The key number capturing the media's attention is the fact that less than half the population of the country now live in a property which they own, this trend has been observed for a number of years but the threshold of 50% has now been passed.

The census data on households does showcase many other very interesting facts of value to the property market and real estate industry specifically the age make up of ownership as well as the occupancy rate and type of housing

 

Mortgage rates on the up - what will be the reaction of the property market?

We are on a steady path now towards higher interest rates - that is a fact we cannot ignore. The key question that needs to be understood is the likely impact this will have on the property market in terms of sales and pricing trend. The analysis of over 20 years of data supports what we might well imagine will be the result - with surprising consistency

 

Dress for success - presenting a property ready to sell

I have often marvelled at how badly some houses are presented in terms of photos on the web, equally we have all seen the TV makeover shows which dress up properties for sale. Recently someone drew my attention to a property that had been resold after only a quick makeover and finding both the before and after photos online provided me with the opportunity to see how best to approach such a makeover.

 

LVR impact is significant and growing

The latest data from the Reserve Bank details the first 4 months since the implementation of the new LVR restrictions and far from showing adherence by the retail banks to the threshold of no more than 10% of lending at this high LVR, the data actually shows considerably less - collapsing this high LVR market by nearly 90% since the 1st October deadline 

 

Property price expectations weaken as property sales rise - why?

This is an interesting insight I have concluded from analysing property data from the last 5 years. As we start to see a softening in sales volumes the key question as an extrapolation of the data is whether we will start to see a divergence with inflated asking prices? 

 

Property sales - the end of the golden summer?

Residential property sales have reached what appears to be a plateau at around 80,000 a year. This level is far from the heading days of a decade or so ago, the question is - is this the new norm? and if so what is driving this situation and have we seen the end of the golden summer? 

 

Agents boycott of Trade Me is hurting vendors

Agents are protesting the increase in advertising fees on Trade Me Property by removing their listings - this action will leverage them no influence as their clients are being directly and immediately impacted as less exposure is being achieved and the data shows that the audience is not moving across to Realestate.co.nz to find these properties

 

Benchmarking the NZ & UK Property markets

I find it interesting to analyse and compare the NZ market to the UK - the trends experienced between the two countries are similar and valuable to better understand the future trends for NZ.

 

Barfoot & Thompson post a record year of sales for 2013

Barfoot & Thompson is the clear market leader in Auckland, last year they sold more than 2 in every 5 properties in the city accounting for over $8.5billion in sales value. Their data though provides some interesting insight into trends in our key city.

 

Auckland house prices continue their relentless rise

We know from the media reports that house prices in Auckland have far outpaced the rest of NZ, but the latest data from November sales show that in the space of 5 years they have risen by over 50%!

The key question is - will they continue their upward trend? - the facts when examined would seem to indicate they will.

 

LVR impact in auckland market hidden in the data

Leading up to and following the Reserve Banks decision to impose the speed restriction on mortgage lending has generated a ton of comment - what's needed is data. Such data as to the impact is there, you just need to dig a little deeper, this I did behind the headlines of the latest Barfoot & Thompson's property market update

 

Adjusting to the new normal in the property market

For a long while the incessant chant has been listings are in short supply and inventory is at record lows. When though does it become clear that maybe the 'record low' is actually the new norm and as a function of a short dat set we need to reestablish what is the long run average. The outcome is that I think we have a more balanced market than we thought 

 

Trade Me Property solidifies status as property marketing powerhouse

Trade Me Property has recently released some new statistics that highlight the extent to which it is truly the powerhouse marketing platform for selling property, renting property or advertising any form of real estate. When 80% of all time spent viewing property online in NZ is spent on Trade Me Property you know where the audience is and thereby where property needs to be advertised

 

The global industry of property portals

The fact is that most every country that has a real estate industry has a vibrant online property portal industry that delivers a marketing platform for agents, buyer, sellers and renters.

This global industry is expanding and consolidating and conservatively estimated at over $25bn of value across over 2,500 companies around the world. 

Such an industry has much to learn from one another and that is the role of Property Portal Watch and the global conferences they run.

 

The LVR speed limit - crippling or merely cooling the market

There is a growing level of media attention which would seem to indicate that the LVR restrictions are having a catastrophic impact on the property market as well as the new home market. As ever examining the accessible data and putting it in context provides illuminating and leads to a sense that cooling is the appropriate descriptor

 

There has never been a better time to be a real estate agent

The perfect combination of factors over the past couple of years has resulted in this time being amongst the best time to be a real estate agents. Sales are up, prices are up and competition at commission levels is non-existent in this tight sellers' market - best of all there has hardly been an increase in the number of agents  

 

Property is all about supply and demand

The property market follows largely the economic rules of supply and demand, both for property for sale and for rent. So given the acute shortage of property in Auckland as we are constantly being told, why is it the case that whilst property for sale prices are leaping up rents are flat? 

 

The silver lining of the new LVR Restrictions

As ever a smart person is one who sees opportunity when others see misfortune and calamity. So it could be with the new restrictions which have come into force with the new Reserve Bank LVR restrictions. 

Whilst this restrictions will have a significant effect on those potential buyers with low deposits, for those with more equity in their house it could open up opportunities

 

Is property price inflation in 2013 a repeat of 2003? 

Ten years ago NZ was on the treadmill of serious property price inflation, starting in early 2002, for more than 5 years prices would rise and rise, resulting in a doubling of the price of property. Are we reprising 2003 again? - or are things different this time around? 

The analysis from around the various cities and regions of the country show we are not experiencing 2003 - except in Auckland! 

 

Global property markets follow in step

It is interesting to track the trend in property price appreciation and depreciation comparing one country with another. More often than not we see a direct correlation reflecting the factor of macro-economic influence on the property market. 

This new analysis comparing US to NZ property prices to see the years in which highest house price growth through the calendar year occurred as well as the greatest fall in prices clearly demonstrates this correlation

 

Are we losing access to vital property data? 

I am deeply concerned that the public are being denied access to important property information that for  along time has been openly available from REINZ; this coupled with the outstanding proposal of the merger of Property IQ and Terralink I fear will leave the property buying public the worse off

 

Provincial NZ property in the doldrums

All the news is focused on Auckland - that is where the heart of this property cycle is centred. Step beyond Auckland and to a certain extent Christchurch and Wellington and the property market presents a very different picture. 

For the South Island, remove Christchurch and 4+ years has prices up only 3%, for the North Island excluding Auckland and Wellington and prices are still below November 2007! 

 

Are we building enough new houses in NZ?

This year the message has been loud and consistent, we are in the depth of a housing shortage. It is contributing to the escalation of property prices. Talk of an extra million population in Auckland and the required 300,000 new homes over the next quarter century only heightens this sense of crisis.

Set against this the monthly level of new consents only seem to slowly address some of this demand. I have looked into the historical data to see what to make of the crisis, worth a read

 

House prices ease in July

The property market across the country as measured through the Real Estate Institute Stratified Median Price Index eased in July - a foretelling of an adjustment in the market or just a pause before the relentless march forward? 

 

At last some easing in the property market

The latest data of new listings coming onto the market in July will provide a slight smile for buyers as inventory pressure appears to have eased somewhat placing more regions of the country back into a more balanced market rather than the sellers' market which has dominated the past months

 

Long term property investing reduces volatility

With access to over 20 years of property data of rents, property prices and mortgages rates provide the opportunity to examine the true return from property investing in NZ over a 3 / 5 / 10 year horizon - certainly shows the value of the long term perspective

 

Leasehold property makes for an interesting option

Whilst a rare part of the NZ property landscape leasehold property should not be dismissed out of hand - recent articles tend to focus on the negative but a deeper analysis helps to develop a better understanding of the pros and cons of this property option

 

Potential impact of policies to address the 'hot' property market

There is that classic saying "beware of what you wish for" - that may be a watchword for proposed government and fiscal policies to arrest the bubbling property market, particular in Auckland but also growing across the country. The current situation in Hong Kong might well foretell such a situation where the result is an industry of real estate agents up in arms and protesting on the streets

 

 

Realestate.co.nz iPhone update - the return of Google maps

What a year ago was a dreadful step backwards in user experience for the Realestate.co.nz iPhone app as the result of Apple's decision to replace the default mapping platform from Google has become an opportunity that sees the latest version of the app offer the return of the Google maps platform with a return to a great user experience - congrats to the team

 

The NZ Property Cycle - 4 years to June 2013

We all know property markets move in cycles - over the past 4 years we have moved inexorably from a predominantly buyers' market to what is becoming a sellers' market . As to where we are on the current property cycle I will leave you to make your own assessment, as for me, I sense we are witnessing a turning point, but as yet the data has not caught up

Read more

 

Property market interview - TV9 Finance Weekly

In this interview with Brenda Lee I cover the question of affordability, auctions, international property markets as compared to NZ and the struggle for first home buyers

View the interview... 

Gap between asking price and sales price narrows further

As the property market gets ever more heated the resultant convergence of asking price to sales price reflects that vendors expectations are in the main being met and sometimes exceeded by strong demand - the trend appears to be continuing

Read more.... 

Asian interest in NZ Property is strong

The results of a recent survey carried out through real estate websites across S.E. Asia show a strong interest in property investment, particularly in Australia, but interest in the NZ market was also strong

Read more... 

Auctions are getting out of control in Auckland

With data showing more and more property sales in Auckland are undertaken by auction the property market and the agents driving it, may actually be driving more people out of the market due to shorter lead times and heightened anxiety. What might turn the market is the fact that the data may not be what it at first seems

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The 6 steps to selling your house

We probably all think we know the steps involved in selling your house - I've shared my view of the 6 key steps with a core focus of the ones where I think even when you use an agent, you should not abdicate responsibility for

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Auckland inventory levels plummet

 

The latest data for May shows available property for sale in Auckland has fallen by a third in 12 months resulting in just 12 weeks of stock based on current rate of sale. We are in a cycle, cycles by there very nature do rebalance however braking a log-jam in the market will take time and things may get worse before getting better!

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Auctions causing buyer frustrations - I blame technology! 

The contant story is all about buyers loosing out at auctions as the bidding speeds past their budget. Fact is, the way search price parameters work on Trade Me and Realestate.co.nz could be part of the reason behind the frustration - as ever with technology there is a fix

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The importance of sales volume trends in the property market

The property market like any type of market is cyclical, it has been on an upswing for 2 years now and the question people want to know is, will it continue? To see where the property market is heading and what will happen to prices you need to look at sales volume trends  

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Have we reached a new normal with property prices? 

Analysis by a member of the Reserve Bank of Australia puts forward a hypothesis that property prices have fundamentally adjusted to a new normal, from which they expect in the future to see slower rises and potentially self-correcting falls. The question is, does this, will this play out in NZ? 

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Where are NZ house prices? - hitting new highs? 

Recent news articles talk constantly of prices topping new highs, that is true but how do prices compare to the peak of the property bubble over 5 years ago

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Real estate is massively inefficient

Analysis of the workload of real estate shows that around two thirds of their working week is spent prospecting for new business. A fact that just goes to show how inefficient the industry is - no other industry would invest such a proportion of their salespeople's time when technology could provide the solution

 

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The Property Dashboard

I have for a long time thought that whilst we in NZ are fortunate to have a luxury of property data, we can become overloaded. That is why I have created a simple and clear Property Dashboard - a quick visual reference to the state of the market - across the whole country and within each of the 19 regions

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How much does a real estate agent earn?

 

Perception may be that agents earn a fortune given the commission rates and escalating house prices - the facts are a little more sober- the average agent in NZ last year earned an income of just $43,372 which after costs takes the likely net income below the "living wage"

Read the full analysis here....

 

Where is the best place to be a real estate agent?

The fact is real estate is a tough industry to be highly successful in - earnings high commissions may look attractive but the work is tough. This analysis of the regional workload of agents tries to identify where the best effective hourly rate can be earned in this industry

Read the full analysis here.... 

Real estate in New Zealand - the hard numbers for 2012

It was a good year for real estate - sales were up 21% and earned commissions for real estate agents were up 24% to just over $900m

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Auckland house buyer frustration is not a supply problem - it's all about growing demand

The number of new listings is no lower than at any other time in the past 4 years - however growing demand is sucking up all supply both of new listings and also hard to sell properties - the result is low inventor

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Quarterly trend for supply and demand in the NZ property market

Standing back on a quarterly basis and examining the trends of supply and demand both nationally and regionally really helps to get a clearer picture of the local property market

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Auckland house prices - making sense of the data

Auckland house prices are up over 10% year-on-year, fact. However it is important to look at the trends and the source of the data to become an informed buyer / seller

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Close to 1 in 5 properties for sale do not have an accurate address

This is a fact and an alarming statistic, for without an address these properties are very likely not to be discovered by property buyers using mobile apps.

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Have property sales returned to normal levels yet?

The total of 74,000 sales in 2012 was the largest year since 2007 and 21% up on 2011 but as this analysis shows we are far from a normal year yet.

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Auctions dominate the market in Auckland

I found the statement in the latest REINZ sales data that 40% of sales in December in Auckland was by auction - but looking at the data of new listings shows that auctions have rocketed in popularity in the past year

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Gap narrows between asking price and sales price in Auckland

 

It is not surprising to see from analysis that sales price tracks asking price over time with a differential - what is more surprising is the extent to which Auckland has seen this gap close over the past year

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The property market in October certainly shows growing confidence (in Auckland at least)

The REINZ stats for October were described as the market roaring into life - sales were up 33% on prior year, however as reported previously it is still very much an Auckland factor

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Auckland house prices did not leap by $33,000 in a month

 

 

The monthly report from Barfoot & Thompson reported average sale price rose from $585,000 to $618,000 in a month - this analysis is flawed as the influence of property sales over $1m certainly skewed the data

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Property market kicks into gear in October

 

 

 

 

 

The monthly NZ Property report from Realestatate.co.nz for October shows a strong flow of new listings and a very strong rise in asking price. I was keen to analyse the data to look at the comparative trends across the 19 regions of the country

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Canterbury property market - latest insights and analysis

The past 2 years have placed a major challenge on the Canterbury property market, this analysis seeks to discect the recent trends and see if the red-hot market is cooling

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Wellington property market - latest insights and analysis

Not to be ignored by the constant focus on the Auckland market, this analysis of Wellington shows that activity is strong, there is a sellers market, but prices are subdued

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The 5th anniversary of the housing slump

Just this week the world began to recognise and remember that 5 years ago the cracks began to appear in the global financial markets - the property market went through a massive adjustment globally, these new charts track NZ prices against 3 other global markets

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The activity in the NZ property market is largely the Auckland factor

I think we all intuitively knew it but the data here clearly shows that the property market outside Auckland is not frothy and maybe plateauing whilst Auckland is in steady growth mode

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Comparing median selling price and median listing price shows a very interesting fact

The median sales price varies significantly around the country from the mid $200k mark right up to over $500k, however when it comes to property on the market the greatest choice is actually always around the same range

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Don't confuse low inventory with a lack of listings

The recent property reports published this week hammer home the message of the shortage of listings and lower inventory - the real question is -- is there a real shortage?

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Real Estate Commissions

As everyone knows buying and selling your home is one of the most significant transactions of your life - financially most people will never come close to anything as large - yet ask most people what it costs to use a real estate agent; and most will quote rough commission rates "around x or y%" - I thought there was value in looking at the rates and how to find out about them for the public's benefit

 

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