Archive | Residential

Ngai Tahu Property secures another 2ha at Hobsonville Pt

Ngai Tahu Property Ltd has entered into a development agreement to build over 200 homes on 2ha at Hobsonville Point, one of the last undeveloped sites in the masterplanned community at the top of the Waitemata Harbour.

The newest acquisition resulted from an expression of interest process HLC Ltd (formerly the Hobsonville Land Co Ltd) conducted late last year. Ngai Tahu Property chief executive David Kennedy said yesterday it effectively doubles the size of the Kerepeti development, which will now deliver 417 homes over a combined 4ha.

The new site will contain a mix of apartments, terraced homes & walk-up apartments.

Based on a masterplan by Isthmus Group, the homes will be delivered in 4 stages. The first stage will contain 27 2½- & 3-bedroom terraces and 9 1½- & 2-bedroom walk-ups.

Mr Kennedy said 30% of the homes would be priced in keeping with Hobsonville Point’s Axis affordable homes programme.

Ngai Tahu Property is already developing 2 sites at Hobsonville Point through a consortium with the NZ Super Fund & New Ground Capital Ltd, but Ngai Tahu Property is undertaking this project on its own. The first homes on the consortium’s 2 sites, Uku & Kerewhenua, are due for completion early next year and will be available for sale off the plan from September through Colliers.

Ngai Tahu’s 3 development sites – 2 as part of a consortium.

Mr Kennedy said most of the homes in the new development would be available for sale as they are developed but, as with the accessible philosophy for the Kerepeti development as a whole, a portion will be retained and made available as long-term rental properties to be managed by New Ground Capital.

“We are committed to delivering attractive & functional homes that are in keeping with the fantastic location. All of the sites deliver a strong, connected community that adds to and benefits from the great levels of amenity that have made Hobsonville Point one of the most desirable new places to live in Auckland.”

HLC chief executive Chris Aiken said Ngai Tahu Property had demonstrated that developers can combine quality urban design, affordable housing & sound commercial returns working in partnership with the Government-owned HLC.

Earlier story:
5 May 2017: Construction starts on Ngai Tahu subdivision at Hobsonville Pt

Attribution: Company release.

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How does this housing cycle rate against the last 4?

Seagars valuer Reid Quinlan has graphed national housing movements over the last 4 cycles to compare with the present one, where he says we’re 5.5 years into a 10-year cycle.

His conclusion? “You’re probably not going to make any more capital gain in this residential property cycle.”

A national cycle won’t have the same heady peaks as Auckland habitually has, and the national cycle will follow Auckland’s, sometimes by a couple of years, but graphing overall movements will show the trend. Mr Quinlan tracked index movements, CPI changes, nominal & real changes in house prices. The charts are based on detached houses.

In this cycle, he said, “prices have followed pretty much the same pattern as the 1990s, which peaked 5.25 years into the cycle, fell by 5% a year after the peak, and slowly recovered to only a 2% loss by 4 years after the peak.

“In nominal (actual dollar price) terms this has been a small property cycle compared to the 1970s, 1980s & 2000s.”

“But there was some other stuff going on in the 1970s & 1980s. Inflation was crazy high, and that meant some of the increases in house prices were just because our money was losing its value relative to basically everything.

“We can take the influence out of the prices by comparing inflation-adjusted (‘real’) house prices in the next chart.

“Now we can see we’re following basically the same pattern as the 1970s, 1980s & the 1990s. These were not as dramatic as the 2000s cycle.

“Note how the 80s, 90s & 2000s all had a dip just after the peak (1987 sharemarket crash, 1999 Asian financial crisis and 2008 global financial crisis) and a small ‘dead cat bounce’ in the year or 3 after peaking, before petering out towards the end of the cycle. Things would have felt like a recovery but it was just too soon.

“What will the end of this cycle look like? Based on the 4 decades prior, from the peak, the ‘real’ fall in values was -38%, -6%, -7% & -14%. People just did not recognise the fall in value in the 1970s & 1980s because inflation masked it (nominal prices moved by +47%, +5%, -2% & -3% from peak to end of cycle). So people usually believe property values never really go down.”

Mr Quinlan said the 1970s “was basically like living on Mars compared to now. It was pretty different”. However, he said: “If this is a ‘normal’ cycle, we’ll lose 10% or so from current peak prices over the next 4 or so years. A dead cat bounce will look good in a year or 2, but that will peter out.”

The cyclical peaks in real terms have been (in order) 160% for the 1970s, 138% for the 1980s, 138% for the 1990s, 186% for the 2000s and 151% for this cycle). “Adding inflation at 1%/year, and house prices will likely increase by about 50% over the next cycle.”

Attribution: Reid Quinlan.

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Pt England housing development bill passes second reading

The Point England Development Enabling Bill, to turn 11.7ha of the 48ha Point England Reserve over to housing and to advance Ngati Paoa’s historical Waitangi Treaty settlement, passed its second reading in Parliament on Tuesday by 62 votes to 43.

Building & Construction Minister Nick Smith said having 18ha on the Tamaki River fenced off for cattle to graze for over 30 years was a poor use of Crown land just 10km from Auckland’s city centre: “We are going to use 12ha for new houses & 2ha for a marae, as part of a treaty settlement with Ngati Paoa. The remaining 4ha will be added to the 32ha of public reserve space.”

Dr Smith said the legislation would guarantee an increase in the accessible public space, retaining at least the same area of playing fields and committing to spending all of the Crown’s proceeds from the housing development in enhancing the local recreational facilities & environment.

Earlier stories:
19 December 2016: Bill to enable housing on Pt England Reserve passes first reading
7 December 2016: Ngati Paoa to build 300 homes on Pt England Reserve, talks continue on reserve upgrade

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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National promise of 34,000 houses/decade for Auckland may add 2000/year

The headline is what matters in an election campaign, and the headline is that National is promising that, as the government, it will build 34,000 new houses on Crown land in Auckland over the next 10 years.

New Zealand has a record of not electing governments beyond 3 terms and National is ending its third term as the majority in a coalition, which jeopardises the chances of it being in a position to carry out the promise.

Social Housing Minister Amy Adams.

Amy Adams, Social Housing Minister and Minister Responsible for Housing NZ, revealed the figure in a speech at the Property Institute in Auckland yesterday. And then she proceeded to whittle it down.

The 34,000 is made up of 13,500 new social houses & 20,600 affordable & market homes.

Under the Crown Building Project, the Government will take down 8300 old, rundown houses.

Ms Adams said Housing NZ alone had over 50 housing developments under way in Auckland. The forward programme includes other housing projects already announced & underway:

  • Northcote, where 300 state houses will be replaced by 1200 new homes
  • Hobsonville Point, where the Government-owned Hobsonville Land Co Ltd (now HLC (2017) Ltd) is about to deliver the 1000th house in a programme to deliver 4500 homes
  • Tamaki, where the government-council regeneration project has a programme to develop 7500 new homes over the next 15 years, replacing the houses on 2800 Housing NZ properties
  • Other existing projects include 2700 new homes already announced under the Crown land programme, 580 houses under the Ministry of Social Development’s social housing reform programmes, and new homes for emergency & transitional housing.

By Ms Adams’ calculation, the Government would add 24,000 new – not previously announced – houses over a decade, though on the figures above the actual total might be less, perhaps down at 20,000, or an average 2000/year.

Comparing promises

Andrew Little.

That compares with Labour leader Andrew Little’s proposal last year for 100,000 new affordable houses nationally over 10 years, half of them in Auckland, which would include partnerships with private developers.

So, on top of existing projects, Labour has promised 5000 and National 2400 extra houses/year for Auckland.

Labour also promoted a dole for apprenticeships policy which would subsidise employers to take on around 4000 young people for on-the-job training in fields including building & construction.

Phase one of National’s Auckland housing programme, which covers the next 4 years, would cost $2.23 billion and be funded through Housing NZ’s balance sheet and $1.1 billion of new borrowing that the Government has approved as part of the business case.

Phase 2 in the latter years would be funded through the market housing development part of the programme & rental returns.

Ms Adams said ministers had also agreed that Housing NZ would retain dividends & proceeds from state house transfers, to help fund the building programme.

A glance at reality

The promises come after a period of extremely high immigration – a net inflow of 228,000 nationally over the last 4 years, 108,000 of those in Auckland, requiring 40,000 homes at an average 2.7 persons/household.

Building consents in Auckland over those 4 years started low, 6500 for the March 2014 year as the country was still gradually easing out of the global financial crisis, and totalled 34,200 for the 4 years.

Assuming 100% construction of consented homes (which is not normal, but I don’t have the exact figure), Auckland fell short of housing the net migrant inflow by almost 6000 homes over those 4 years. That housing requirement ignores, completely, the net flow of people within the country.

The National proposal might fill the gap if immigration eases, but on the slim information from the minister it would encourage pricing to stay high. On my calculation in February, consents for new homes nationally (excluding land) have risen 34% in value over the last 5 years – after a slow shift from the bottom of the market, between 6-7.7%/year for the last 4 years.

The land price equation in Auckland can be partly met by intensification throughout suburbia, land prices falling because of the freer availability of sites under the new unitary plan, and section sizes being reduced.

That doesn’t require tampering with rural:urban boundaries, which Labour has said it will eliminate. Those boundaries have a role in protecting non-urban land and in directing development into more efficient parcels.

Auckland also needs more infrastructure for housing development, but it needs to be in well devised communities with a supply of jobs nearby, not on the basis of rural carpetlaying. The local job requirement is fundamental but has been ignored as Auckland has spilled out along motorway corridors.

To catch up, New Zealand needs more builders with a longer future in the trade than the typical construction cycle allows. To do that, either the Government or some other industry supporter needs to ensure trade skills are being taught to enough people before a boom gets underway, and it makes sense to reduce booms, and therefore busts, with some smoothing of economic cycles (but not the total smoothing the US tragically & farcically tried in its attempt to avoid what became the global financial crisis).

As a cyclical high recedes, the building force needs attractive alternatives other than leaving for Australia. Some of that can come through infrastructure projects, which ideally should be separated in time from highs in house & commercial construction, thus reducing cost pressures as well.

Link:
Full Adams speech, 16 May 2017: Launch of Crown Building Project

Earlier stories:
16 May 2017: Little calls for end to negative gearing, and Property Institute calls it “cynical ploy”
6 March 2017: Auckland above 10,000 home consents/year again
10 February 2017: Smith exultant about figures that are plainly inflated
19 January 2017: Building consent highs still don’t match migrant demand
11 July 2016: Little sets out 8 planks to remedy housing issues
19 November 2012: Shearer proposes Government scheme to build 100,000 “entry-level” houses over 10 years

Attribution: Ministerial speechnotes & release, Statistics NZ tables, Labour releases, own articles.

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Little calls for end to negative gearing, and Property Institute calls it “cynical ploy”

Labour Party leader Andrew Little renewed the party’s call to eliminate negative gearing on residential property investments yesterday, and was promptly accused by Property Institute chief executive Ashley Church of making “a cynical electoral ploy [that] risks making the country’s housing crisis significantly worse”.

The party campaigned to end negative gearing in 2011. This time, Mr Little proposed reducing negative gearing by 20%/year over 5 years and spending the estimated $150 million saved on $2000 grants to 600,000 homeowners to insulate their homes.

Mr Little’s call was to “crack down on speculators”, which included banning foreign speculators from buying existing homes: “This will remove from the market foreign speculators who are pushing prices out of reach of first-homebuyers.”

He said Labour would tax property speculators who flick houses within 5 years, and end their ability to use tax losses on their rental properties to offset their tax on other income, “which gives them an unfair advantage over people looking to buy their first home”.

Expanding his point, Mr Little said: “Homebuyers are being locked out of the market by speculators. Losses from rental property investments will be ring-fenced. Speculators will no longer be able to use tax losses on their rental properties to offset their tax on other income, a practice called negative gearing. This move has been recommended by the IMF & the Reserve Bank.

“The biggest users of this loophole are largescale speculators who own multiple rentals and use losses on new acquisitions to continually reduce their tax. The speculators’ tax loophole helps them outbid homebuyers for properties because the taxpayer effectively subsidises part of their cost of servicing mortgages.

“Ending this loophole will not affect most people who have bought a single rental as a long-term investment because most of them are not using it. Those [small investors] that do use this loophole generally only do so for a few years after purchase.”

Church calls it envy politics

Mr Church said the suite of housing proposals Labour announced last year was smart, but on this one he accused the party of “resorting to a form of envy politics designed to set one section of New Zealand society off against another. The policy is a direct attack on mums & dads who are trying to provide for themselves in retirement and be less of a burden on the state.

“Mr Little’s use of the word ‘speculators’ to describe property investors is mischievous. Speculators are people who buy & sell property very quickly in the hope of making a quick buck – whereas investors are people who buy for the long haul – providing housing to thousands of New Zealanders in the process.”

Mr Church said the policy, if implemented, would have a dramatic & rapid effect on the supply of private rental accommodation, creating a problem which would ultimately fall back on the Government: “Your typical property investors are average mums & dads – not wealthy cigar-smoking fat cats – and their ability to purchase an investment property is usually leveraged against the equity in their home & their ability to claim losses in the early years, like any other business does. This move would certainly stop them investing – but in the process it would quickly lead to a shortage in rental housing which would fall back on the Government – so it would end up costing the taxpayer a lot more in the long run”.

Mr Church noted that negative gearing is only a factor in the early years of a property investment: “Over time, rents rise and properties become ‘positively geared’ – at which point the additional income becomes taxable. Is Labour suggesting that they will forgo this tax income – or that they’ll make property investors pay tax on profits while removing the ability to claim losses?”

Need is “to harness family investment”, not to discourage it

He said his biggest concern was that Labour was proposing a policy to reduce private investment in property at a time when private investment in new houses “is probably more important than at any other time in the nation’s history – the Government, and parties who want to be in government, should be proposing policies that increase private investment in the construction of new dwellings as quickly as possible – exactly the opposite of what Labour is proposing.

Instead, Mr Church said there was “a need for smart & innovative solutions that harness the power of mum & dad investment to get those houses built quickly. That might include giving preferential tax treatment to investors who build, or buy, new homes – not punishing them for doing so”.

And he questioned Mr Little’s level playing field: “That’s absolute nonsense. Homebuyers & families aren’t being closed out of the market by investors – they’re being closed out by loan:value restrictions that require them to have a 20% deposit at a time when house prices are at historically high levels. The best way to fix that is to remove those restrictions on first-homebuyers – not blame those who are providing rental accommodation to those who choose not to own.”

Labour plan includes big build, training programme & elimination of Auckland urban boundaries

Labour does have a development plan, announced last year, to get 100,000 houses built quickly under its KiwiBuild programme, which would include partnerships with private developers.

Mr Little said Labour would establish an affordable housing authority to work with the private sector to cut through red tape and get new homes built fast. “It will partner with private developers, councils & iwi to undertake major greenfields & revitalisation projects, building affordable homes with KiwiBuild & the private market [but the company names Kiwibuild Ltd & Kiwibuild.nz Ltd have already been registered by private company owners]. These homes will be part of great communities built around parks, shopping centres & transport links.

“Labour’s KiwiBuild programme will build 100,000 high quality, affordable homes over 10 years, with 50% of them in Auckland. Standalone houses in Auckland will cost $5-600,000, with apartments & townhouses under $500,000. Outside Auckland, houses will range from $3-500,000.

“Increased house-building will require a larger workforce. Labour’s dole for apprenticeships policy will subsidise employers to take on around 4000 young people for on-the-job training in fields including building & construction. Labour’s policy of 3 years’ free post-school education will see tens of thousands more people study in all fields, including building & construction. KiwiBuild is projected to create 5000 new jobs at its peak.

“Labour will remove the Auckland urban growth boundary and free up density controls. This will give Auckland more options to grow, as well as stopping landbankers profiteering & holding up development. New developments, both in Auckland & the rest of New Zealand, will be funded through innovative infrastructure bonds.”

Link: Labour policy, Levelling the playing field for first-homebuyers

Attribution: Party & institute releases.

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Auckland house price index still up 5.2% over year

The Real Estate Institute said today the median house sale price for the Auckland region rose 3% ($24,500) in April compared to April 2016 to $854,500. Prices rose 9% in eastern & southern suburbs, 5% in the centre.

The Auckland median fell 5.6% from March to April, down from $905,000 to $854,500.

The institute’s national house price index rose 7.8% from a year ago to 2690, nationally excluding it rose 12.8% to 2386, and in Auckland it rose 5.2% to 2901.

The 5845 unconditional residential sales in April were down 32% compared to March and down 31% compared to April 2016.

The institute has changed a number of features of its monthly reports. In short, it’s aligned its regions to those used by Statistics NZ and it’s added more categories to its breakdown of price brackets (see the chart, which previously had 3 lines).

The institute is also placing more emphasis on seasonal adjustment. The concept of seasonal adjustment is good, but as longtime readers of this website will know, I lost faith in Statistics NZ’s ability to achieve reliable seasonal adjustment years ago when it had trouble with Easter moving to March that year – a fairly well flagged event you might have thought, but nonetheless difficult to calculate, apparently.

When I deal with real estate statistics, I don’t trust anything that can be manipulated, and seasonal adjustment is, in the end, a subjective manipulation. So I’ll be leaving those parts of the statistics out of my stories.

Attribution: Institute release.

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Rents up 4.6%/year on 1% vacancy rate

Real estate agency Barfoot & Thompson said yesterday the vacancy rate on its portfolio of 14,000 rental properties had been steady at 1-2% for at least a year. That means properties are empty for only 5 days between tenants.

Director Kiri Barfoot said average rent increased by 4.6% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to that quarter last year, and the average weekly rent for a 3-bedroom home rose from $509 to $531.

For new tenancies, the average rent had increased by 7%.

Barfoots’ data showed that for every rental property that became available, on average there were 44 prospective tenants. The agency’s property management division received 107,268 enquiries during the first quarter.

Ms Barfoot said the agency introduced online booking for rental property viewings in 2015: “Tenants are able to enquire about a property anytime and questions can be responded to around the clock. It has streamlined the entire process for renting by opening up communication, giving automatic reminders for viewings and providing an easy link for people to apply for a property with no paper forms required.

“The system has also given us data on rental property demand. On average around 20 people register online to view a property, but we’ve seen incredibly high demand in some instances. A record 105 people registered online to view a single rental property in Epsom recently.”

Ms Barfoot said that, as of Monday, the agency had just 209 homes available for rent in the central & eastern suburbs of the isthmus: “Most central suburbs have 3 or fewer properties for renters to choose from. The situation is replicated across the rest of Auckland. On the North Shore there are 77 properties, in Waitakere 71, and in Manukau 133.

“We are Auckland’s largest private property management provider. The number of properties we manage has been increasing 9% year-on-year, so it’s not a matter of fewer listings; rather, there are simply not enough rental properties to go around.”

Average rent rising faster for new tenancies

She said average Auckland rent continued to rise at a relatively reasonable pace despite the high demand for rentals, increasing property sale prices and more restrictions on finance for buying properties.

Around the region, renters paid about 4.6% more on average in the January-March quarter of 2017, compared with the same quarter the year before. Average weekly rent across all property types and locations was $531, up from $508.

Average rent rose more in South Auckland (6.4%), and slightly less in Central Auckland (2.8%), Franklin/Manukau (3.2%) & Pakuranga/Howick (3.4%).

For new tenancies only, average weekly rent rose 7%, from $533 in the first quarter of 2016 to $571. Annual increases later in 2016 were 6.1% in the second quarter, 2.4% in the third & 4.6% in the fourth.

“There are fluctuations in rent for new tenancies; however, rent for new tenancies is rising. Landlords are having to face the reality of needing cashflow to maintain & improve their property, cover increasing insurance & rates, and to prepare for increasing interest & compliance costs.

“Landlords typically own one, maybe 2 properties. Residential property is a conservative investment and landlords don’t like increasing rent. They prefer a trustworthy long-term tenant who pays the rent on time and looks after the property. When a property is vacated, this is a far better time to balance costs versus incoming rent.”

One- & 2-bedroom rents continue to lead increases

Ms Barfoot said the largest rent increases in terms of property size were for one- & 2-bedroom homes for the last 2 quarters. For the first quarter of 2017, one-bedroom properties averaged $348/week (up 5.5% from $330 in the first quarter of 2016), and 2 bedrooms $437 (up 5.1% from $421).

A 3-bedroom home averaged $531, rising less than 1% on the previous quarter ($525) and 4.3% on the same quarter in 2016 ($509), while 4-bedroom homes brought in $666 (up 3.8% from $641) and 5+-bedroom homes averaged $826 (up 3.7% from $796).

Attribution: Agency release.

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Barfoot home sales slump but price fall slight

Barfoot & Thompson’s average & median house sale prices both dropped over 5% from March to April, sales fell 40% and new listings fell 35%.

The agency’s managing director, Peter Thompson, said on Wednesday sales fell to their lowest level in an April since the 2008 global financial crisis, but lower turnover had a limited impact on values: “Sales numbers in April were down by about a third compared with the average for the previous 3 months, yet, given this significant fall, the average & median prices held steady. The median sales price at $850,000 for the month was down only $5500 on the average median price for the previous 3 months. The same trend was there around the average price, which at $917,079 was down only $25,000 on the average for the previous 3 months.

“While prices have declined from March’s all-time record highs, the fall relative to the average for the first quarter of this year is modest, and on a year-on-year basis the median price is up 3.7% and the average price is up 5%.

“It is a changed market from what we have been experiencing for a number of years and you have to go back 9 years to find an April in which fewer homes were sold.”

Mr Thompson said new listings in April were excellent at 1292 and, combined with lower sales, this allowed stock numbers & buyer choice to remain high: “At month end we had 4214 listings on our books, close to what it has been at month end each month this year, but 48% higher than it was at the same time last year.

“The decline in sales numbers was felt evenly across all price ranges, with more than a third of all sales being for more than $1 million. Sales of property under $500,000 accounted for 6% of all sales.”

Attribution: Agency release.

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Construction starts on Ngai Tahu subdivision at Hobsonville Pt

Construction has started on Ngai Tahu’s innovative new residential development for Hobsonville Point that includes a number of long-term rentals.

It’s funded by the NZ Super Fund, Ngai Tahu Property Ltd & New Ground Capital Ltd.

The 208-home development on the former Defence Force base at the top of the Waitemata Harbour, announced in December 2015, was the initial step for Ngai Tahu Property into the Auckland market and is the first direct property investment for the NZ Super Fund.  First homes in the development will be on sale off the plans from September and the whole development is due to be completed by the end of 2018.

The Ngai Tahu development, now known as Kerepeti, covers 2 1ha superlot sites called Kerewhenua (111 homes) & Uku (97 homes).

The NZ Super Fund & Ngai Tahu Property are investing 48% each of the capital required for the development, and New Ground Capital is contributing the remaining 4%.

Each superlot will consist of a mix of apartments, terrace homes & walk-up apartments based on a masterplan by Context architects. They’ll be built by 4 local building companies – Classic Builders Ltd and Naylor Love Ltd (Kerewhenua) and Jalcon Homes Ltd & Haydn & Rollet Ltd (Uku).

About 50% of the 1- to 4-bedroom properties will be priced under the Auckland median house price and 30% will be priced in keeping with the Hobsonville Point affordable homes Axis programme.

About three-quarters of the homes will be available for sale as they are developed, but 47 are to be retained and made available as long-term rental properties to be managed by New Ground Capital, which was set up in 2014 to develop a long-term rental portfolio.

Anyone can apply to rent one of these homes once completed, with lease terms of up to 7 years to provide security of tenure, while still allowing leaseholders to shorten their lease should their circumstances change.

Ngai Tahu Property chief executive David Kennedy said: “The shared vision for this development was to ensure public & iwi funds are reinvested into infrastructure for the long-term benefit of New Zealanders – those who live there and the investors themselves.

“With building of terrace homes and early foundation works for the apartments now starting on both of the superlot sites, we are on the way to ensuring a broader section of the market, be they renter or homeowner, can have a quality place to live and enjoy access to all the amenities & lifestyle on offer at Hobsonville Point.

“We expect the new long-term rental properties to be listed on www.newgroundliving.co.nz in the third quarter of this year.”

Links:

Ngai Tahu Property 
www.ngaitahuproperty.co.nz
NZ Super Fund
www.nzsuperfund.co.nz
New Ground Capital
http://www.newground.co.nz
New Ground Living
www.newgroundliving.co.nz

Attribution: Company release.

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World property W3 May17 – Australia moves to tax vacant foreign-owned homes

Australia moves to tax vacant foreign-owned homes

Australia’s Property Observer website warned yesterday of a possible tax on properties owned by foreign investors who leave them vacant, to come in the Federal Government’s budget next Tuesday.

The website said the levy would be added to the conditions the Foreign Investment Review Board imposes when it approves overseas buyers for Australian property purchases.

The Australian Taxation Office is building a nationwide register of foreign-owned land, and the Property Observer said water usage levels, kept by each state, could be used to determine which properties were sitting vacant.

The Labor Party has also unveiled a proposal for a national vacant residential property tax similar to one the Victorian state government has imposed, which is along the lines of one introduced last year in Vancouver, Canada.

Link:
Property Observer, 2 May 2017: Foreigners who leave homes vacant could soon be taxed
http://www.propertyobserver.com.au/forward-planning/advice-and-hot-topics/69605-foreigners-who-leave-homes-vacant-could-soon-be-taxed.html?utm

Attribution: Property Observer

Regular leads: Europe Real Estate, Mingtiandi, Planetizen

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