Daily Archives: March 4, 2017

Christchurch housing : ‘If you build the right thing, buyers will still come’

Will they ? How many, how far ?
(if there’s nothing more than service sector jobs available)….

Hmm. In their early contributions to What if? Dunedin, Lee Vandervis and Christchurch Driver [CD] each had the measure of the post-quake new build housing market in Christchurch. Cycling boom and bust, with odd and unexplained connections and financing.

Link received.
Sat, 4 Mar 2017 at 12:31 p.m.

T H E ● P R E S S

Christchurch’s rental market is oversupplied and freshly-built terraced houses are sitting empty and unsold in the suburbs. How did the city with the real estate market decimated by the earthquakes get here?

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the average rent in Christchurch is falling for the first time since records started in 1993.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 18:11, March 3 2017
Christchurch’s housing paradox – the downside of a building boom
By Michael Wright – The Press
Last month, Mike Blackburn bought a house. He and his wife looked at about 40 properties before settling on one. As they traipsed through the preceding 39, a pattern emerged. “Every second house we looked at was empty,” he said. “That’s just a telling figure. Where have all these people gone?” The significance of what he saw wasn’t lost: Christchurch, the city once desperately short of houses after thousands of them were wrecked by earthquakes, had a lot more accommodation than it used to.

Blackburn is a management consultant, specialising in construction clients. When small or medium-sized operators are struggling, they go to someone like him for advice on how to get through. As part of his work, he gets the raw consenting data from the Christchurch City Council each month – location, builder, value, type of consent (earthquake or business as usual), intended use – to build a picture of the marketplace. He saw a clear vision. “There was a major rush, mostly by the group home builders, to build a lot of houses really quickly,” he said. “What’s happened is now everyone who’s needed a house has pretty much got one and they’re still building them. They’re building them flat out . . . all these development companies are month after month submitting 20-30 consents each for essentially spec housing.” The numbers have tapered off of late. The council peaked in 2014 at more than 3200 consents issued – about 270 a month – before drifting back down to just over 2100 last year. 2017 is already tracking below that. As Blackburn sees it, though, the damage has already been done. “There will be a correction. The number of buildings and the total number of dwellings being built will fall off really rapidly. It’ll go below that business as usual level, because we’ve got a major oversupply at the moment. Potentially that effect could run on for the building sector in Canterbury for the next two, maybe three years.”

….Anecdotally, rental properties are in such abundance landlords are dropping prices and offering incentives to secure tenants. This week, Stuff reported on swathes of empty multi-unit houses languishing in suburban subdivisions. “[We] certainly won’t be building any more of those,” construction boss Mike Greer said at the time. Then there is the data. Compare Government valuer QV’s latest monthly average house values for each region against last February and Christchurch does not do well. QV measures the city in six disparate parts and they all appear in the bottom 11 spots for value increase [three of the other five are the Selwyn, Waimakariri and Ashburton districts]. Rises in the Christchurch zones range from 0.7 per cent [east] to 3.9 per cent [southwest], which barely registers against most of the rest of the country; basking in double-digit growth all the way up to an eye-watering 29.5 per cent jump in the Queenstown-Lakes district [average house value $1,039,434].

Market forces were …. promoting even more building. The Reserve Bank’s loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions on banks lending to home buyers exempted new builds. A home buyer generally needed a 20 per cent deposit, but a home builder could get finance with much less. Christchurch, in the middle of an insurance-driven building bonanza, didn’t need that kind of encouragement.

“People have gone, in my mind, somewhat berserk in building new, to try and fill that [housing] void,” Canterbury Registered Master Builders president Ivan Stanicich said. “Some of the bigger building companies in Christchurch grew exponentially, hired more and more people and that was only ever going to be for about a three-year sweep. Now we’re seeing the reverse of that where building companies are actively downsizing. That’s well known in our industry. Nobody wants to shout that from the rooftops, because it’s not a positive business outlook, but it’s quite understandable. If you don’t, any gains you’ve made through the building boom, they’re just going to be lost in your overheads.”

Property manager Tony Brazier saw the problem coming. In October 2014 he penned a column in The Press warning of the dangers of over-building. “The housing rebuild must be carefully monitored so we do not end up over-supplied,” he wrote. “This phenomenal house building pace should alert us to the fact that, whereas in the past it takes only a few builders struggling to sell their new-builds to signal an end to the cycle, this time could be different. It may take large contractors not being able to sell whole subdivisions before the message gets through.”

….How did it come to this? The first answer is earthquake insurance money finally caught up with, and overtook, the market. As Stanicich said – builders going berserk trying to fill the housing void. In the meantime, claims were settled and damaged stock repaired. An unforeseen element of this was the brisk trade in as-is, where-is houses – earthquake casualties that were uninsurable but livable. Landlords snapped them up and, in a stressed rental market, had no problem finding tenants. The by-product was Christchurch’s housing stock ended up not quite as depleted as first thought.
Read more + Charts

Recent Press articles:
Christchurch’s terraced homes struggling to sell as housing market levels
Christchurch landlords lower rents due to ‘oversupply’ of properties
Cash and rent-free offers fail to lure tenants as Christchurch housing….
City’s rental crisis ‘at breaking point’

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█ Thoughts immediately turn to Dunedin City Council and DCHL’s commitment as of 1 August 2016 to the new Delta ‘joint venture’ (including the Noble types) at Yaldhurst. After all the legal stoush, will properties sell ?

yaldhurst14-2-17-4[Gurglars] Hoarding at Yaldhurst subdivision, 14 February 2017

yaldhurst-village-site-received-14-2-16-christchurch-driver[Christchurch Driver] Yaldhurst subdivision, 13 February 2016

yaldhurst-subdivision-21-jan-2016-christchurch-driver[Christchurch Driver] Yaldhurst subdivision, 21 January 2016

Yaldhurst Village location map [villagelife.co.nz][villagelife.co.nz]

Yaldhurst Village Mortgagee Tender [realestate.co.nz - Harcourts][realestate.co.nz] Yaldhurst Village Mortgagee Tender, 15 December 2015

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BACK WHEN (2014), Mike Greer Homes NZ ramped up production to rehouse people in post-quake Christchurch, it was a genuine and concerted effort:

Where there was bare land a year ago, a factory now stands ready to reshape the residential construction industry.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00, November 22 2014
House factory ready to roll
By Alan Wood – The Press
As Mike Greer and Bill Gee watch the emergence of their “high volume” residential panels factory, they have no concern they will contribute to an oversupply of new homes. The $14 million industrial factory development includes $5m plus of specialist German machinery to be used to rapidly construct the panels for residential homes. Greer, “a chippie by trade”, is optimistic about the Rolleston-based factory’s place in a Canterbury and Auckland building boom. “This is fantastic for the residential construction industry. No-one in New Zealand has ever seen anything like this,” he says of the joint venture company Concision, which he and Gee own. Asked about any slowdown in the Canterbury rebuild and residential market, Greer says he has hundreds of pre-sold homes he is yet to make a start on.
Is there any danger of an overbuild by builders in the region?
“Well wouldn’t that be good. Everyone is complaining about housing affordability. The only way to fix that is supply,” Greer responds. He says there are signs interest rates have stabilised and may even come down. From April 1, a Government subsidy on first home buyers of new homes in Canterbury will be introduced. A buyer could get up to $20,000 towards a $450,000 home. “So that’s really going to stimulate things at that end of the market,” Greer says. The Reserve Bank was also signalling that eventually . . . it will remove loan to value ratio restrictions that have made it more difficult for first home buyers to get loans.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
● 17.2.17 Gurglars visits the Delta/Noble JV subdivision at Yaldhurst
● 11.3.16 Delta peripheral #EpicFail : Stonewood Homes and ancient Delta….
● 10.3.16 Noble Subdivision next on the shopping list !!! You couldn’t….
6.3.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Tea & Taxing Questions
6.3.16 Delta #EpicFail —Nobel Subdivision : A Neighbour responds
5.3.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision —Epic Fraud
4.3.16 Delta —Noble Subdivision #EpicStorm Heading OUR WAY
4.3.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : Councillors know NOTHING
2.3.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : A Dog, or a RAVING YAPPER?….
1.3.16 Delta #EpicFail… —The Little Finance Company that did (Delta).
29.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : NBR interested in bidders
28.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble… If I were a rich man / Delta Director
27.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision Consent : Strictly Optional
27.2.16 Delta #NUCLEAR EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Incompetent…
25.2.16 Delta #EpicFail: Mayor Cull —Forced Sale Fundamentals 101
24.2.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Cameron, Crombie & McKenzie
23.2.16 DCC: DCHL half year result to 31 December 2015
19.2.16 Delta: Update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery
15.2.16 Delta / DCHL not broadcasting position on subdivision mortgagee tender
30.1.16 DCC Rates: LOCAL CONTEXT not Stats —Delta and Hippopotamuses
29.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision ● Some forensics
21.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision
21.1.16 DCC LTAP 2016/17 budget discussion #ultrahelpfulhints
19.1.15 Housing affordability in this country is “just hopeless” –Hugh Pavletich
10.1.16 Infrastructure ‘open to facile misinterpretation’…. or local ignore
15.12.15 Noble property subdivision aka Yaldhurst Village | Mortgagee Tender
21.9.15 DCC: Not shite (?) hitting the fan but DVL
20.7.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA #LGOIMA
● 1.4.15 Christchurch subdivisions: Heat gone?
24.3.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA
23.3.15 Noble property subdivision: “Denials suggest that we have not learned.”
17.3.15 DCC —Delta, Jacks Point Luggate II…. Noble property subdivision

● 14.5.14 (via DCC website) Larsen Report February 2012
A recent governance review of the Dunedin City Council companies was conducted by Warren Larsen.

● 20.3.14 Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General
Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point

█ For more, enter the term *delta* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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