Tag Archives: Banks

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’

****

█ 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

****

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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‘Low inflation’ v House price inflation

deflation-the-japan-times[Japan Times]

### NZ Herald Online 12:00 PM Tuesday Oct 18, 2016
Economy
No inflation? So why doesn’t it feel like it?
By Liam Dann – NZ Herald business editor at large
If yesterday’s Consumer Price Index, showing just 0.2 per cent inflation in the past year didn’t match your experience of rising prices, fear not, there is a new set of data that could offer a more realistic reflection of Kiwi household costs. The CPI for the year to September came in slightly higher than the predictions of most economists but still takes the economy dangerously close to deflation – a phenomenon where falling price expectations start to suppress economic growth. […] Meanwhile, the Household Living-costs Price Index (HLPI) gets much less attention from economists but has been designed over the past three years to reflect the fact that real world inflation varies greatly depending on your household wealth and expenditure, Matt Haigh [Statistics NZ consumer prices manager] said. It offers data for specific sub-sections of New Zealand such as beneficiaries, Maori, superannuitants, five different income groupings and five expenditure groups. In doing so it captures inequalities of price inflation which the CPI does not. So for example rent, which was up 3.4 per cent for the year in Auckland, is factored into the CPI with a weighting of 10 per cent. But, said Haigh, in reality for many renters it is likely to be more like 40 per cent of total expenditure. That weighting is more accurately reflected in the HLPI – especially in the lower income groups.
Read more

█ On November 8 Statistics New Zealand will provide its first live quarterly update for the HLPI data, with details for the year to September, and it should provide more insight for those looking at inflation from a social or political perspective. Backdated HLPI data for the year to September 2015 is already available on the Statistics NZ website.

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deflationary-cycle-web-world-cycles-instituteDeflationary cycle web [World Cycles Institute]

For many New Zealanders the low inflation story doesn’t stack up with daily experience. That’s because one of the largest costs we face in life, house price inflation, continues to rise more than anything else.

### NZ Herald Online 6:41 AM Tuesday Oct 18, 2016
Liam Dann: Inflation now at dangerously low level
OPINION Inflation data due today is tipped to show the economy skating dangerously close to deflation. Economists’ forecasts for the September quarter Consumer Price Index have inflation falling in the past three months and now only just above zero on an annualised basis. Most economists are picking it will come in at 0.1 or 0.2 per cent for the year to September 30 – down from 0.4 per cent in the year to June 30. The fall is expected to be driven by lower transport costs as oil slumped again in the quarter while housing costs are likely to be the largest rising category. Persistently low inflation is considered one of just a few dark spots in another otherwise rosy economic picture, although it is consistent with a number of other economies right now.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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NZ Economy —if you’re not Treasury

Either an interest rate hike or rising unemployment, together with falling migration, would spell “the end of the party”….
Due to the Reserve Bank putting restrictions on lending and other measures, the underlying economy was in good shape to withstand “a shock”. –Dominick Stephens, Westpac Chief Economist

### radionz.co.nz Fri, 10 June 2016
Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan
The risks of rising household debt
9:08 AM. NZ household debt has reached half a trillion dollars. That’s $100,000 of housing and personal debt for every man, woman and child. Nine to Noon speaks to Westpac Chief Economist, Dominick Stephens and Massey University’s Dr Jeff Stangl about the risks that poses to the economy. Link
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (30′19″)

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### radionz.co.nz Sat, 11 Jun 2016 at 12:15 pm
RNZ News
Tough times coming as debt soars, warns economist
Record high household debt levels are not sustainable, warns a leading bank economist. At half a trillion dollars, housing and personal debt has hit 162 percent of the average household’s annual disposable income – higher than levels before the global financial crisis.
Westpac Chief Economist Dominick Stephens told Nine to Noon the decline in dairy prices was hurting the regions, but the downturn following the end of the Canterbury rebuild would be more severe than most people were prepared for. The rebuild played a huge role in the “rock star economy” between 2012 and 2014, with the international reinsurance industry dropping $20 billion on New Zealand and the government pumping in another $10b. As that money dried up, some business owners could find their businesses were not as robust as they thought, Mr Stephens said. What was less certain was when the “borrow and spend” dynamic – fed by skyrocketing houseprices – would come to an end.
Read more

harrys_view 19 Jan 2016 Harry Harrison at South China Morning Post [scmp.com] 1Harry’s View 19 Jan 2016 [scmp.com]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Dunedin median house prices down

Link received Thu, 5 Feb 2015 at 9:18 a.m.
Comment: “Median property prices down in Dunedin and other centres just as Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) are making plans to grab a bigger slice of your pie.”

### interest.co.nz February 5, 2015 – 07:00am
Property
Want to see what movement in the NZ median house price excluding Auckland would look like? All is revealed here
By Gareth Vaughan
We all know that if you took the Auckland housing market out of New Zealand the overall housing market picture would look very different. Would the Reserve Bank have ever felt the need to introduce restrictions on banks’ low equity residential mortgage lending without Auckland? Very unlikely. And would the likes of Brian Gaynor be raising eyebrows with warnings that house prices could fall by up to 25% if it wasn’t for the Auckland market? Nope.

Just how big a driver Auckland is on national house prices is made clear in the table below.

Table 5.2.15 [interest.co.nz]Table: interest.co.nz

Based on Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) data, Auckland’s median house price rose $238,000, or 54%, in the six years from December 2008 to December 2014. Over the same time period the national median price rose $121,500, or 37%. But the national median price excluding Auckland rose just $50,000, or 17.5%.

Figures for the 2014 calendar year are perhaps even more stark. The REINZ Auckland median price was up $78,000, or 13%, last year to $678,000. The national median rose $23,000, or 5.4%, to $450,000. And the New Zealand median price excluding Auckland rose just $3,500, or 1%, last year to $335,000.

So if you take Auckland out of the picture, where according to REINZ about 38% to 40% of national monthly sales are made, the national median price barely budged last year. No wonder many people outside the City of Sails get so grumpy about the Auckland housing market and the Reserve Bank’s high loan-to-value ratio restrictions.
Read more

Related Post and Comments:
2.2.15 LGNZ run by Mad Rooster Yule, end of story

Tax Payers’ Union – Media Release
2.2.15 LGNZ Push For Local Income Taxes, Fuel Taxes and Regional GST

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Unhappy, ruined #overpoweredbythugs

Received from Anonymous
Sat, 19 Jul 2014 at 10:11 a.m.

wilson_j (1)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC’s debt level — who do you believe?

Updated post 7.7.14

### ODT Sat, 5 July 2014 (page 34)
Opinion: Letters to the editor
Drastic action urged on DCC’s debt level
The recent Ratepayers Report on New Zealand councils’ relative financial performance makes for sobering reading for Dunedin’s 53,266 ratepayers. The Dunedin City Council’s debt per ratepayer of $15,093 is nearly the highest in New Zealand and is exceeded only by Auckland.
The DCC is amongst New Zealand’s worst-performing councils in terms of operating expenditure at $6885 per ratepayer, well ahead of the national average of $3175 per ratepayer. DCC employee expenditure per ratepayer is $1783, which is three times the national average.
It’s hard to believe Dunedin was once famous for thrift and living within its means. Mayor Cull and the new CEO Sue Bidrose must wake up and make some drastic cuts as soon as possible, given the DCC’s shocking performance compared to most other local authorities.
T. Stevens, Dunedin

[Dunedin City Council group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie replies: “The figures quoted by your correspondent are for the group position of councils and highlight the fact the Dunedin City Council has significant other assets (Aurora Energy Limited, Delta Limited, City Forest’s Limited and Taieri Gorge Railway Limited). The actual asset value for the group is in excess of $70,000 per ratepayer.
“For Dunedin, the average rates bill is $1750, which is the 13th-lowest of all the councils and reflects the benefits we receive from the wider DCC group.”]

I note Grant McKenzie leaves off mention of the stadium companies DVML and DVL, which are now part of DCHL, and the effect of their growing debt on the council’s overall position. And what of all misappropriation of funds and serious fraud at DCC, DVML and CST still to be revealed, you have to ask.

█ Ratepayers Report at http://www.ratepayersreport.co.nz/

Larry Mitchell’s opinion of DCC’s reply to T. Stevens would be interesting – further, it’s not like other councils don’t have their own companies or significant and strategic assets.

█ Then to blow everything out of Otago Harbour there’s DCC’s exposure to global markets through borrowing – see new comment by Rob Hamlin.

Related Post and Comments:
12.6.14 Fairfax Media [not ODT] initiative on Local Bodies

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC, Dunedin City Treasury and 3 big banks [Interest Rate Swaps]

WHICH THREE BANKS, DCC ??????

Comments received.

Rob Hamlin
Submitted on 2013/12/17 at 3:02 pm

As some of you may recall I have been very interested in DCTL and its large gains and losses on interest rate swaps. The following article http://nz.finance.yahoo.com/news/comcom-issue-proceedings-against-asb-194400510.html describes today’s announcement by the Commerce Commission to investigate ANZ, ASB and Westpac for mis-selling interest rate swaps to farmers – causing massive losses to these borrowers.

My interest has been further piqued by the arrangement between DCTL and three ‘independent’ banks called a ‘secured multi-option note facility’ within which these swaps are sold to DCTL by said ‘independent’ banks. The ‘secured’ as I have mentioned previously involves an ‘on call’ capital commitment by DCC to DCTL that has been deliberately put in place to circumvent Section 62 of the Local Government Act, which specifically prohibits council guarantees to trading companies. At $850 million of capital (which the DCC does not have), this amounts to some $17,000 for every ratepayer in this city – and you are liable for it.

As I have mentioned before, the very large annual fluctuations in gains and losses reported by the DCC due to interest and currency derivative exposure indicates that the DCC, via its $850 million guarantee to DCTL, is very deep indeed into this particular festering pile of poo.

I have lodged an LGOIMA request with the DCC for the identity of the three banks who are in the ‘secured variable rate note facility’ swap fest with DCTL. However, my unofficial sources indicate that the membership may be between 67% and 100% in common with the three banks mentioned in the ‘Stuff” report on large-scale interest rate swap mis-selling – Time will tell. But might be an idea to find the hammer and your piggy bank.

****

Russell Garbutt
Submitted on 2013/12/17 at 4:13 pm

Rob, I simply cannot understand the role of the OAG in all of this. The OAG provides auditing services to the Dunedin City Council and is supposedly the watchdog that ensures things are all tickety-boo in City Hall. But as we have already seen in the Kaipara case that the OAG now says that it is terrible that all of this borrowing took place, but that THEY ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE. Surely to goodness that they have seen the actions of the CFO of the DCC to subvent the point and purpose of Section 62 of the LGA. Equally puzzling is how they have not been warning of the ramifications of these infernal legalised Ponzi schemes as they have been described elsewhere.

I distinctly remember the sacked Athol Stephens explaining to me in his office that many of the financial dealings of the DCC were to avoid tax liabilities. Athol was both a Director of a Council Board and an employee of the Council as I recall at the time.

There is enough smell round this issue to warrant a lot of interest by the OAG and the mainstream media, but sadly it is just too plain in the case of the OAG that they really aren’t interested in pursuing anything that would show that they themselves have been slack and incompetent, nor are they interested in pursuing anything that involves them in any serious work.

In the case of the media, it’s all just too hard. TV simply isn’t capable and is more interested in turning news into entertainment, and the financial reporters in the papers can’t seem to get their heads round anything substantial.

A case of the fox inside the henhouse and another one on the outside, looking out for the farmer.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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