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Monthly Market Update | January 2021

Record results for January sales

The North Shore market continued at full speed through January – achieving another record median sale price of $1,255,000, this was up on December’s record of $1,230,000.

Sales volumes are also some of the highest seen, and in January what is usually a low volume sales month there were 323 North Shore sales, up 59% from the same month last year.

An acute shortage of quality stock remains a key driver, although we are seeing a slow yet steady increase in available listings moving into the year.  This is often the case as the seasonal school holidays and long weekends come to end.

Good properties remain in hot demand – last week Harcourts Cooper & Co sold 81% of the auctions called under the hammer and reports of large open home attendance.

2021 is shaping up to be a hot year for property with low interest rates & high demand.  There is a continuing trend of expats returning to New Zealand looking to purchase.  Recently announced LVR restrictions may steady the market although unlikely they will impact the current trajectory up of house prices.   The current mini lockdown reminds us what a desirable place the North Shore is to live and a chance to spend more time in our homes and consider if they are best suited for our needs & desires.

Market update for North Shore market based on REINZ market statistics for January 2021, released 16th February 2021.

2020 was anything but predictable and most of the “experts” who speculated on what the property market would do were left with egg on their faces. In this issue, Bryan Thomson, Managing Director of Harcourts New Zealand, reflects on the year that Covid-19 hit our shores and the factors driving the property market in 2021.

Goodbye 2020
While most of us were winding down for the holidays, the real estate market charged into the festive season with great momentum, both in terms of record numbers of transactions and positive price growth across New Zealand. This activity was driven by several well-known factors including historically low interest rates for those borrowing to purchase real estate and extremely low deposit rates which encouraged those with cash to pursue better returns in areas other than bank deposits, which included the property sector.

Record low interest rates also opened the door to first home buyers, enabling those who were able to secure a deposit to fund a mortgage at levels below rental payments. Our Covid-free status lured Kiwis back, many of whom required homes, and closed borders saw those with funds intended for offshore adventures redirecting them into a property purchase, renovation or other asset class. All these factors remain in play for 2021.

Business confidence
The level of business confidence varies across New Zealand. Tourism and hospitality orientated locations and sectors obviously remain challenged and are reinventing themselves until our borders open. The determination and resolve being shown by those impacted is a tremendous reflection on the human spirit. Other sectors experienced the opposite reaction after the Covid lockdown period. The property sector found itself on the positive side of the ledger, driven by the factors mentioned previously.

Covid-19 and the property market
New Zealand has come through the pandemic better than most countries thus far and the challenges being faced by much of the world provides a stark picture of how important it is for our community to remain focused on keeping Covid out. We have shown how adaptable the real estate profession and our clients are through the continuing transactions over the peak Covid period, but that is not a scenario we wish to repeat. It has however proven again that real estate is a fundamental human need and those looking to buy or sell will find a way, despite the challenges. The real estate industry is well prepared to provide solutions, regardless of what 2021 brings.

Where to from here?
The most common question I have been asked over the summer break is, “What is the market going to do in 2021”? As usual, there have been a raft of commentators willing to provide their opinions on this. Ironically, many are the same commentators who predicted a massive decline in the property market due to Covid, and we know how wrong they were then!

The reality is that hindsight is the only accurate predictor, so let’s focus on what we know. Firstly, the factors that drove the strong market we enjoyed in 2020 remain in play. Additionally, New Zealand continues to have less property available for purchase than buyers wanting to buy. The supply demand equation drives every market including real estate and until this evens out through construction and development, we can expect the current market to continue.

The reality is that most people buy and sell property because they need a home, whether it’s something newer, bigger, smaller, a change of location or as an investment. Very few buy to speculate, so if you’re looking to buy or sell right now, I suggest you do so in a market that is positive for so many reasons. If you believe you can pick what will happen in the future, then back your own judgement and live with the result, but I wouldn’t put my life on hold based on a guess. Look how that would have worked out for those commentators who filled the media with their tales of gloom earlier in 2020!

If you’re looking to sell, select a great agent who can explain how they will maximise competition for your property, and then trust their advice. Investing in a well-planned marketing campaign is a critical success factor. If you are buying, make sure you do your homework, especially regarding your financial capacity. Use the key property portals and visit open homes to ensure you have a good understanding of the market. A great agent is a big help here. Once you’re ready to go, identify the non-negotiables in the property you seek and jump into the market feeling positive and well-prepared!

A stylish synergy of space, light and design

Address | 3 Thomas Hunter Lane, Greenhithe

Agent | Sue Cook – 027 275 7525

Open Homes | Saturday and Sunday 2.00pm – 2.45pm

Auction | Wednesday 3rd Mar 2021 6:00 PM (On site)

Bold, innovative architecture and resort-style living combine to create this truly captivating family sanctuary in Old Greenhithe. Every element of the design, build and finish has been executed to an exemplary standard, creating a dramatic yet very warm and inviting environment.

The four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is positioned on flat 1565m2 grounds in Thomas Hunter Lane, which is widely regarded as one of Old Greenhithe’s most exclusive avenues. The enclave is tucked off Roland Road and comprises a collection of well-separated, luxury residences that enjoy an excellent sense of privacy from one another. There’s no through traffic so it’s very quiet, plus it’s located close to the village, reserves, parks and local schools the area is renowned for. With only two roads in and out, Greenhithe has retained a peaceful feel and enjoys a lovely community vibe.

Soaring lines and angles and masterful design have created exceptional proportions and incredible light inside, which is immediately experienced through the two-level, open atrium foyer. Two sets of doors open into the vast ground floor living, dining and kitchen space.

The piece de résistance of the residence is the striking double-storey water feature and tropical rock garden positioned at the centre of the house. It creates a cooling effect in the summer months and lends a soothing soundtrack all year round. A profusion of glass walls and windows throughout showcase lush green garden views, bringing the outside in and illuminating the spaces with light.

Although open-plan, the ground floor is divided into distinct zones for family living and entertaining. The gourmet kitchen has a central island and high-quality appliances, while a double-sided glass fireplace divides the lounge and main living area. The inside flows out to the covered patio, which with its drop-down sides, creates another room of the house and is ideal for all-season entertaining. The current owners have redeveloped the landscaping around the outdoor fire and heated saltwater swimming pool, with a focus on tropical and native plantings. Gardens extend around the side and rear of the property and are fully fenced for kids and pets.

Also on the ground floor, there’s another large lounge/ home gym/ media room that flows out to the covered spa, a powder room, office and separate laundry, as well as internal-access to the double garage and workshop, which can be closed off.

Upstairs, the large lounge has a concealed kitchenette and flows out to the balcony. Three spacious double bedrooms are serviced by the family bathroom, while the master suite has its own luxurious ensuite and two walk in wardrobes. All the rooms enjoy a wonderfully elevated outlook over the green ridge in the distance.

Features like extensive underfloor heating, central vac, high-quality drapes and a zoned sound system ensure the ultimate in comfortable, contemporary living within this architectural showpiece.

Create your lakefront masterpiece

Address | 22 Manurere Avenue, Takapuna

Agent | Harry Ding -021 052 1552

Open Homes | Saturday and Sunday 1.00pm – 1.30pm

Auction | Sunday 21st February 6.00pm (Onsite)

Originally crafted in 1973 by celebrated New Zealand architect Ron Sang, this lakefront retreat boasts an exceptional architectural pedigree and unprecedented opportunity for renovation.

The beauty of this project is that resource consent has already been granted to push the house forward, and the concrete pad of the extension’s foundation poured – two of the most costly and time consuming aspects of a renovation. Plans have been drawn up by local architect Owen Mackinnon of OJO Architects, who has retained the elements of Feng Shui and drama of Sang’s original design, while creating a brand-new modern masterpiece. Although the process has already begun, there are many transformation options available for astute buyers, who will recognise the incredible benefits of resource consent already being granted.

The property is located at the end of a tree-lined driveway, shrouded in privacy by established gardens. It’s perfectly north-facing, so is flooded with light and sun, and showcases dazzling 180-degree views of the lake. The four-bedroom, cedar-clad, solid masonry residence spans two levels, with both fully immersed in the view.

At the rear, the well-developed foliage and distinctive site placement enhance the secluded and idyllic private hideaway, where kayaking and paddle boarding are available from the lake’s shore. Landscaping will allow a more direct route to the water’s edge and a jetty can be built.

The prime location at the heart of Takapuna is undeniably superb, just a short walk from the shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and golden sand beach. There are good public transport options available, along with excellent school zoning.

The shores of Lake Pupuke maintain a character of incomparable exclusivity, with Manurere Avenue regarded as one of the area’s finest streets. Properties rarely become available, so this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to procure one of these coveted positions and restore it to its former glory.