Housing cannot get out of the news

Here at The Property Group we are of course keen observers of any developments or potential developments in New Zealand’s infrastructure framework. And there certainly seems to be plenty going on, but it seems increasingly difficult for me at least to make sense of much of it – in trying to ascertain what the broader strategy of our decision makers is anyway.

Housing cannot get out of the news, I see today Housing NZ Limited dividends are to be scrapped – which did not make me fall off my chair given pressure for capital investment and generally the need to do more with the existing asset base. Labour has come out rattling for possible compulsory acquisition to directly intervene in the supply chain. Generally I would not expect to see this ruthlessness, but I guess they will have in mind land banking property developers so a victimless act perhaps? Meanwhile National seems to be leaning on the Reserve Bank to make something up to help make the problem go away. But otherwise apparently remaining optimistic the market is being sufficiently encouraged to build away.

Not sure where the 500 hectares of surplus Crown land in Auckland has got to, but seem to recall an article earlier in the year that delivery had picked up to “snails pace” at least.

There was some curious tinkering to the Housing Act earlier in the year, and the recent property tax and disclosure changes seem to also be more curious than effective so far.

So it is hard to see any material improvement bedding in anytime soon. Meanwhile property prices juggernaut away towards a predicted correction at some point in time, which is all rather worrying too.

But although reasonably unfathomable in the big picture, we are involved in a number of small, discrete projects for a number of clients, looking to make better or best use of current housing assets. Work streams include needs assessment and general property due diligence, through to statutory compliance advice for public entities and further advice around generally helping unlock hidden value in housing assets. I can better understand the point and purpose of these property specific transactions, which when implemented do hopefully all add up and assist with the concerning macro problem facing us all.

More good news for me at least is that I am in Wellington not Auckland, so the effects on the property market are less severe. But then I face the prospect of being outsmarted by our new clever motorway on the drive home tonight.