News and Publications

Property News: 10 December 2018

Values keep rising

House values in Nelson continue to march upwards, with entry-level ‘‘cookie cutter’’ homes and low interest rates fuelling property sales, according to the latest figures from Quotable Value.

The average value of a home in the city stood at $597,533 in November, a rise of 1.6 per cent over the last quarter, the monthly QV House Price Index showed. It represented a yearly increase of 8 per cent, compared to 3.5 per cent nationwide.

Sales volumes were up in Nelson, particularly in the ‘‘low- to mid-value range’’, QV Nelson Property Consultant Craig Russell said. First home buyers were taking advantage of Kiwi Saver incentives and the record low interest rates, Russell said.

Values in Tasman district continued to rise, up 5.9 per cent year-on-year and 0.1 per cent over the past three months, with the average value at $585,913.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 5 December 2018)

Dam nod 'a sad day' for Tasman

It was a sad day when the Tasman District Council gave the green light to the Waimea dam project, says Waimea Irrigators and Water Users Society consultant Brian Halstead.

Councillors last Friday voted 9-5 to proceed with the controversial $105.9 million proposal to construct a 53m concrete-faced rockfill dam in the Lee Valley.

The society is a group of irrigators who did not support the dam project as proposed. It urged investigation of riverside ponds as an alternative water augmentation scheme.

However, Irrigation New Zealand chief executive Andrew Curtis said the council’s decision to proceed with the project ‘‘to supply residents, businesses and growers with water is the kind of investment that will increasingly be needed in the future’’.

A recent discussion document on drought and climate change as part of the Deep South National Science Challenge highlighted that future national planning was urgently needed to improve water storage and to look at options to mitigate the effects of the more severe droughts forecast.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 5 December 2018)

No legal action over Gita-related damage

The Tasman District Council will not take legal action against forestry companies in the wake of damage from ex-Tropical Cyclone Gita.

‘‘In our case, there were no offences that would warrant any enforcement action against any forestry company,’’ said council environment and planning manager Dennis Bush-King.

His comments come after news that the Gisborne District Council has started prosecutions against ‘‘a number of parties’’ under the Resource Management Act. The prosecutions relate to six different forests in the Gisborne region, including three near Tolaga Bay.

Debris, including forestry slash, covered pockets of Tasman district after Gita hit in February. In the Gisborne region, slash – scrap timber, branches and offcuts – crashed through some houses near Tolaga Bay over Queen’s Birthday weekend in June.

The Tasman council was dealing with wide-ranging effects from storm damage after Gita ‘‘and responded accordingly, including surveys of forest estates’’.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 5 December 2018)

Nelson land in a few hands

Just 10 people or companies own almost two-thirds of the undeveloped residential-zoned land in the Nelson-Richmond area, a government indicator reveals.

The land ownership concentration indicator from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) shows that those 10 people or companies own close to 65 per cent of the undeveloped residential-zoned land in the ‘‘Nelson Urban Area’’, which includes most of Nelson city, Richmond, Aniseed Hill, Bell Island, Best Island, Hope and Ranzau.

‘‘[It] is something that we have suspected for some time,’’ Tasman District Council policy planner Jacqui Deans last week told the council’s environment and planning committee.

In a report, Deans says the Nelson Urban Area is in the top three areas nationally for the amount of land being held by a small number of owners, along with Napier and Hamilton.

The indicator is an attempt to describe how close to a monopoly a particular area operates in with regard to the ownership of undeveloped land, Deans says.

A table on the MBIE website shows that of the 10 biggest land ownerships, the largest holding is 99.3ha, or 20.3 per cent of the market share. The table lists the controlling entity as K B Quarries Ltd. The New Zealand Companies Office website on Wednesday listed Kevin Richard Blair and Judith Ann Blair, of Christchurch, as the directors and shareholders of K B Quarries Ltd.

The MBIE table has Nelson City Council as the controlling entity for the third-largest holding of undeveloped residentially zoned land, at 35.1ha, or 7.2 per cent of the market share.

The smallest of the top 10 is 11.6ha, or 2.4 per cent of the market share, with the controlling entity listed as St Leger Group Ltd.

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 7 December 2018)

Rental squeeze sees dogs kicked to the kerb

Kiwis are abandoning their four-legged friends just so they can have a roof over their head, as the rental squeeze bites harder with every passing day.

More dog owners renting in the region are having to give up pets they have owned for some time because of a shortage of pet-friendly properties, according to the organiser of the Facebook page Dogs for Adoption Upper South Island, Jess Brougham, of Richmond.

Some dog owners had thought their rental was long-term but then found themselves having to move on and unable to find another landlord who would accept their pet, Brougham said.

The New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation said landlords needed greater controls to help encourage them to take pets.

‘‘Pets are an important part of people’s lives, and we recognise that, but there’s a lot of regulations which make it difficult for a [property] owner to accept pets, because the risk is just too high,’’ executive officer Andrew King said.

Making a tenant totally responsible for any damage their animal caused, by allowing a landlord to require them to have pet insurance, would help to ease the risk, he suggested.

A pet bond was also among recommendations the group had made to an ongoing government review of rental rules.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 8 December 2018)

Property News taking a break

Duke & Cooke Property News will be taking a break over the Christmas/New Year period, with the last publication for 2018 being Monday 17 December.

The first publication for 2019 will be on Monday 14 January.

Thought for the Week

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