News and Publications

Property News - 23 September 2021

House stock, sales at record lows

First home buyers are starting to give up on houses in the top of the south, with nearly 87 per cent of properties selling for more than $500,000, when compared to this time last year.

Now, real estate agents are hoping a spring surge could help boost sales after Nelson recorded the fewest sales, and lowest stock, since records began.

New figures from the Real Estate Institute show the number of house sales in Nelson had the greatest decline in the country in August, falling 50 per cent compared to August last year, to 53 houses. Tasman dropped 37.6 per cent to 53 properties, while Marlborough fell 31.3 per cent to 55.

The drop was partially driven by the Covid-19 delta variant lockdown, which hit New Zealand on August 19.

In Nelson, average daily sales dropped by 78.4 per cent after lockdown began, compared to a 32.1 per cent drop in Tasman and a 25 per cent drop in Marlborough.

The difference in the drop showed that Nelson had less of a ‘‘pipeline’’ of sales ready to go unconditional in the last two weeks of August, Real Estate Institute chief executive Jen Baird said.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 15 September 2021)

Waimea Plains farm plans in the pipeline

Farm environment plans for landowners on the Waimea Plains are earmarked for development by the end of 2022 – a move it’s hoped will help to tackle elevated nitrate levels in the groundwater on the outskirts of Richmond.

The nitrate level in the aquifers under the plains has long been a concern. A council survey in 2016 found that the concentrations in some areas did not meet drinking water standards.

Tests of some bores in 2019, arranged by Waimea Plains landowner Cathy Hughson and fellow Tasman District resident Lew Solomon, also showed that some nitrate levels exceeded the standards.

The Richmond urban water supply is drawn from those aquifers. In the 2019 tests arranged by Hughson and Solomon, that supply had a nitrate reading of about 5.1 milligrams per litre of nitrate-nitrogen, well below the drinking water standards of 11.3mg/L.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 17 September 2021)

Cost pressures build as dam takes shape

The forecast cost to complete the Waimea dam is tipped to ‘‘stress’’ the upper end of the risk range of $164 million, says Waimea Water Ltd.

In its latest newsletter, Waimea Water says that the anticipated cost to finish construction is based on known conditions, and the project continues to face ‘‘cost pressures’’.

Waimea Water is a council-controlled organisation responsible for managing the construction, operation and maintenance of the dam in the Lee Valley, about 36 kilometres southeast of Nelson. It is a joint venture between the Tasman District Council and Waimea Irrigators Ltd.

News of continued pressure on costs comes after Waimea Water chief executive Mike Scott in July outlined to councillors factors causing that stress.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 18 September 2021)

Plan change for Maitai project to be considered

The Maitahi Bayview plan change request looks likely to progress to the next stage, after the Nelson City Council released its report recommending appointing independent commissioners to consider it.

The private plan change (PPC) process takes several stages, and if the recommendation is accepted at next week’s meeting of the council, it will have passed the first hurdle.

The council has four options for private plan changes, as laid out in the Resource Management Act: to adopt the request or part of it as if it were a council-led plan change; to reject it based on strict parameters set out in the RMA; to deal with it like an application for a resource consent; or to accept it and enable it to move on through a submission and decision process.

The report to the council, prepared by group manager of environmental management Clare Barton and released late yesterday afternoon, lays out the council’s options and recommends that it follow the last one – accepting the request and progressing the private plan change through the normal channels.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 18 September 2021)