Property News – 11 March 2022

Family split by shortage of larger rental homes

Three of Jess Graham’s children are squeezed into one room and another is living with friends, as her hunt for a rental property drags on.

A Trade Me search on February 22 revealed one family-sized rental property available in Wakefield. It is not much better elsewhere in Tasman: across the district (including rapidly growing Richmond) there are 17 twobedroom or larger homes available to rent for less than $700.

If you need a third bedroom, that number shrinks to 11.

Nelson fared little better, with 48 two-bedroom or more homes available under $700, and 20 three-bed-plus properties at the same price.

(Nelson Mail, Monday 28 February 2022)

House buyers holding off

There had been a significant drop in the number of first-home buyers entering the market as they struggled to get finance due to new lending requirements.

‘‘There aren’t many first-home buyers left in the market.’’

The Covid-19 outbreak was also having an impact, and it was yet to be seen what would happen once the country passed the peak, he said.

One possibility was a ‘‘brain drain’’ as people shifted overseas to places like Australia with more affordable housing.

But there would always be a market in Nelson, as it remained an attractive region for out-of-town buyers.

After years of a seller’s market, a more ‘normal’ housing market could be on the horizon, a Nelson agent says.

It comes as the pause button has been pressed on the local market as people wait out the Omicron outbreak, Brent Sturm of Tall Poppy Real Estate said.

Yesterday, Realestate.co.nz reported a fall in the asking price for houses of 3.8 per cent to $924,014 in Nelson and Bays in February compared to January – one of 11 regions that saw a drop in asking prices.

Meanwhile, the region saw an increase in stock of 56.7 per cent in February, compared to the same month in 2021, while the number of new listings was up 23.6 per cent – or 199 – compared to February 2021.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 2 March 2022)

Dam contractor initiates adjudication

The joint-venture contractor building the Waimea dam has started adjudication proceedings, which may lead to further costs for Tasman District ratepayers in a project already well over its initial budget.

Adjudication was initiated in February between the contractor and Waimea Water Ltd under the Construction Contracts Act 2002.

Waimea Water Ltd 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.

(Nelson Mail, Wednesday 2 March 2022)

Draft water rules ‘over the top’

Draft drinking-water rules from the new water services regulator are ‘‘highly over the top’’ and ‘‘far too complicated’’, says Tasman District mayor Tim King. ‘‘This is just my opinion.’’ King’s comments came as part of a self-confessed ‘‘rant’’ during a Tasman District Council discussion about the potential implications of the Water Services Act 2021, which is now in force.

The act is a piece of companion legislation for Taumata Arowai – the Water Services Regulator Act, which set up the new Crown regulator – Taumata Arowai – to oversee the drinking water sector nationally.

The Water Services Act provides the legislative tools for that regime. Those acts are two of three pillars of the Government’s Three Waters Reform programme.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 4 March 2022)

Raising a family in emergency housing ‘hard’

Carly-Mae Neill was five days old when her family of six moved into emergency housing. Nine months later, the family are still there, their tiny Nelson motel unit the only home the baby has known.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is yet to release its figures from the final quarter of last year. However, the latest available data shows that in the three months to September 30, 2021, 254 households were supported by EHSNG grants, a jump from 198 households in the previous quarter.

During that quarter, the Government spent $1.4 million on emergency housing in Nelson, Tasman and the West Coast.

Advocate Brenda McQuillan, who worked with tenants to ensure they know their rights, says emergency housing is failing a large cohort of children.

A number of these families aren’t aware of avenues of help available to them, including the Ministry of Social Development’s Flexible Funding assistance – a government fund to help people living in motels.

The funding is intended to make motel living a little easier for people with children, helping with transport and activities. However, a report last year showed that only a small portion of the $2.2 million fund had been used, McQuillan says. She advises people to contact their MSD case manager to ask about this assistance.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 5 March 2022)

‘Very beautiful’ name gifted for proposed park

Local kaumātua have offered the name Te Pā Harakeke for the new park and recreation area that will take the place of the former Modellers Pond at Tāhunanui.

The Nelson City Council approached iwi for advice on the new name for the former pond are, and at a blessing of the site in mid-December, council kamātua gifted the new name.

The name is meant to reflect the purpose of the new park, using a common metaphor for whānau or family referencing the harakeke (flax) plant.

The name was supported by attendees at an Iwi-Council Partnership Group hui, including representatives of Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Rārua, Te tiawa andĀ Ngāti Toa Rangatira.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 5 March 2022)

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