Property News – 6 June 2024

Nelson Tasman economy ‘weak’, new data shows

Nelson’s economy is weak, and the housing market is “underperforming”, new economic reports have found.

Meanwhile, Tasman is also weak, and has seen a nearly 60% drop in consents for new builds.

In a reflection of the weaker economy, Nelson’s housing market was “underpeforming the national average”, with sales volumes down 2.2% year on year, behind a 12% rise nationally.

Even though house values fell 1.8% in the year to March, compared to a 1.9% national rise, housing affordability remained “poor”, with the average house value amounting to 7.9 times the average household income, compared to a ratio of 7.0 nationally.

Conversely, Tasman’s market was starting to “gently warm up” with a 1.9% increase in values.

In both Nelson and Tasman, new build activity had slowed, with a 58% fall in new dwelling consents in Tasman, taking it to the lowest level since 2014. Meanwhile, Nelson recorded its lowest quarter since 2011, with a 2.3% yearly decrease. Nationally, consents fell 24.9%. “New build activity remains discouraged by high interest rates,” the Tasman report said. “Interest rates are expected to start easing towards the end of 2024, which should stimulate a slow renewal in new build activity.”

(Nelson Mail, 27 May 2024)

Rents, rates, insurance and power: the costs households can’t control

Rents, rates and insurance are the costs households can’t control and are keeping mortgage rates high.

And some cities are getting it worse than others on some of those fronts, with Wellington residents paying the most for house and contents cover and Aucklanders, with their flasher cars and higher crime rates, paying the most for car cover.

The Reserve Bank said a fall in inflation in the price of imports to the country had been welcome, and rising unemployment and slowing wage growth had also helped bring down inflation. But price rises remained in parts of the economy where households had little control – council rates, rents, insurance premiums and power.

As a result, the Reserve Bank did not expect to see inflation drop below 3% later this year, which is disappointing for people with large home loans needing to refix part of their mortgages in the next few months hoping the central bank will soon begin to reduce the official cash rate.

(Nelson Mail, 27 May 2024)

Fast-track goldmine plan a ‘huge concern’

The hard-won protection of one of the country’s clearest water supplies could be under threat if fast-tracked legislation opens the doors to a goldmine in Golden Bay, advocates say.

Last month, Australian mining company Siren Gold submitted applications for two mining operations to be considered under the coalition Government’s Fast-Track Approvals Bill. One of the proposed sites is in Reefton, and the other is at Sam’s Creek in the Cobb Valley, near Upper Tākaka.

The bill, a piece of legislation aimed at speeding up the decision-making process involved in infrastructure and development projects, would put the final decisions on certain projects in the hands of the ministers for infrastructure, transport, and regional development – Chris Bishop, Simeon Brown, and Shane Jones.

(Nelson Mail, 29 May 2024)

Tackling social housing needs

Finding suitable sites for social housing in the Nelson-Tasman region will continue to be the stumbling block for community housing providers, despite the Government’s plan to get them building more.

Nelson Tasman Housing Trust director, Carrie Mozena, says it needs to find and successfully purchase land for its housing developments and those sites are hard to find in the region.

(Nelson Weekly, 29 May 2024)

Growth brings opportunities and challenges, mayor says

The release of the 2023 Census data has seen Tasman dubbed as one of the fastest growing South Island regions and its mayor agrees; Tasman is an attractive place to live.

First results from last year’s Census were published on Wednesday, and in it Tasman was named one of the two fastest growing regions in the South Island, the other being Canterbury.

Tasman’s population has had a 10.3% increase from 2018 to 2023. In numbers, that’s an increase from 52,389 to 57,807 residents.

Mayor Tim King said this increase was not unexpected and one of the biggest illustrations of this was the development of Richmond West.

“It’s been quite obvious that in that period [2018 to 2023], the area has grown significantly and obviously all those houses means more people.”

The growth of Richmond West, the Berryfields subdivision and Crossing development has seen many gravitate towards Tasman, and it wasn’t just residents.

Businesses were making sure they secured a place in the area with a multiplex cinema, a school planned and a selection of food and beverage businesses contributing to its fast growth.

(Nelson Mail, 1 June 2024)

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