Property values in Tauranga declined by eight per cent in the last year, calculated over the three months ending June 2009 in comparison to the same period last year.
This, according to the latest figures released by QV valuations. It is an improvement on the 9.4 per cent annual decline reported in the May figures and prices have started to move upwards.
The New Zealand dollar remains strong. It may not be as good for our exporters and there is a bleak outlook for the agricultural and employment sectors, but I think things will remain fairly level in the real estate price area.
Property values have the advantage of a lack of listings available, which creates a limited supply. On the buyers’ side, the low interest rates and a perception the market has leveled out stimulates the desire to buy now. This should keep things heading in a slow but generally upwards direction.
Typical of a location where high growth rates are expected, the rental yields seem to be hovering around five per cent – or less, in more desirable locations. What is really interesting is the level of rents in some of the more remote suburbs. I think this is a reflection of what is now being termed reluctant landlords; the investors who built homes with the idea of selling them but couldn’t as the market turned and have therefore ended up becoming landlords.
Some of these rents are, I think, unrealistic due to the location, however, the quality of the homes is fantastic. This creates a dilemma for the ‘reluctant landlord’. After all what do you do – drop your rent and then receive a very low return for your investment or hold out for the higher rent but the place then remains empty for week after week, month after month. In my opinion and from my experience, the best idea is to drop the rent. It is better to receive 52 weeks of rent at 10 or 15 dollars less than to have your place empty for three months trying to squeeze an extra $15 out of the market.
As an investor you need to control your cash flow as much as possible and having an empty investment property does not help do that.