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Waikato: A bellweather property market?

Trying to predict what happens in the various property markets around the country is something many investors seek to do.

Wednesday, November 5th 2008, 11:36AM

by The Landlord

One tool which is being used more is tracking traffic patterns on relevant websites. Alistair Helm at realestate.co.nz has been doing just that and has suggested the Waikato market may be a ‘bellweather’ region.

Statistics show Waikato was one of the first regions to go into the slowdown. This has been confirmed by real estate agents such as Lynn Eagar. He agrees with the report’s findings, which show the first signs of the slowdown in the property market came “way back in the late summer of 2007”.


The report says sales began to tumble from their peaks of 600-plus per month and sales volumes began rising from a base of fewer than 3,000 in the first quarter of 2007, to close to 4,000 by the end of the year.

The question is whether it will be one of the first regions to pick up.
Helm isn’t going so far as to say that it will be one of the first to recover, but will be watching it closely.

Eagar says he noticed that even in late 2006, the market had started to change.

“If you look at the statistics, the volume dropped off slightly in late 2006. Then it continued to drop every month through 2007. But because we were coming off such a high base, it didn’t really kick in until September 2007.”

Back then, Eagar sent a note out in his newsletter saying the market had contracted. “Certainly when I look back now, I realise the stats had started to indicate the fall in 2006. We probably were a bellwether and I didn’t realise it.”

Eagar says from February 2008, “the penny really dropped”. The interesting thing, he says, was the same thing happened in the Waikato in the 1991 downturn, “which was the worst period since I have been in real estate.” The warning signs for the downturns came early to the Waikato for both periods. This time, he says, the Waikato has felt the slowdown more keenly “and the rest of the country is still following us”.


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AIA - Back My Build 6.19 - - -
AIA - Go Home Loans 8.74 7.14 6.75 6.39
ANZ 8.64 7.74 7.39 7.25
ANZ Blueprint to Build 7.39 - - -
ANZ Good Energy - - - 1.00
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ASB Bank 8.64 7.14 6.75 6.39
ASB Better Homes Top Up - - - 1.00
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BNZ - Classic - 7.14 6.79 6.65
BNZ - Green Home Loan top-ups - - - 1.00
BNZ - Mortgage One 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 8.69 7.74 7.39 7.25
BNZ - TotalMoney 8.69 - - -
CFML Loans 9.45 - - -
China Construction Bank - 7.09 6.75 6.49
China Construction Bank Special - - - -
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 6.79 - -
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 8.40 6.99 6.79 6.65
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Co-operative Bank - Standard 8.40 7.49 7.29 7.15
Credit Union Auckland 7.70 - - -
First Credit Union Special - 7.45 7.35 -
First Credit Union Standard 8.50 7.99 7.85 -
Heartland Bank - Online 7.99 6.89 6.55 6.35
Heartland Bank - Reverse Mortgage - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 8.90 7.60 7.40 -
HSBC Premier 8.59 - - -
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 7.85 7.05 6.69 6.59
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Kainga Ora 8.64 7.74 7.35 6.99
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - - - -
Kiwibank 8.50 7.99 7.79 7.55
Kiwibank - Offset 8.50 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 6.99 6.79 6.65
Liberty 8.59 8.69 8.79 8.94
Nelson Building Society 9.00 7.65 7.25 -
Pepper Money Advantage 10.49 - - -
Pepper Money Easy 8.69 - - -
Pepper Money Essential 8.29 - - -
Resimac - LVR < 80% 8.84 8.09 7.59 7.29
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Resimac - LVR < 90% 9.84 9.09 8.59 8.29
Resimac - Specialist Clear (Alt Doc) - - 8.99 -
Resimac - Specialist Clear (Full Doc) - - 9.49 -
SBS Bank 8.74 7.74 ▼7.09 ▲6.95
SBS Bank Special - 7.14 ▼6.49 ▲6.35
SBS Construction lending for FHB - - - -
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SBS Unwind reverse equity 9.95 - - -
Select Home Loans 9.24 - - -
TSB Bank 9.44 7.79 7.55 7.45
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
TSB Special 8.64 6.99 6.75 6.65
Unity 8.64 6.99 6.79 -
Unity First Home Buyer special - 6.55 6.45 -
Wairarapa Building Society 8.60 6.95 6.85 -
Westpac 8.64 7.84 7.35 6.99
Westpac Choices Everyday 8.74 - - -
Westpac Offset 8.64 - - -
Westpac Special - 7.24 6.75 6.39
Median 8.64 7.19 7.17 6.65

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