Property spending revealed

Property investors are a hands-on group, according to the latest survey of the New Zealand Property Investors Federation membership.

Friday, August 8th 2014, 12:00AM

by The Landlord

The organisation surveyed its members in April, and has just released the full results. Just over 720 people filled out the survey.

It showed a typical federation investor is over 40, has been investing for at least 17 years and undertakes regular repairs and maintenance on their properties.

They also usually manage their own properties, select tenants and do regular property inspections. Almost 60% of those surveyed managed their own properties and another 19.4% used a combination of self-management and management by a company.

Trade Me was the most common avenue for seeking tenants, followed by word of mouth.

Those who self-managed had the greatest proportion of tenants who had been in place for more than five years: 13.8% for self-managed properties, compared to 12.3% for those who use an independent management firm.

Just under half had taken a case to the Tenancy Tribunal in the past five years – most often for cases of rent arrears and usually when the tenant had left the property. It took an average of 4.5 weeks for them to get a hearing and a quarter said the dispute was not resolved satisfactorily.

Mediations were a bit more successful – heard on average in 3.7 weeks and less than 20% were unsatisfied with the result.
The investors who responded owned properties throughout New Zealand worth $1.59 billion, and owed about half that amount. The largest proportion of the properties were in Christchurch, followed by Auckland.

The median property portfolio of all the investors surveyed was worth $1.4 million, with $620,000 debt and $780,000 in equity.
Respondents spent a total of $12.3 million on repairs and maintenance. The median amount spent was $1683.

NZPIF executive officer Andrew King said it was clear that property investors were paying their way.  “We estimate members are spending in excess of $400 million per annum on housing and building related services. This includes $225 million on mortgages and loans, insurance ($35 million), building and housing materials ($74 million), lawyers and accountants ($16 million), property managers ($26 million) and tradespeople ($27 million). This is a significant contribution to the NZ economy.”

A third of the investors had purchased a heater for their rental property, three-quarters of which were heat pumps, for an average price of $2546. Ninety per cent of the properties captured by the survey had insulation.

Just under a third of those surveyed had purchased a rental property in the last financial year.

Thirty-nine investors decided over the year that they would purchase fewer properties than they had started the year intending to, primarily because of rising interest rates.

Almost 60% of those surveyed expect the property market to increase in value over the next 12 months.

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