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Apartment market warnings disputed

Dire warnings about a price crash due to an impending oversupply in Auckland’s apartment market are incorrect, according to a prominent apartment specialist.

Monday, June 15th 2015, 12:33PM

by Miriam Bell

City Sales managing director Martin Dunn said that Auckland’s dwelling supply shortage means recent reports an oversupply of low-quality apartments could flood the market, causing prices to crash, belied common sense.

On the contrary, he believes the ongoing shortage combined with the possibility some banks might drop the minimum deposit to purchase a new build apartment from 20% down to 15%, mean apartment prices are likely to go “ballistic”.

City Sales data showed the SuperCity’s apartment market was flat, in terms of apartment costs per square metre, between 2005 and 2012.

Since 2012, there has been a cost increase of about 50% from $4,000 per square metre, in the 2005-2012 period, to $6,000 per square metre now.

Given current circumstances, Dunn said there was likely to be an increase in apartment costs from $6,000 per square metre to $9,000 per square metre.

And, while the SuperCity continues to struggle with a shortage of apartments, apartments costs were not going to crash, he said.

“Auckland needs up to 20,000 more dwellings – including apartments – to be built each year to keep up with demand. Currently, the number being build is considerably down on that.

“There are not enough skilled tradespeople to rebuild Christchurch, let alone build the number of dwellings Auckland needs.”

Dunne added that he does not believe the apartment market will face a bubble.

However, Property Institute chief executive Ashley Church has warned that an apartment bubble is possible.

It could occur if the Reserve Bank enacted loan-to-income restrictions, as has been speculated in recent days, and if banks did drop the minimum deposit needed to buy a new build apartment.

Church said the combination of these initiatives would trigger the law of unintended consequences, leading to an apartment bubble.

Property investors – who could also feel some impact from any such new rules – could also start buying apartments in large numbers, further fuelling an apartment bubble.

“While it is unlikely, it is not impossible.

“There’s no rocket science in this: if you close one door and make going through another more attractive – the result is going to be pretty obvious”.

Should an apartment bubble develop, the quality of new apartments would suffer and rental costs for free-standing homes would increase, Church said.

“Within 7 to 10 years Auckland would become a highly ‘intensified’ city with large numbers of low quality apartments dotting the landscape and free-standing residential homes becoming the preserve of the well-off and wealthy renters.”

« Housing a key economic issue for NZ - OECDHobsonville development sped up to boost supply »

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 4.55 2.55 2.69 2.79
ANZ 4.44 3.15 3.25 3.39
ANZ Special - 2.55 2.69 2.79
ASB Bank 4.45 2.55 2.69 2.79
Bluestone 3.49 3.49 3.49 3.49
BNZ - Classic - 2.55 2.69 2.79
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 4.60 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 4.55 3.15 3.29 3.39
BNZ - TotalMoney 4.55 - - -
CFML Loans 4.95 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
China Construction Bank 4.49 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
Credit Union Auckland 5.45 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
Credit Union South 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 2.95 3.45 -
Heartland 3.95 2.89 2.97 3.39
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 3.85 3.95 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.45 2.60 2.65
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 3.69 2.55 2.65 2.79
Kainga Ora 4.43 2.93 3.07 3.24
Kiwibank 3.40 3.30 3.54 3.54
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40 - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.40 2.55 2.79 2.79
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 3.45 3.49 -
Pepper Essential 4.79 - - -
Resimac 3.39 3.35 2.99 3.35
SBS Bank 4.54 3.05 3.19 3.25
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
SBS Bank Special - 2.55 2.69 2.75
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 2.55 2.69 2.79
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 3.05 3.19 3.29
TSB Bank 5.34 3.29 3.45 3.59
TSB Special 4.54 2.49 2.65 2.79
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.55 3.49 -
Westpac 4.59 3.15 3.29 3.39
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
Westpac Special - 2.55 2.69 2.79
Median 4.55 3.00 3.13 3.02

Last updated: 1 September 2020 5:00am

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