Thursday news in brief

Life is busy and it’s easy to miss some of the stories that hit the news. So here’s a brief rundown of some of the stories that might have slipped by you this week…

Thursday, July 6th 2017, 12:00AM

by The Landlord

Controversy over Auckland SHAs

Stalled progress on increasing Auckland’s supply of affordable housing has left both Auckland Council and Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith under fire this week.

Under the Auckland Housing Accord, the Council and the government have established more than 150 Special Housing Areas (SHAs), which are intended to fast-track building tens of thousands of new homes – 10% of which are meant to be priced affordably.

But it has now emerged that neither the Council or Smith are able to say how many affordable homes have been built in the SHAs to date. Further, 86 of the SHAs no longer exist as they have been superseded by the Auckland Unitary Plan.

This has left critics and political opponents accusing Smith of not taking the housing crisis seriously and putting lives at risk, but Prime Minister Bill English said Smith was doing a good job of increasing housing supply in Auckland.

Read more: Consents trend recovering 

Resale loss more likely for investors

The number of properties resold at a gross loss dropped to just 3.7% in the March quarter from 4.2% in the previous quarter, CoreLogic’s latest Pain and Gain report reveals.

CoreLogic head of research Nick Goodall said strong, long term growth in national values is behind the reduction in properties reselling at a loss. But some regions, along with property investors, are more likely to face a loss with resales.

“Our analysis indicates investors occupy a riskier position in the market compared to owner occupiers, mainly due to the types of properties they buy and the parts of New Zealand they’re active in.”

The report also found stand-alone houses were more likely to deliver profits than apartments in the March quarter, with just 3.4% of houses reselling at a loss compared to 7.4% of apartment resales.

Read more: Seven top tips to get a property sale ready 

NZ First plans to insulate 530,000 homes

More warm, dry homes are needed in New Zealand and, as one of its first major policy promises, NZ First leader Winston Peters has announced that his party will make this possible.

He said that the government was planning to axe the Warm Up NZ insulation programme next year, but 530,000 New Zealand homes still have no or inadequate insulation and that is putting the health of many children and older people at risk.

NZ First’s Insulate NZ programme, which will be a Public Private Partnership, will target those homes. “We will aim to insulate 53,000 homes each year at $1000 for each house which works out at $53 million a year over 10 years.”

Insulation has again been a hot topic of late and this week the Green Party announced that one of its policy’s is to increase funding for the Warm Up NZ insulation programme.

Read more: Insulation wake-up call 

Sunshine tied to property value

The number of hours of sunshine that a house gets a day has a direct impact on its price, according to new, world-first research from the Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust.

The Valuing Sunshine study found that each additional hour of direct sunlight exposure for a house per day, on average across the year, adds 2.4% to a dwelling’s market value.

Motu senior fellow and study co-author Arthur Grimes said the research was designed to put a value on sunlight. “This is so that the change can be priced, potentially enabling compensation for affected owners and better valuation of development sites.”

However, concerns have been raised that the research could be used by people opposed to intensification in cities, particularly Auckland, which need greater intensification to boost their housing supply.

Read more: What could intensification mean for investors 

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