With the restrictions of the Level 4 lockdown lifted, it became business as unusual for Real Estate Agents and others involved in the property market. Personal movement was freed up, enabling pre-existing settlements to take place and Agents to carefully manage new viewings. At Langley Twigg, our move over the past two years towards a paperless office has really paid off. It has meant that, operating from offices at home, we could review contracts, have them signed by electronic means, and, with appropriate remote witnessing, enable our clients to settle.
Langley Twigg enjoys a substantial share of the Napier and Hastings conveyancing markets and are accordingly well placed to provide a number of observations:
What does this mean for the rest of this year as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic? No doubt your crystal ball is as good as ours. Some will see it as a “dead-cat bounce”. However when we consider the conditions that made for a strong market in the first three months of this year, we note that many of these still exist. Commentators have noted the likely resilience of the Hawke’s Bay economy with its low dependence on international tourism, attraction for domestic tourism, and strengths in agricultural products that are in demand in both home and export markets. Add to this the climate and lifestyle factors that make living in the Bay desirable, and we can’t help feel bullish about our little corner of the world.
New Zealand's Property Foreign Buyer Ban
Statistics NZ reveal that in the year ending June 2018, a mere 0.6% of houses sold in the Napier /Hastings area were sold to non NZ residents (27 houses in total). Our observation is that foreign investors tend to operate in the top end of our market where the numbers of sales are constrained (in July and August this year, only one house sold in Napier for more than $1 million).
The amendment to the Overseas Investment Act 2005 that will prevent non-NZ residents buying residential property comes into force on 22 October 2018. How exactly the Act will affect the market remains to be seen. Whereas its impact on first home buyers may be minimal, those trying to sell a top end property may face some headwinds as the ban takes effect, both directly and from the trickle-down as the Auckland market (in which 6% of sales are to non-residents) cools.
Here is some of the detail behind the Act, courtesy of fellow Law link firm Anderson Lloyd.
Increases to the Kiwisaver Homestart Grant
Good news for all those first home buyers (and some selected previous home buyers) out there. As of 1 August 2016 both the income and house price caps have all increased.
A individual with an income under $85,000.00 or a couple with a joint income under $130,000.00 is now eligible for the HomeStart Grant.
The House caps throughout the country have all increased by $50,000.00 for existing homes and $100,000.00 for New Builds.
Remember, if you have existing pre-approval for the HomeStart Grant but want to take advantage of these changes you will need to re-apply.
For further details be sure to chat to our property law and conveyancing team about how we can help out.
Must Do's In Commercial Leasing
With the general acceptance of the Auckland District Law Society commercial lease throughout the country landlords, tenants and commercial land agents can become a little complacent at the time they enter into a new lease.
When entering into an agreement to lease, the parties are agreeing to be locked into the terms and conditions of the standard form. Without reviewing its appropriateness for their circumstances, this can lead to unintended consequences.
The post-global financial crisis era has seen good landlords and tenants working together in their mutual best interests to ensure from the landlord’s perspective that their building is well let to a solid tenant, and from the tenant’s perspective that they have a building fit for purpose that they are able to profitably occupy.
The Christchurch earthquakes highlighted deficiencies in the standard form and led to it being reworked. Issues such as seismic ratings, no-access periods and remedial works were scarcely thought of in the past.
Sustainability and the move towards energy efficiency and green star design ratings can add to a property’s desirability. The new Health and Safety Legislation will add another layer of onerous responsibility onto landlords.
Potential tax implications, overseas investment issues being inadvertently triggered, and the complexities of leasing a building “off the plan” all require additional care and thought. Simple things such as who is responsible for keeping the building weather tight, maintaining the insurance for plate glass windows and payment of outgoings can lead to some confusion and may require that the standard form be amended.
For both landlord and tenant we recommend that you talk to a member of our team prior to signing an agreement to lease.
Peter Twigg, Partner
Langley Twigg's team of Hawke's Bay lawyers keeps you up to date on all the latest legal news.
⇣ Drag elements to your Custom Footer Container ⇣