Measuring the impacts of the Canterbury earthquakes on the residential property market.

Lincoln University are conducting an on-line survey to see how prospective home buyers view the risk associated with land zoning (TC1, TC2, TC3) and the likelihood of flooding, how this affects the price they are willing to pay, areas prospective buyers prefer, and construction preferences. The survey, Residents’ perceptions relating to residential property in Canterbury post the earthquakes is open to all who want to participate and starts here. The survey is for both homeowners and renters. A few questions are detailed however you can leave a question unanswered if you wish. Some questions were unclear when I did it, so left them blank. The following introductory information is from the Lincoln website.

Professor Sandy Bond from Lincoln University is currently conducting research to investigate householders’ perceptions towards the impacts of the Canterbury earthquakes on the residential property market. The 22 February 2011 Canterbury earthquake had a devastating impact on Christchurch property with the significant damage caused to land and buildings. As at July 2012, 7541 properties have been zoned Red, including 406 properties in the Port Hills – that is, the land damage was so severe that it is uneconomic to be repaired and will not be able to be rebuilt on. The overall impact on the residential property market has been dramatic with the initial number of sales stalling due in part to difficulty getting access to insurance and mortgage finance.

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Southern Response progress information

Southern Response have created a web page to make public their performance as measured against KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) they have set for themselves. The following is from the page (here):

Southern Response has identified some key indicators which we will use to record our progress in settling over cap claims (claims which exceed EQC cover and have been passed to the private insurer to manage). Each month, these figures will be updated, creating a record of Southern Response’s progress as Canterbury moves through its rebuild. We currently estimate our total claim exposure is $2.789b before EQC contributions; $1.934b after EQC contributions.  We welcome suggestions for other data that customers may require to track our progress.  If this data is available and useful in a general sense, we will seek to supply it in future months.

The figures are broken down for the Red, White and Green zones and, within the Green Zone for TC1, TC2, and TC3. The main information is provided in table form, with graphs below that.

Red Zone workshops – Avonside and Wainoni Q&A available

CERA yesterday posted on their website the questions recorded at the Avonside and Wainoni workshops held in March, along with the answers from the various agencies present (here). The delay in making them available arose from time spent to ensure the answers were as full, plain English, and up to date as possible. As some of the answers are more detailed and up to date than those provided at earlier workshops held in other areas they will have relevance to other Red Zoners. Some of the records of previous have workshops have been changed to include this updated information. .

Finding sections to build on in the greater Christchurch region

If you are thinking of devoting some of Easter to looking for a place to build, the Press has a web page that can help.

Using a map of the greater Christchurch area, you click on the button for the area you want, and are taken to information on subdivisions underway in that area. Click on the name of the subdivision and information about section numbers, sizes, and prices will pop up. The page is here.

When visiting subdivisions don’t forget to check out the conditions that apply to the sections – size, design and colour of the house, restrictions on animals and the age of your car, where you can have your barbecue, and what trees and shrubs are permitted.
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Real estate agents and their tricks

Back on the 28th of October the New Zealand Herald printed an article, Real estate agent tricks to watch out for, by Diana Clement.

The theme of article is summarised in the 3rd paragraph:

The majority of real estate agents do a good job and earn a fair income overall. Choosing the wrong agent, however, could potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars – either through unnecessary commissions or jiggery pokery which ensures you sell for too little or pay too much.

and then goes on to cover the misconduct and disciplinary issues that have arisen in the real estate industry and how the occasional rogue agent keeps popping up. Some of the inappropriate practices are also mentioned:
Other common tricks agents play, which aren’t necessarily in the best interest of the vendor or buyer, include:
  • Pushing vendors to pay for advertising they don’t need in order to market the agency, not the property. Some agents take a cut from this advertising as well.
  • Quoting unrealistic prices in the hope of grabbing the business and then conditioning the vendor down.
  • Citing ranges of pricing to buyers that are lower than the vendor will accept in order to lure in buyers or condition down sellers.
  • Failing to disclose that the agent is either selling or buying the property personally or on behalf of a close relative.
The article is a very good read and can be found here.

If you want to find out whether an agent has been the subject of a complaint in the past, or are curious about the things your local agents get up to, go to the Real Estate Agents Authority (a government agency) website here. The link to the database of complaints is here and you can search by the agents name or location (e.g. a search on Christchurch will bring up all complaints recorded against Christchurch real estate agents). Clicking on the case number will provide you with lots of details including a link to the decision.
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