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The latest property & real estate news

Renowned real estate agent, John McGrath, is stepping away from the daily operations of the listed McGrath group amid a number of executive changes unveiled today.

The company has revealed as part of its profit results that chairman David Mackay, who oversaw the listing last year, will retire from the board and be replaced by Cass O’Connor.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Mr McGrath said his new job would focus on growing the company’s “brand, growth and innovation”.


A solid result, says John McGrath.



An agent who sold a couple’s house twice on the same day for a $100,000 mark-up has had his licence to practise real estate cancelled.

Aaron Hughes and two former Barfoot & Thompson colleagues were charged by the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) in connection with the on-selling of two South Auckland homes in 2014.

One, at 71 Fitzroy St, Papatoetoe, was re-sold by Hughes on the same day for an extra $100,000, earning him double commission totaling about $45,000.


Aaron Hughes Barfoot and Thompson real estate agent. Photo / File



New Zealand’s rapidly rising house prices are cranking up the economic risks for the financial institutions operating in the country, S&P Global Ratings said in a report.

S&P said that if a sharp correction in property prices were to occur, the impact on financial institutions would be amplified by New Zealand’s external weaknesses — its persistent current account deficits and high levels of external debt.

Residential property prices nationally have increased in excess of 10 per cent in the past year.


S&P said a burst in the asset price bubble appeared unlikely. Photo / Chris Loufte



A third of Aucklanders have considered moving out of the city as it becomes increasingly unaffordable, a new survey reveals.

Experts say the trend could leave the city short of workers such as teachers, nurses and police who can earn similar salaries in more affordable cities.

A poll conducted for website The Spinoff by research company SSI found one in three people (32.2 per cent) surveyed had considered moving away from Auckland in the last two years because of house prices.


A third of Aucklanders have considered moving out of the city as it becomes increasingly unaffordable, a new survey reveals. Photo / Jason Dorday



How the other half live and play – Real Housewives of Auckland star Michelle Blanchard created the biggest stir in the new reality series that aired on TV3 last night.

Blanchard, who has just completed a $7 million-plus revamp of the country home she owns with husband Dave, caused “life stylist” and model Angela Stone to break down in tears with one little faux pas.

Blanchard appeared to play the villain when she asked Stone if she was a “plus size” model, ouch.


Real Housewives star Michelle Blanchard is pictured in the country home she shares with husband Dave, which was recently renovated for more than $7m.


A busy property market is prompting more people to make offers on houses without doing enough due diligence.

Valuation firm QV warned earlier this year that it was seeing more “panic buying” and risky behaviour, driven by a fear of missing out.

Spokeswoman Andrea Rush said that was still happening.

“QV homevalue registered valuers continue to see unconditional offers being made in order to secure a property without buyers completing adequate due diligence,” she said.

House Buyers Panic

Skipping due diligence might save you $1000 in the short term but prove much more costly in the long run.


Auckland median rents are now $510/week, up 3 per cent annually according to the Trade Me Property Rental Index.

One and two bedroom Auckland places are a median $420/week, up 5 per cent from July last year.

Three to four bedroom places are now fetching $570/week, up 3.6 per cent annually, while large houses of five or more bedrooms are now $7870/week, up 4 per cent.

Auckland Rents

Auckland median rents are now $510/week, up 3 per cent annually according to the Trade Me Property Rental Index. Photo / Doug Sherring


Sally Ridge and her partner, Warren Fenning, are teaming up to enter Auckland’s property market.

The couple are studying towards National Certificates in Real Estate. Bayleys confirmed once they were registered agents, it was the pair’s intention to work out of the company’s Ponsonby office.


Sally Ridge and her partner Warren Fenning. Photo / Norrie Montgomery



It’s tempting to join the chorus of sinophiles who slapped “Adam” for suggesting Chinese speculators were building the Auckland property bubble.

But the spectre of large-scale money-laundering through cash buys in the Auckland market – which the anonymous real estate agent also raised – must be investigated.

It must not be simply swept under the carpet while the Government meanders slowly towards cracking down on the estimated $1.3 billion of “dirty money” washed through New Zealand each year.


Buoyant property prices reflect population growth – and the belief that ‘the Chinese pay the most’. Picture / Doug Sherring



Chinese invested $16.1 billion in overseas real estate in the first half of the year, more than double the amount in the same period last year, real estate consultancy CBRE said on Thursday.

The United States remained the most popular globalproperty market for Chinese investors, while hotels and offices were the most sought after types of real estate, CBRE said in a statement.

BEIJING, CHINA - 2009/04/11: Houses for sale at the 2009 US-China Real Estate summit & trade fair in Beijing. Under the new EB-5 Visa program, more and more US real estate agents come to China to sell houses, in an effort to weather the financial crisis. Chinese investors are welcome now because they have accumulated big amounts of cash and are easily attracted by new green card policy. Rich Chinese people tend to send their children to American for their education. (Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)

 (Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)




New Zealand homeowners with loans worth more than $3 billion have fallen behind on their mortgage payments.

The banks report the amount of home lending that is “past due” and impaired in their regular disclosure statements.

The big four banks had a total of $3.1 billion in past-due loans on their books in their most recent statements. These are loans that have not yet been classed as “impaired assets” by the banks – they still think they can expect to see repayments eventually.


It’s best to get in touch with your bank as soon as you can if you risk falling behind on your mortgage.



Chinese buyers in Australia are increasingly beating other bidders to the punch at auctions – and it’s not just because they have more cash to throw around, according to one leading auctioneer.

James Pratt, director of auctions for Raine & Horne and J Pratt Realty, says the skill set of Chinese buyers at auctions is “absolutely through the roof” compared with a few years ago.

Chinese Buyers

Chinese buyers have been described as ‘among the most sophisticated’ bidders at Australian property auctions. Photo / Getty Images



Auckland socialite Eli Devoy has been sentenced to five years in prison for her role in a complex mortgage fraud worth $9.2 million.

In June, Devoy was found guilty of conducting a series of property sales and purchases between July 2007 and December 2010 which deceived banks into approving mortgage applications that contained false information and supporting documents.

Eli Devoy

Judge Brooke Gibson said Eli Devoy showed a complete absence of remorse for her offending.



Domain goes inside Warnie’s new (old) pad

Shane Warne has reportedly spent between $14 million and $16 million to buy back a plush Brighton mansion he bought as a renovation rescue with ex-wife Simone Callahan.

Melville, the single-storey c1880 Victorian on an enormous 3014 square metre block with a tennis court and pool, includes six bedrooms (one occupying a house wing), seven bathrooms, a nine seat theatre and four car garage.

Shane Warne

Shane Warne is returning to Brighton and is very familiar with his newly-bought property: he bought it 16 years ago. Photo: Supplied



A former Abel Tasman beach owner has escaped bankruptcy by settling his debts with the Inland Revenue Department.

Michael Garnham was due to appear in High Court on Monday, but the case was withdrawn following settlement.

A bankruptcy hearing on June 30 was adjourned.

This comes just weeks after the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) filed a notice of discontinuation with the court against Garnham, his father-in-law Michael Spackman, and three companies the pair own, or are associated with.

* Former Abel Tasman beach owners settle $6.5 million debt to BNZ
* Former Abel Tasman beach owner Michael Garnham selling Fiji island
* Lost the beach, now lost the home
* BNZ seeks mortgagee sale of Abel Tasman beach owner’s $1.6m Wellington home
* Bank of New Zealand chasing Abel Tasman beach owner and others for millions
* Former beach owner could face court order to hand over financial records
* Sams Bay Holdings put in liquidation


IRD has dropped a bankruptcy case against Wellington lawyer Michael Garnham.


The Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) has just had its appeal, in a case involving real estate agent Alan Morton-Jones, upheld by the High Court.  In June last year, the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal (Tribunal) found Mr Morton-Jones guilty of four charges of misconduct in relation to short paying a number of clients of his property management business.


What can you get in Rio for the price of an average home in Auckland?

The Auckland average house price is now around NZ$950,000, and for many that’s totally unaffordable.

In Rio de Janeiro, it doesn’t exactly buy you complete luxury either, but it can get you a reasonable apartment in some famous locations.

Beach beauties in Rio de Janeiro



A GOLD Coast real estate agent who has sold millions of dollars worth of up-market homes is facing a possible ban for allegedly allowing her struck-off agent mother to act like an agent in her business.

Maserati-driving Sarah Penney-Filippini, 37, who sells million-dollar homes in the The Sovereign Islands estate on the Broadwater, is facing disciplinary charges in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal after an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.

AgentAgent 1

Real estate agent Sarah Filippini. Picture: Facebook



New research from ASB Bank has found a sharp drop in Kiwi opinions on whether it’s a good time to buy a house. Most also expect house prices to keep climbing over the next year.

And it’s not just Auckland – for the first time since 2014 people across every region think it’s a bad time to buy a new house.

The bank’s latest Housing Confidence report released this morning shows a sharp drop in confidence across the country, with a net 20 per cent thinking it is a bad time to buy.

Bad Time

ASB Bank’s quarterly report released this morning shows a sharp drop in housing confidence across the country, with a net 20pc thinking it is a bad time to buy. Photo / Michael Craig



After six years of saving and more than a year of searching, first-home buyers Hunter Wright and Sandi Langridge feel the dream of owning a house is out of reach. Adele Redmond reports as part of the Close to Home project.


Hunter Wright, left, and Sandi Langridge are struggling to buy a home in which to raise their nine-month-old son Arlo.



  • Posh and Becks set to LOSE £4million on their South of France mansion

    David and Victoria Beckham are getting ready to say ‘au revoir’ after deciding to sell their 200-acre luxury home in the South of France.

    Posh and Becks have rarely been seen at the Domaine Saint-Vincent mansion and have put the six-bedroom mansion on the market for £2.4million.

    The sale comes after the former Spice Girl spent a reported £5m renovating the 19th Century property to match her fashion-conscious tastes.



Scotland’s pipes are calling one of the country’s most prominent commercial property investors, Sir Robert Jones.

Holder of a $1.5 billion portfolio in Auckland, Wellington and Sydney, Sir Robert’s company has been looking for properties in Europe for several years.

More recently he has turned his attention to Scotland, where he has bought a late 80s, nine-storey office building in central Glasgow, currently occupied by the Bank of England among others.

Sir Robert takes a long view about Scotland’s prospects.

Sir Bob Jones buys ‘prettiest building in NZ’
Rich listers favour property investment, according to NBR Rich List


Property mogul Sir Robert Jones is moving into Scotland.



Our Reserve Bank is rightly proud of being the first independent central bank in the world to focus solely on achieving a targeted inflation rate.

It became a model that 30 other central banks have adopted. The scourge of high inflation in the 1970s and 1980s was tamed and consumers and employers alike became confident inflation would be around 2-3 per cent over the long run.

Huge Dollar

Our high dollar is hurting our exporters. Photo / Richard Robinson



The fabulous mansion that was home to the contestants in The Bachelor Australia television series in 2013 has been sold to freight tycoon Clive Thomas and wife Lee.

Domain says the couple parted with a massive A$7.05 million (NZ$7.52m) for La Joie de Vivre, which is described as an “opulent landmark best known for it starring role on the reality romance show in 2013 and the budding romance between bachelor Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich”.

The Bachelor House

La Joie de Vivre in Bayview, Sydney, better known as The Bachelor house, has been sold to freight tycoon Clive Thomas and his wife Lee.



Press Release – July 2016

Regional Commentary – July 2016

REINZ Residential Data Tables – July 2016




Time period Number of sales* Total value of sales
July 2016 1,034 properties $897,183,180
July 2015 1,388 properties $1,148,375,040
12 months to July 2016 12,964 properties $11,038,297,174
12 months to July 2015 13,201 properties $10,194,102,292

*Includes Barfoot & Thompson Auckland residential sales that have gone unconditional. Excludes Northland and commercial sales.

For the first time in 5 years, the Auckland housing market is showing unmistakable signs that prices are stabilising, and may even be plateauing.

“There has been a definite change in the market in the last month,” said Wendy Alexander, Chief Executive Officer of Barfoot & Thompson.

“The average price in July was $867,681, a fall of 4.5 percent on that for June, but more significantly 2 percent below the average price for the previous three months.

“The trend is not as evident in the median price, which at $840,000 was the same as in June, and 2.1 percent higher than the median price for the previous 3 months.

Wendy Alexander

PHOTO SOURCE: Barfoot & Thompson
  • Leaders Wellington Move to Ray White



Paul Davies, CEO and Founder of One Agency Real Estate Group, has forecast the failure of high overhead

businesses and particularly franchises as many areas head into uncertain market conditions and economic


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