Market Watch by Bryan Thomson

The residential real estate market always seems to be on the front page of our many media publications, and on the verbal dance card of every social engagement where kiwi’s gather. Many wonder why this is the case, but we shouldn’t wonder at all. The simple reality is that we are a nation of homeowners, home builders and a nation who understands well, the positive impact on social cohesion and family life that owning your own home has. Wrapped around this is the intimate understanding of the importance of securing your own financial future, rather than investing in the futile hope that some “elected expert” will look after us later in life.

This focus, and our beliefs are what underpin the focus on property as an ideal investment vehicle to secure our futures, and drives the interest that property related stories generate whenever they feature in our media. When you couple our emotional attachment to property with the multiple financial and logical advantages of this investment class compared to leaving your investments funds in the hands of others. As a property investor you might rightly feel you’re one of the “smart ones”. Of course, contribution to society is often ignored when discussing property investment, with some suggesting it has a negative impact by driving prices higher. This is a foolish view in my opinion when viewed based on reality. The simple fact is that a section of our population requires access to safe, warm, and healthy rental accommodation, either because they choose to rent even though they are in a position to buy, or due to not being able to purchase their own home right now. Multiple governments have proven that the state cannot satisfy this need and that is where property investors come into play, we should be proud of the property we provide to meet this need, and the way most property investors treat their tenants and families.

So, when should you buy your next investment property? The standard answer is ‘20 years ago’, but the second best time is right now! Why, you ask? Well, put simply, investors look to the long term, not some short term ‘buy now and sell soon’ for a profit. People who take the short-term view are traders and live on their wits, take the wins, and live with the losses. These traders should not be confused with committed investors as this just muddies the waters for everyone.

All this aside though, every kiwi loves to feel they’ve had a win and have “bought well”, so is now the right time to buy given all the chatter around the economy? My answer is simply YES. We have already seen a realignment of prices across New Zealand after the frantic times of 2021. Seasoned economic commentators are suggesting that inflation has likely peaked, and we are seeing major lending institutions reducing some mortgage interest rate offerings. Available listing numbers have increased providing more choice for buyers and we have seen some adjustments of the CCCFA rules which created difficulty for borrowers previously. Now don’t get me wrong, we may see some further price slippage over the next few months - but how much and when will this reverse, and increases start you may ask? The answer is simple, nobody rings a bell when the market hits the bottom, you only know it’s happened when prices start rising and you’re back competing - wishing you’d bought sooner - so here is my advice to all of you. The bell is ringing loud and clear, right now is the best time to be active in the market and buying that we have seen for a number of years, search well, select a property that fits your criteria and buy it. Others who think they are clever and wait for the bottom may well look back and say I wish I’d listened.

Speak to your Harcourts real estate agent or property manager to find the best investment for you.