Fields of gold
Monday 31 May 2004
After nearly 20 years selling rural real estate, Bill Symonds has seen his fair share of ups and downs.
By The LandlordAs the high dollar began to bite late last year he, like many in the rural sector, was prepared for the economic fallout.
Six months later he is still waiting.
"The downturn hasn't happened and I don't think it will happen," he says.
"Commodity prices have ups and downs but we've had strong demand for five years now. It's still strong. We've got more buyers than sellers."
Symonds - who is based at Te Kuiti and specialises in large sheep and cattle farms - is convinced that this long boom is sustainable.
"Buying a farm is not about a short-term investment. Most of the people I deal with are in for the long haul," he says. "There is long-term confidence."
It's not hard to find experts to back up Symonds' gut feeling.
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Auckland’s housing market saw another slump in sales volumes in May but prices are holding steady, according to the city’s largest real estate agency.
Periods of house price decline are rare and "short-lived", says economist Tony Alexander, amid forecasts of a drop of 10%-15% this year.
Banks have not relaxed loan-to-value ratio limits for investors, despite the Reserve Bank's move to scrap LVR rules.