Forget the malls for Boxing Day bargains

Monday 24 December 2012

It’s tis the season to be jolly – and hunting for housing bargains.

By Philip Macalister

This time of the year drives me crazy. Trying to get everything done before Christmas. Organising things so it’s possible to have a holiday. Buying presents for everyone and then all this eating and drinking.

But one thing that is worth trying to squeeze is a bit of house hunting.

It’s not because there is all this talk about the housing market.

Indeed I don’t have a crystal ball to make predictions of where house prices and rents will go. I’m not into making predictions like the infamous one where house prices were going to fall 30%.

What I do though is try to understand how the housing market works and what economic drivers are likely to impact on it.

There are lots of factors and each market is different. For instance the Auckland market is full of individual markets and they are different to say a provincial town like Rotorua.

Overall though the housing market is looking positive. In the January issue of NZ Property Investor Magazine we have asked lots of people for their views on the housing market next year.

There’s a range of views and themes coming through – and they aren’t all gung-ho house prices only go one way views.

There is a theme of be sensible. Don’t get caught up in all this hype. Make sure deals stack up and are tested before doing them.

Another big theme coming through is around finance and getting it right.  The general theme coming through is one of pragmatic optimism.

Why go house hunting now? Well lots of people are too busy doing all these other pre-Christmas and holiday things so there are fewer buyers in the market.

On the other side there are people who for whatever reasons, be it health, finance or something else, which impels them to do a deal.

If these people are willing sellers then there is no reason not to be a willing buyer.

Instead of racing out to Boxing Day specials and blowing money on things that, often, aren’t really necessary, why not think of buying a house.

I know one property investor who bought a rental the other day for $105,000. The deposit was around $10,000. The property had a good tenant paying around $240 a week in rent and the interest rate was around the 5% mark.

The property pays for itself and was bought below valuation.

That’s a pretty nice present. But a little too big to gift wrap and put under the Christmas tree.

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