Harcourts New Zealand in conjunction with the Harcourts Foundation have been named as the exclusive real estate partner for Plunket New Zealand.
Being New Zealand’s largest and most trusted real estate brand, Harcourts offers Plunket the base and network to build and support communities at scale; which was one of the key factors in being named the exclusive partner ahead of other competitor real estate brands. In addition to the national brand partnership, through a network of 194 offices across New Zealand, there is a huge opportunity for the local Harcourts offices to work with the local Plunket centres to support their communities.
We have seen this work first hand through our national partnership with Hospice New Zealand and we have found that local connection is one of the most important ways to succeed; as Harcourts teams see the impact of their contributions first-hand. We are thrilled to be able to extend this further throughout the community.
We are honoured to be able to partner with the largest provider of free support services for the development, health and well-being of children under five in New Zealand. It will be great to see the positive impact of this partnership which will enable donations to be made to Plunket through the Harcourts Foundation.
Serving approximately 85-90% of kiwi families, it is easy to see how what we do together can achieve great outcomes for so many New Zealanders. Exciting times are ahead.
There is no doubt that Spring has come early to the Property Market in our city, with the release of the REINZ Sales figures for August.
Sales volumes have leapt up yet again from the low levels experienced in July. August showed that there were 539 Property Sales in the City in August, up by a massive 21.6% over the previous month.
At the same time, there was a small recorded lift in the Median Sale Price to $440,000.00. This lift in volume has occurred slightly earlier than normal but was expected (probably more so in actual September). The reason as I said is simply because Spring has come early. The good weather we have been experiencing and warm temperatures have brought the sellers and more buyers into the market a little earlier than expected.
Our Christchurch market remains solid and steady with prices staying consistently steady as well. The days on market have remained constant at a 37 day average for a few months now. As a consequence, writing this report can almost be repetitive.
The lift in the median sale price, I think is a reflection of more sales activity in the top and the market rather than any real price movement, as long-term results show the median sale price has for many months now consistently hovered in the $440,000 plus or minus $5000 range.
Here at Harcourts we are seeing a lot more new stock coming into the Market and as we have said many times these has always been a good base of potential buyers waiting in the wings over winter for freshly listed property to be available, and its obvious those buyers are ready to purchase well priced new listings.
Our industry will have some new legislation changes to grapple with over the coming months with the introduction of changes to the Overseas Investments Act essentially coming into play mid-October – in layman’s terms that is the ban on foreign buyers.
Then from the 1st January we will have legislation around Anti-Money Laundering that we will also need to comply with, requiring us to verify the identity of our vendor clients.
I can only stress if you are in any part of the Christchurch Real Estate Market you need to be working with the best professionally trained and most current Real Estate Company to ensure there are no legislation issues, regardless of whether you are a buyer or seller.
I also know that that Company is Harcourts – Give us a call!
We know Christchurch, We know our Market and We Sell most of it! Its our job to look after you and help you get the sale you want.
Jim Davis - Harcourts South Island Regional Manager
While listings in the city are low even after accounting for the winter doldrums, surrounding areas are picking up the slack with activity spurred on by lower prices, lifestyle options and roading upgrades that are set to further improve prospects for commuting.
Rising alongside these markets is a Harcourts franchise that has grown from its Rangiora roots to double in size over the past three years.
Now, Harcourts Four Seasons is adding an eighth office, in Lincoln, and from this month will have 100 salespeople in a sweeping territory that runs from Hanmer Springs to Rakaia.
The company was set up as Twiss-Keir Realty in the mid-1980s but earlier this year moved to new branding with the takeover of the Harcourts Four Seasons offices in Hornby and Rolleston.
Co-owner James Twiss says about 40 per cent of business is still in Christchurch, where they have three branches, but the energy and growth prospects of the market are a step beyond the urban fringe.
The area around Woodend is looking like “the next Rolleston” and it will be interesting to see if the local council supports industrial expansion alongside subdivisions Ravenswood and Pegasus, he says.
Lincoln is also seeing strong growth and last month’s announcement Canterbury and Lincoln universities might merge is the latest sign of closer economic ties between the city and satellite town.
However, it’s the new motorway networks that is underpinning much of the residential expansion at the moment, Twiss says.
“We noticed it almost straight away when we joined with Hornby and Rolleston from Rangiora. There was a really strong crossover of buyers who were looking both north and south of the city.”
The realisation buyers were after a lifestyle more than a particular location was like discovering a new market, Twiss says, one where traditional notions of distance were being collapsed by highways like the Western Corridor, which skirts the city from Belfast to Hornby. Further motorway upgrades are on the way for Rolleston and the north of the city, which will see a third major passageway open with the Cranford St bypass.
Twiss says Rolleston is further along the growth path, leaving some of the best capital gains potentially in the area north of Kaiapoi.
Harcourts Four Seasons is well-positioned for an overview of the market, being the only real estate firm covering all areas around the city. Its model of close internal networking, wherein any sales agent can show and sell any home listed with the group, also works to its advantage in the geographically diverse yet connected market.
“People who list with us get huge exposure,” Twiss says. “We’re now really looking forward to bringing some more competition to the Lincoln market.”
Six salespeople will initially be based at the Lincoln branch, including some who have always lived in the town but until now have worked from other offices.
“We’ve got a big brand with a proven record, and now we’ve got the whole Canterbury-Christchurch area covered. We’re the only ones doing that,” Twiss says.
Call the Harcourts Four Seasons Team on 0800 789 1011 or visit harcourtsfourseasons.co.nz.
Twiss Keir Realty bought fellow Harcourts franchise Four Seasons last November, incorporating offices in Rolleston, Hornby and Lincoln (opening soon) into a long-running operation that now has eight branches reaching as far north as Hanmer Springs.
We are the largest property management company in North Canterbury with personalised service from local Property Managers who know and live in the markets they work in. We have six property managers plus three support staff - so you can be assured there is always somebody on hand taking care of your business.
With so many changes to legislation surrounding rental properties at present you need a team of dedicated and experienced Property Managers to navigate these changes and ensure you are not at risk of breaching tenancy law.
Harcourts.co.nz has more traffic than any other real estate company, therefore we have more eyeballs on vacant properties,
giving you the best chance to rent your property.
We specialise in sorting out difficult managements so if you have problem tenant or a property that is not renting come and see us and we will straighten up what needs to happen to rent it out.
Let us keep a really close eye on your investment. Talk to one of our friendly and experienced team today on 0800 789 1011 or 027 202 4472. Better Local Property Management.
... even as listings dipped in the city, indicating the “untapped potential” of surrounding areas is starting to be realised, one of the region’s top realtors says.
James Twiss, co-owner of Harcourts Four Seasons, oversees eight offices spanning the area from Hanmer Springs to Lincoln.
About 40 per cent of the company’s business is in Christchurch, and Twiss says while listings there are about eight per cent down on this time last year, activity outside the city has shown no sign of the usual seasonal slowdown.
The area encompassing Kaiapoi, Woodend, Ravenswood and Pegasus is now looking like “the next Rolleston” and offers a lot of potential for people getting in early, he says.
“There’s a lot of value there that I don’t think people have properly understood yet. Historically, if you were picking residential property in North Canterbury you would be looking at Kaiapoi and Rangiora but that’s widened a lot.
“What’s happening is all the transport links are opening up, and the council is focusing a lot of its growth attention into that corner.”
Twiss says commercial investment and jobs would likely follow the population, which would in turn help drive capital gains for the area's current homeowners.
Commuting into Christchurch for work will also become more attractive as transport options continue to improve, he says.
In a little over a year, there are due to be three major routes into Christchurch, with the Cranford St bypass joining passages along Johns Rd and Main North Rd.
“When you’re talking about growth, it means the jobs don’t need to be on your doorstep,” Twiss says.
Harcourts Four Seasons is well-positioned for a wide overview of the market. Having expanded last November to incorporate offices in Hornby and Rolleston, the team formerly known as Twiss-Keir Realty gained a territory that sweeps from its North Canterbury base, around and through Christchurch, out to Lincoln and Rolleston.
They soon noticed many buyers were looking for homes both north and south of the city. “Its eerie how similar it is. It’s like we’re discovering a new market,” Twiss said in May.
He says it now appears the Woodend region is following a similar trajectory to Rolleston – for several years the country's fastest growing town.
Lincoln is also performing well, he says, noting that value for money is a big part of the equation.
In Christchurch, meanwhile, lower-than-usual listings over winter don’t necessarily mean a slump, Twiss cautions.
Rather, the high number of appraisals being done by Harcourts Four Seasons suggests owners are gearing up a for spring listing. This is despite advantages to listing in winter.
“There’s always more competition in spring but the number of buyers is usually the same,” Twiss says.
For people looking to buy, he advises contacting with a salesperson because there are usually properties available that aren’t being actively marketed.
* Harcourts Four Seasons has offices in Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Hanmer Springs, Belfast, The Palms, Hornby, Rolleston and Lincoln (opening soon), as well as a dedicated property management division.
The expansion of North Canterbury’s top real estate firm southwest of Christchurch is fast closing the divide between two of the region’s most prized lifestyle areas. Twiss Keir Realty bought fellow Harcourts franchise Four Seasons last November, incorporating offices in Rolleston and Hornby into a long-running operation that now has seven branches reaching as far north as Hanmer Springs.
It is the largest and busiest real estate team in Canterbury, with 92 salespeople, 40 office support staff and 12 in a property management division.
Harcourts Four Seasons co-owner James Twiss says the expansion was designed to help the business better weather periodic slow downs in the market, with the Harcourts model providing strength in numbers by letting salespeople show or sell any property listed with the company. This emphasis on networking gives sellers the greatest possible reach and lets home buyers access a vast market through a single point of contact.
However, Twiss says it quickly became apparent that connecting North Canterbury with the fast-growing Selwyn District had a value greater than the sum of its parts. In both markets, people were essentially looking for the same thing, he says; modern, spacious homes in safe communities within easy commuting distance of town. People looking in Rolleston were often looking north of Christchurch, too.
“It’s eerie how similar it is. It’s like we’re discovering a new market where we’re able to transfer buyers and sellers across the city. With our structure of offices, we’ve got both sides covered. We’re the only company doing that.”
Twiss says the success of this crossover was made possible “almost overnight” by the Western Corridor motorway, which takes people from Belfast to Hornby and beyond on high-speed roads that are collapsing traditional notions of distance. “There is really good value in North Canterbury and people are realising that. Prices haven’t spiralled out of control, so you might be saving $100,000,” he says.
Harcourts has 470 real estate agents working cooperatively across Canterbury, and Twiss says while this network helps, the emphasis on
family and “good people” is equally important at Harcourts Four Seasons.
Twiss’s father, Geoffrey Twiss, founded the business in the mid-1980s and co-owner Greg Roberts also has numerous family members on the team.
Harcourts Four Seasons has offices in Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Hanmer Springs, Belfast, The Palms, Hornby, Rolleston and a new branch opening soon in Lincoln. Contact information: 0800 789 1011 or harcourtsfourseasons.co.nz.
Good Night Sleep Tight Charitable Trust’s mission is “ensuring that all children in the greater Christchurch area go to bed warm by supplying children in need with winter bedding and sleepwear.”
Harcourts Twiss-Keir Realty Ltd is proud to support Good Night Sleep Tight with a donation through the Harcourts Foundation, which will go towards purchashing 400 new packs that include pyjamas, singlets, slippers, dressing gowns, sheets, duvets, hats and gloves.
No matter what the cause, the Harcourts Foundation provides support to hundreds of organisations, enriching the lives of thousands of people in our communities.
The Harcourts Foundation has been around since 2008, so this year we are celebrating being 10 years-old.
Outdated meth contamination levels will continue to hamper private and municipal landlords for the foreseeable future.
Vacant state houses will be made available in a matter of weeks, but private homeowners with meth blemishes on their LIM reports will have to wait to have their records cleared.
Two hundred Housing New Zealand homes, including seven in the Waikato, will be put back in the letting pool after the Prime Minister's Chief Science Adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, exposed a fatal flaw in accepted thinking around methamphetamine contamination.
Sir Peter Gluckman said there is no risk from meth smoking residue in homes. Standards NZ manager Carmen Mak said the national standard on methamphetamine testing and remediation is voluntary. Private landlords, however, must adhere to that national standard which, officially, has not changed.
Hamilton City Council city safe manager Kelvin Powell says nothing will change unless national meth standards officially shift.The meth testing and decontamination regime was developed at a time when there was uncertainty around safe levels of contamination.
"It was the first of its kind and as with all standards, they are developed as guidance and are voluntary unless cited in legislation," Mak said.
Gluckman found New Zealand authorities had made a "leap in logic" in setting standards - using an overseas standard based on what clandestine laboratories should be cleaned to. There was an absence of clear scientific and health information and an assumption trace levels of meth residue pose a health risk. In fact, he said, there was "absolutely no evidence" of any harm caused from passive use and safe levels are as high as 15 micrograms per 100 square centimetres. The national standard is a tenth of that.
Housing NZ is applying the proposed new standard immediately, a Housing NZ spokesperson said on Thursday, allowing more than 200 properties throughout the country to be filled. The first houses are expected to be re-let "in a matter or weeks".
But Hamilton City Council city safe manager Kelvin Powell said council adheres to the national standard on methamphetamine testing and remediation and unless it changes, council processes stay the same. He pointed to the Ministry of Health website, which adopts a contamination level of 1.5 microgram per 100 square centimetres.
"At this stage, the national standards we work to have not changed, so we are continuing to use the same processes," Powell said. "This also means there will be no changes to the way we report information on our LIMs." LIM reports are a summary of information on a property, noting codes of compliance, swimming pools, public stormwater and special features. They are used by house hunters to ensure they know if there are any problems with a property in their sights - including meth contamination - and has seen some vendors selling for well below the market rate and buyers spending heavily to remedy new purchases.
Any review of the standard will need to be done under the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015, require a committee formed of interested stakeholders and a draft sent out for public consultation before final approval by the independent Standards Approval Board.
Moving to a new town or city can be overwhelming, particularly if you're trying to choose a neighbourhood to buy a home in. While it’s true that what a great neighbourhood looks like can differ person to person, all great neighbourhoods do share some common factors that are universally appealing. Here we explore 10 signs the neighbourhood you live in (or would like to live in) is a good one.
Even if you don’t have children now, buying a property within an area renowned for great schools has a very positive affect on property prices. In most places, you generally need to live within a public school’s catchment area in order to send your child to that particular school, and some parents are willing to pay top dollar to ensure they live in the catchment area of a great public school.
Low crime rates
This is a pretty universal sign of a good neighbourhood. We all want to live in an area where we feel safe and secure and savvy property buyers will do their research and look at crime rates when it comes to moving to a new area, with this information readily available online.
A well-rounded neighbourhood is one that offers different things to different people. This could mean they’re plenty of nearby cafes and bars for foodies, walking and hiking trails for active locals, or even local clubs and leagues for engaged community members.
Living in an area where residents don’t have to travel too far to get out and about and enjoy the great outdoors makes an area more appealing. Think of parks, playgrounds, golf courses, tennis courts, public pools and even nearby lakes and rivers.
Not only does a neighbourhood look amazing when each house is well presented, but it also shows that your neighbours take a lot of pride in their home, a good sign for any prospective property buyer or seller. This doesn’t have to mean you live in a street of luxury properties either, great presentation starts with a mowed lawn, neat and tidy yard, freshly painted façade and clean, well-maintained footpaths.
Leafy and well established
Even in inner-city areas, a leafy main road, with well-established older buildings and homes can look really inviting. It shows the area has a bit of heritage given the age of the trees that line most streets and the age of the buildings which have been maintained over time.
Aside from great schools lots of factors play a part in making an area appeal to families. Funnily enough, most are listed above. In addition to these an area which has larger homes on potentially larger blocks is probably going to appeal more to families than say the heart of the city, where units run significantly smaller, with little to no outdoor spaces available.
Public transport and walkability
In larger areas being close to public transport is a must with a huge number of commuters relying on buses, rail and ferries to get them to work every day. Walkability is also a big factor though, being able to leave the car at home to get to nearby attractions like markets, shops and cafes makes an area really desirable.
Not everyone loves the idea of travelling into an inner city to have dinner, see a movie or catch-up for drinks, so residential areas that also boast great local cafes, bars or theatres are always popular. As are those with great famiy entertainment options such as playgrounds, sports grounds, libraries and cinemas.
Being close to the shops is not just convenient it can be a drawcard that gets people to visit a neighbourhood. Weekend markets are popular neighbourhood attractions, as are large-scale shopping centres, supermarkets, and unique local boutiques.
This weekend, why not look around your local neighbourhood and see what makes your area special. It’s great to be aware of the major selling points in your location, and if you’re interested in buying in a particular area, why not see how it stacks up in the desirability stakes? If you're looking to buy in an area completely new to you your Harcourts Twiss-Keir sales consultant will have a good knowlege of the local area and will be able to answer questions about a neighbourhood.
Recently, we celebrated our Harcourts end of financial year awards at the Wigram Airforce Museum. The breakfast function is to celebrate the success and hard work of the Harcourts salespeople in the Canterbury region over the previous 12 months.
Competition is strong, particularly as Harcourts market share in the greater Canterbury market is well in advance of 40%. In a New Zealand context Harcourts in Christchurch is seen as the bench mark against which all other markets compare. Twiss-Keir and Four Seasons provided some outstanding results and it is worth mentioning a few.
Licensed Business Owner of Harcourts Twiss-Keir Realty
Licensed Business Owner of Harcourts Twiss-Keir Realty