Homeowners too casual about hiring builders without a written contract

New Zealand homeowners are too laid back when it comes to written contracts for building work and assume being licensed means builders have a higher standard of training, skills and experience than is currently required under the Licensed Building Practitioner scheme.

Limits raised for home-buyer grants

Prime Minister John Key regularly says that throwing money at problems is not the solution.

Yet at least one of his ministers appears to think differently. Nick Smith who has yet to answer my email seeking assurances to the quality of steel being used in residential properties, has been flashing the cash big time by upping the ante on the HomeStart scheme.

New Zealand house-building costs shoot ahead of inflation

Despite the Government’s “comprehensive plan” to address the housing crisis, economists at the ANZ say there is still a whole host of problems across the housing market. These include the usual suspects of…

Auckland home shortage bites hard

When I got home the other night I found a note from a real estate agent saying she had buyers for properties in my street.

As any Auckland house-hunter can testify, there are slim pickings at the moment — it’s something I mentioned a few months back when the trend started to emerge. But the shortage of houses for sale has become a lot worse, leaving wannabe buyers starved of choice and at least some real estate agents scratching around for something to sell.

Bold plan needed to solve Auckland housing crisis

The Property Council has welcomed Labour’s plan to build 100,000 affordable houses over 10 years and sees it as a game-changer in alleviating the housing affordability crisis.

Under the opposition party’s plan, half the homes will be built in Auckland and

Ticking time bomb of interest-only home loans

Statistics from the Reserve Bank show more people are opting for an interest-only loan when buying a home.
In January, 30 per cent of loans to owner-occupiers were interest-only, but by May it had drifted up to 33 per cent.
An interest-only loan will typically have lower repayments than a principal and interest loan — because repayments only cover the interest. The downside is that payments do not reduce the amount borrowed by a single cent.

Standards for P tests needed and solar panel owners are penalized

When police were alerted to half a tonne of methamphetamine on a beach last week it highlighted the problem New Zealand has with illegal drugs such as P.
It seems the drug is so widespread that anyone seriously contemplating buying a home needs to have it tested for P contamination — even if the property looks pristine.