Confusion And Truth

There are two stories and both are linked one way or the other. The supposed massive rise in land prices is a bit of a smoke and mirror exercise. Although I don’t know the details of this particular case, it seems to me that anyone who sits on land for 20 years is entitled to get what ever the market will bear.  The fact that the owner has a Chinese name adds the usual touch of hysterical xenophobia to the story. I bet if the owner was a Honi Tainui on behalf of some struggling Iwi, there would have been cheers all round and rightly so. There is also a mention of   “furious developers”  who, by the gist of it, are angry that they missed the chance to clean up and now will have be content with making mega profits developing the land. Isn’t odd that the “furious developers”  are unnamed in the article? I am sure they are right now organising a mass march on Parliament in their thousands– yeah right.

I would also bet that 20 years ago that land was an unloved farm, that has at last, over come massive obstacles to finally become zoned as residential.  A client of mine has been through the same. He spent the last 25 years trying to get his farm re zoned residential. As to be expected he was resisted at enormous cost by the local council, staffed by guitar playing, muesli chewing, sandal wearing tree-huggers who are more interested in saving snails than helping people get housed.

It seriously brasses me off how the media twist stories so that the truth is buried in head line grabbing. This story deserves proper investigative journalism but that hardly ever happens. Journalists are stifled by intense pressure from their editors to provide “shock horror” stories and never mind what the facts are.   The many journalists I speak to, confirm their frustration in having to provide bite – sized head lines rather than practicing their true honourable professions.

Land bought in 1995 for $890,000 – owner will sell for $112m
By Anne Gibson 1.6.13

The 29ha of vacant land at 39 Flat Bush School Rd is close to Barry Curtis Park.

A land banking business with a big piece of residentially zoned real estate on Auckland’s outskirts has made more than $6 million a year for almost two decades – doing nothing.

QV records shows Yi Huang Trading Company owns 39 Flat Bush School Rd, which it bought in 1995 for $890,000.

Now, this 29ha block is listed on the market for $112.6 million, promoted as “the land of opportunity, vacant but close to Barry Curtis Park”.

Barfoot & Thompson real estate agent Charles Hsu said the owner might accept $80 million.

“They might drop the price. They understood the asking price is too high,” he said of the business which was established by Taiwanese. The block could be subdivided into tiny 400sq m parcels, he said, but first services must be provided, including a road.

The sale has left developers fuming. They say land bankers are ruining the city and that the sale will be tax-free because the company has held the land for so long.

The property is being advertised on as New Zealand’s most expensive piece of real estate, well ahead of millionaire Eric Watson’s 37ha $10 million Westbury estate at Karaka.







The next story follows on quite logically from the previous one. This one at least provides real facts and figures and the authors are to be congratulated for their efforts. Ever increasing property prices  cannot be controlled by regulation, by limiting LVR’s, or by macro prudential tools ( let alone micro prudential) *

Housing market inventory falls to record low levels, adding further pressure on buyers

June 1, 2013 – 10:43am,

Content supplied by

The average asking price by property sellers reached a new all time national high in May of $454,795, with Auckland and Central Otago also reaching all time highs of $631,656 and $707,510 respectively.

The Central Otago figure is the first time any region in New Zealand has surpassed the $700,000 threshold in average asking price.

Data released today in the NZ Property Report – a monthly report of housing market activity compiled by  – showed that inventory of houses for sale dropped to record low levels of just 25.4 weeks (seasonally adjusted).

Both Auckland and Canterbury had the lowest recorded inventory levels for their markets, of only 12 weeks and 14 weeks respectively.

Inventory is measured by the number of weeks it would take to sell all unsold housing stock on the market. The long-term national average is 38 weeks.

Paul McKenzie, Marketing Manager of says that the ongoing demand for homes in both Auckland and Christchurch drove the fall in inventory, with the nation’s biggest property market registering a 14% fall from the previous month in housing stock for sale, and a 42% drop on the same time last year.


* Macro prudential =  general controls. Micro-prudential = targeted controls.

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