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This week (March 23, 2021) the Labour government announced their plan to tackle the current housing issues in New Zealand. The policies focused on increasing the supply of houses, assisting first home buyers while at the same time slowing down demand from investors. People have been asking us how this could affect them here in the region, so we put together a summary for you with some links to information you might find helpful.

First home loan & grant

From Thursday, 1 April 2021, the income caps will increase and the house price caps will increase in targeted areas, including Nelson.

The income cap (maximum yearly income before tax) for a single person will increase from $85,000 to $95,000. For two people, it will increase from a combined maximum yearly income before tax of $130,000 to $150,000.

In Nelson and Tasman regions the house price cap will increase from $500,000 to $525,000 for an existing property and from $550,000 to $600,000 for a new property.

Check if you are eligible for a first home loan here: https://kaingaora.govt.nz/home-ownership/first-home-loan/check-you-are-eligible-for-first-home-loan/

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Changes to the First Home Loan and Grant 421.36 KB

First Home Loan and Grant Fact sheet 23rd March 2021 from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development ...

Extension of Bright Line Test to 10 years

The bright-line test means if you sell a residential property within a set period after acquiring it, you will be required to pay income tax on any profit made through the property increasing in value. The current bright-line period is 5 years. The Government has announced it intends to extend the bright-line period to 10 years for residential property except newly built houses (new builds) which will remain at 5 years. This does not include your family home or inherited property.

This change will be effective from Saturday, 27 March 2021 except for new builds acquired before this date.

We recommend getting in touch with the IRD directly with specific questions.

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Fact sheet - Proposed changes to the bright-line test (March 2021) 198.89 KB

Fact sheet - Proposed changes to the bright-line test (March 2021) from the Inland Revenue Department ...

Housing Acceleration Fund

The Housing Acceleration Fund aims to increase the supply of houses and improve affordability for home buyers and renters.

The key components of the Fund are:

The Government will also help Kāinga Ora to borrow an additional $2 billion to “assist in bringing a range of development forward through strategic land purchases”.

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Housing Acceleration Fund Factsheet March 2021 143.71 KB

Housing Acceleration Fund Factsheet 23 March 2021 from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development ...

Interest deductions on residential property

The Government is going to change the rules that allow property owners to claim interest on loans used for residential properties as an expense against their income from those properties. The legislation will apply from 1 October 2021.

Property investors will no longer be able to offset their interest expenses against their rental income when calculating their tax. Interest deductions on residential investment property acquired on or after 27 March 2021 will not be allowed from 1 October 2021. Interest on loans for properties acquired before 27 March 2021 can still be claimed as an expense. However, the amount someone can claim will be reduced over the next four income years until it is completely phased out by April 1, 2025. 

Property developers (who pay tax on the sale of property) will not be affected by this change. They will still be able to claim interest as an expense.

Again, we would recommend talking to the IRD with specific questions.

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Interest deductions on residential property income - Proposed changes fact sheet from the Inland Revenue Department ...

Apprenticeship Boost Programme Extension

We have to mention the extension to the apprenticeship boost programme also to August 2022 meaning hopefully lots of new people entering the trades which in turn will assist in more properties being built.

For a full run down and more information you can go directly to the Labour website here: https://www.labour.org.nz/news-housing-2021-plan-faq

We hope this helps make a bit of sense of the announcements and what it might mean to you. Do get in touch if you want to have a chat to us about anything raised here or relating to real estate in general. We're always happy to help.

Due to the government imposing the level 4 lockdown on New Zealand and us not being an essential service, the team from Susa Guhl Partners will be staying home until the lockdown period is lifted.  We will still market our properties online, take enquiries over the phone and via email and line up viewings for the future. We will also still be doing offers of course and can do appraisals via a walk-through with you on facetime, skype or similar.

We thought you might have a lot of questions – maybe you have a conditional offer at the moment? Maybe you are waiting for a property to settle? Maybe you were going to move in the next 4 weeks?  We thought we would share the info that we have with you to hopefully answer some of your questions.  Feel free to contact us if there’s anything we haven’t covered that you want to know!

Covid-19 Lockdown and what it means for you in regard to real estate

Offers: Offers can still be written, signed and negotiated online and over the phone.

Settlements: In lockdown, vendors and purchasers will NOT be able to move in and out of their houses. For this reason, Auckland District Law Society is recommending that settlements be deferred until after the Alert Level 4 restriction is lifted. The party's lawyers will make appropriate amendments to the contract to facilitate this

Moving if a property settles during lockdown: Travel will be restricted to essential travel only e.g. pharmacy/supermarket trip, so settlements and moving house should be deferred until after the Alert Level 4 restriction is lifted. The parties lawyers will make appropriate amendments to the contract to facilitate this

Bridging finance: Vendors/purchasers should talk to their bank or financial services provider in the first instance

Conditional contracts: These can still be confirmed during lockdown provided no travel/face-to-face meetings are required. If the condition(s) cannot be met during the Alert Level 4 period, then both the buyer and seller should take legal advice and either extend the condition until after the lockdown period or cancel the contract. The party's lawyers will make appropriate amendments to the contract to facilitate this

Pre-settlement inspections: These are unable to take place in person during lockdown, however, if both parties agree, these could take place using video conferencing

This information is from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) and factual at the time of publication of this blog.

If you have recently bought or sold a property you will already be aware that the anti-money laundering legislation (AML) has come into effect for lawyers & conveyancers as of the 1st of July 2018.  We have been upskilling around it this week so that we are ready when it comes into effect for the Real Estate Industry as of the 1st January 2019.

What does this mean for you?

Lawyers & conveyancers have to verify the identity of their clients in the form of a passport, drivers licence etc. and we will need to do this for our vendors at the time of listing new properties too.  It's relatively straight forward and won't hold up anything at the time of listing your property but when buying a property it could mean that the paperwork takes longer so it is recommended that you contact the lawyer you have chosen to act on your behalf as soon as possible to have your identity verification completed.  It used to be that often people would nominate a lawyer or conveyancer at the time of making an offer, it would now be a good idea to engage them at the start of your buying journey so that when an offer comes to their desk your identity has already been verified with them and this doesn't hold things up as they usually won't be able to undertake any work for you until this has been taken care of.

You can download the REINZ information sheet here:

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Anti-Money Laundering Legislation Information from REINZ 127.15 KB

Anti-Money Laundering Information Sheet from the REINZ ...

Nelson City, New Zealand, is well-equipped with an array of fantastic eateries, but there are a few restaurants that are my “go-to” places. If you are moving to Nelson, it’s nice to know what restaurants have the best reputation.

Here are my 5 favourite restaurants in the Nelson area:

What are your favourite restaurants in the Nelson area? I would love to hear from you – leave your comments below!

The best lasagne recipe ever

Today's post is written by Susa's daughter and client care manager for Susa Guhl Partners, Ana Fierek.

When I was young we didn't have a lot of money, but mum was a marvel at making the most delicious wholesome meals on a very limited budget.

This lasagne recipe, by legendary TV chef  Alison Holst, was my fave. I made it last week for my birthday, and when I told my brother about it, he said - "Yum! Best lasagne ever!"

It's relatively cheap to make and is a hearty meal the whole family will love...I hope you enjoy it!

Lasagne with lentils and tomato sauce

Lentil & tomato sauce
- Note: You can also use tinned lentils, instead of cooking them from scratch.

1 cup brown lentils
1 bay leaf                                                       2 tbspns oil
100g mushrooms (optional)                          1 green capsicum (optional)
1 (425g) can tomato puree                            1 tsp basil
1 tsp marjoram                                               1 tsp oreganum
1/4 tsp thyme                                                  1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt                                                        black pepper

Method for the sauce

  1. Rinse lentils and cover with plenty of water and boil with the bay leaf until tender.
  2. While cooking the lentils, finely chop the onions and saute with the crushed, chopped garlic in the oil until tender.
  3. Add the sliced mushrooms and diced green pepper (optional) and continue to cook until the onion is soft and clear.
  4. Pour in the tomato puree, then add the herbs, sugar, salt & pepper. Simmer for a few mins over a low heat allowing flavours to blend.
  5. Stir in the cooked lentils. The flavour improves if you let it stand for a while, but you can use it immediately.

Topping

3 tbspns butter
3 tbspns plain flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
grated nutmeg
black pepper
2 cups (200g) grated cheese
2 eggs
lasagne sheets from a box
paprika

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan then stir in the flour.
  2. Cook for 30 secs, stirring continuously.
  3. Add about a third of the milk & bring to boil, allowing mixture to thicken.
  4. Add another third of the milk & bring to the boil again, stirring vigorously to ensure no lumps.
  5. Stir in the last of the milk, then bring to the boil again, remove from the heat and stir in the seasonings and grated cheese.
  6. Remove from heat and beat in eggs.
  7. With a large shallow casserole dish, spread a thin layer of lentil sauce (about a quarter) over the bottom. Arrange lasagne sheets in a layer over this.
  8. Spread half of the remaining lentil & tomato mixture on top.
  9. Pour over half of the cheese sauce. Spread more lasagne sheets on top.
  10. Spread remaining lentil mixture over top. Top with remaining cheese sauce and sprinkle with paprika.
  11. Bake at 150 degrees C/(about) 300 degrees F for 45 mins, or until the top is firm.

Win a pamper package for you and your mum this Mother's Day!

Mum and I have teamed up with two other mother and daughter business teams - Melanie and Paulette from Caci Nelson, and Yvette and Carolyne from Ivy Flower Art - to create a special pamper package giveaway, featuring:-

- 30 minute Murad Hydrating Facials for two at Caci Nelson.
- High tea for two people at Melrose House.
- A gorgeous bouquet of flowers from Ivy Flower Art.

To enter, simply take a selfie of you and your mum, or someone who is like a mum to you, and post it to your Facebook page, commenting with the hashtag #susaselfie.

For more information, check out our Facebook page.

Mothers Day Contest 2015

If you live in the Nelson region and want to help out local children who may not be expecting much from Santa this Christmas, now there's a really easy way to do it.

The Nelson Mail have set up a tree at their Bridge Street offices, to collect Christmas gifts for children on behalf of the Salvation Army, who will deliver them to children who need them most.

The Salvation Army has fought poverty and social and spiritual distress in New Zealand since 1883. Their tireless work is the ultimate expression of charity and gratitude; they play such an incredibly important role in our community and in those all around the world.

If you're keen to pop a little something under the tree, pre-school and sport oriented gifts are being encouraged, as the Salvation Army concentrates on children 14 and under, however where possible they will also include a gift for the whole family.

The team and I have some goodies wrapped and ready to drop off - not much in the scheme of things, but even the smallest of gifts can make all the difference to a child's Christmas Day.

Other drop-off points include the newspaper's Richmond office, the Salvation Army stores, Kmart in Richmond and Bunnings in Stoke.

Great news for buyers and vendors - Nelson Real Estate is looking positive!

Real Estate Institute Nelson spokesman Darryl Marshall said there has been a "seasonal surge", with more properties coming onto the market.

Marshall's comment is congruent with what we have been experiencing at Susa Guhl Partners. There seems to have been a shift coming into Spring - a general uptake in the number of people attending open homes, an increase in enquiries and a surge in house sales.

Nationally, 6,608 dwellings sold in October 2014 - up 11.8% on September and down 2.4% on October 2013.

You may have seen plenty of sold 'stickers' on our Nelson Real Estate Facebook Page which is also evidence of the active market. But if you're looking to buy in Nelson, we still have a number of great properties available - simply drop us a line to enquire.

Recently I ran a contest on my Facebook page where my amazing followers could enter to win a sterling silver Daffodil Ring.

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of presenting the ring to the winner of the contest - Maegen Barnes.

Maegen met myself and Ana at the Benjamin Black Goldsmiths studio and workshop, which is where the Daffodil Rings are made. Maegan is a young mum with two little kids, so it was nice that she could win something for herself!

Here we are pictured together (Maegen is on the left).

It was great to meet Maegen and present her with this beautiful ring, which is a symbol of hope for the 1 in 3 New Zealanders who are affected by cancer.

$50- from the sale of each silver ring and $175- from the sale of each gold ring goes directly to The Cancer Society, a charity which I'm a very passionate supporter of.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered! It you'd like to purchase a Daffodil Ring or for more information, click here. And to be the first to know about our next giveaway, be sure to like us on Facebook.

Nelson real estate is still buzzing and it's been a fantastic year so far.

There's always something happening in our vibrant little/big city.

Winter sports are now underway, school kids have returned full of (chocolate) beans from the Easter break, and Nelson's business confidence levels are reported as being as "streets ahead" of the rest of the country (click here to read more).

Recently I was thrilled to be presented with the Customer Satisfaction Award at the Ray White Top of the South Awards.

Susa Guhl, Top of the South Awards 2014

I also took some time out to go over my results from last year - here's a round-up of the statistics:

Susa's Real Estate Stats 2013

I find reflecting on past results, trends and statistics is a great way to help assess where I've been, identify the areas I need to improve on, and set new goals for the coming months/year.

It's also nice to know what's been achieved after all the time and effort. It's a great thing I love my job! Speaking of which, I'd better get back to it...

Until next time,
Susa

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