Welcome to the Year of the Tiger

12 Jan 2022, Lynette McFadden

Welcome to the Year of the Tiger

Happy Chinese New Year and welcome to the Year of the Tiger, which is my Chinese Zodiac sign and one that sums up a number of my characteristics – but more on that later.

I love the start of a new year. It allows me to unceremoniously let go of anything that preceded it and then welcome in the next with a sense of promise and renewal.

If a year has been exceptional, I review it in the expectation of repeating some of the best moments. And if it’s been like the last two, a mixed bag of drama and challenges, I try to chalk it up to experience and put it all in the ‘impossible to imagine’ category. Think earthquakes, Covid and lockdowns.

Being a natural optimist, I love the thought of what lies ahead and I’m very curious about the potential influence of the Tiger on the year to come.

Yes, I know some of you will think this is crazy, but one of the most populous and powerful nations in the world places great faith in this and deeply respects its teachings, as do many of our Chinese sales consultants.

Researching the Chinese horoscope, I’m told Tigers are brave, confident, unpredictable, outspoken and prone to taking risks.

So, let’s look at what this could mean in 2022.

Real estate brings considerable forces into play and these are constantly being discussed, debated and extrapolated around dinner tables, in boardrooms, at the beach over summer and on the television every night.

Everyone has something to say and the most prolific dialogue, to be fair, often comes from the armchair critic or theorist rather than those closest to the market itself.

Here are some of my thoughts on the real estate market. You might say it’s neither outspoken nor unpredictable, but I think it’s always brave to put your name to your beliefs, so here are mine:

There’s likely to be a cooling down in some areas of the market. Whether that’s a full freeze or a gentle dial-back of some prices is yet to be determined, but the current frenzy can’t continue unabated. But who really knows?

Experts are at odds about where the market will go from here and forecasts range from the ANZ predicting a 4 per cent fall to property data businesses pitching opinions based on continued price increases!

No wonder we get confused, and that’s before you consider the effect of supply shortages on new builds and increasingly stringent scrutiny from lenders on the affordability of loans for purchasers. This has been given the very appropriate name of ‘Stress Testing’.

There’s also the relaxing of subdivision rules and criteria by the government, meaning some of the prices previously paid  for  land deemed R.S.D.T.  (Residential Suburban Density Transition) and R.M.D (Residential Medium Density) are unlikely to be repeated due to the increased availability of property that can now fit these requirements.

And then there are evolutions occurring within some market sectors, with two standouts worthy of mention.

The first, and this is based on my own marketplace observations, is that there is no such thing as a street, area or address that doesn’t have potential. I could name (though I won’t!) streets that were once considered deeply undesirable and unsaleable … but no longer.

Everywhere, every property, no matter its look or condition, has a buyer and an upside, so don’t be put off.

I’ve seen first-hand in our auction room the results for properties considered unlikely to sell, scooped up by those who are brave enough to take their chances at prices that leave room to breathe and then add value.

And secondly, there’s a new market emerging. The higher end of the market is definitely getting higher; properties with values of $8 million to $15 million are emerging in our city.

Yes, we are coming of age and in some leafy suburbs there’s a lot of building happening. But as big as this is, it merely aligns us with what’s happening in the rest of New Zealand.

So, what to do? How about taking a lesson from the Tiger?

Let’s all be brave, confident and occasionally outspoken – and take some good risks.

All the best, we’ve got this year!