18 July 2005

Arie Harris - July Newsletter 2005

Good day to you!

How are you Jeffry? Once again this month has been another outstanding month for both clients and myself alike. Some people had even predicted the New Zealand property market to be slowing down - not me - the volume of local activity I have been experiencing certainly is not consistent to their opinion. If anything, last month was my busiest ever.

Anytime is an excellent time for you to consider me for all of your real estate assistance because I am here to help you ANYTIME. Right now, in this issue I have some information on how to make some very tasty fried rice indeed, do enjoy it - and remember to invite me if you succeed in making it - how about that?



Statistics released by quotable value indicate that the value of residential properties increased by 12.5% to the year ended April.

Property values in the main centres continue to grow, but increases vary significantly. Dunedin City property values increased by 22.5%, Hamilton City 18.7% while growth in Wellington was only 8.1% and Auckland City 2.7%.



The Real Estate Institute (REINZ) recently trumpeted a recovery in the national median house price during May as one in the eye for those predicting the market will cool.

 REINZ's monthly survey showed the national median house price increased to $275,000 in May from $272,000 in April. "Predictions of a reverse in the property market continue to fall on the deaf ears of the house-buying public," REINZ national president Howard Morley said, adding May was not a month normally noted for increased activity and prices.

REINZ's median price for April was down 3% on its record of $280,000 set in March, and sales and fallen "significantly", the institute said at the time. But recently, Morley said the May data "suggests that the long term trendline for the market is going to remain intact".

"What this tells us is that, despite mouth-to-mouth fluctuations, over the last five years the market has been quiet responsive to factors such as the state of the economy, consumer confidence and has shown a resistance to rising interest rates. In fact the rise in the market looks increasingly relentless," Sales for the month at 9280 from 8876 in April were "a remarkably solid effort for this time of the year when we enter the typically quiet winter months, "Morley said.

Days to sell in May increased slightly to 29 from 28 in the same month last year but most agents reported continued good demand  from buyers, Morley said. Nine out of the 11 regions surveyed experienced price increases. Some, like Hawkes Bay – up $19,500 to $249,500 and Taranaki – up $51,113 to $213,750, were "quiet spectacular" Morley said.

However, some of the apparent big jumps were more a reflection of the traditionally softer April market where sales in more regions were well down, skewing some median sales figures. Around the country Northland's median price rose $21,500 to $251,500, Auckland rose $1000 to $370,000, Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne was up $1000 to $245,000, Manuatu/Wanganui was up $5000 to $160,000. Wellington's median price rose $10,000 to $285,000, Canterbury/Westland was up $5500 to $247,500 and Southland rose $5500 to $150,000. Recording falls were Nelson/Marlborough down $4000 to $265,000 and Otago down $14,350 to 201,750.



Home mortgage rates are probably as high as they are going to get, because the economy's latest growth statistics have disappointed pundits. The economy expanded by 0.6% in the March quarter, less than 1% the Reserve Bank of New Zealand was expecting and 0.8% predicted by banking economists.

This meant the Reserve bank was less likely to hike interest rates again and that the long-foreshadowed slowdown in the economy was closer to reality. The economy had expanded for 19 consecutive quarters.

"Today's GDP release has, in our view, lowered the probability of another rate hike," Deutsche Bank chief economist Ulf Schoefisch said. This was a widely held widely. The central bank's cash rate influences all interest rates, including those in the home mortgage market. Though the economy was still expanding. Westpac described the growth in the March quarter as modest.

The economy's annual growth rate has slipped from a peak of 5.8% in June 2004 to 2.5% in the March 2005 year on one measure. "This business cycle is now clearly past its best by date with annual average growth slipping from 4.8% in December 2004 to 4.2% currently," Westpac said.

Economists were not predicting that interest rates would fall-rather that a fairly close call on whether to raise rates again had turned to a hold. The central bank was still regarded as hawkish, taking a though stance on inflation. These still existed because of capacity constraints in the economy and rises in wage rates. However, business opinion surveys have been gloomy, dwelling consent numbers have peaked and population growth has slowed.

The economist noted that the Reserved bank had been consistently over-ambitious on growth estimates.



Recipe - Nasi Goreng Istimewa (special fried rice)

Fried rice is actually a breakfast dish in Indonesia. It is often made from the boiled rice which may have been left over from the previous night's meal.

Isinya (ingredients):

4 cups cooled cooked rice
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 medium onion
1 tsp chilli
2 tbsp oil

Slice the onion lengthwise, heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic, chilli and shrimp paste until the onion is soft. Add the rice and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly while constantly turning until every grain is coated. Then add the soya sauce and mix again until the colour is even throughout.

The rice should have taken on a nice orange-red tinge from the chilli powder. Cooked meat or prawns can be added with the soya sauce. Onion crisps (Goreng Bawang) is used as a garnish.

To make it 'istimewa' or special, a lightly fired egg, some cucumber slices and kerupuk (prawn crakers) are served on top of the rice.

Selamat Makan!  - I hope you enjoy it Jeffry!


Arie Harris