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Articles by Matthew Gilligan

Matthew Gilligan

Property Market January 2018


Many property investors are wondering what the property market is doing, and we've had several people ask us what our predictions are for the next year or so.  Being aware of where we are in the cycle, as well as other factors affecting property, helps investors with their decisions and so I share my opinion below. 

Personally, I have cashed up a bunch of problematic houses with less growth potential in the last 90 days. I can only see Auckland softening in the next couple of years, so selling the worst of my portfolio while the market was high seemed to make sense to me last year. 

I can't see tight finance, tougher tax rules, reduced investor confidence, banned foreign buyers, and a climate of investor bashing and increasingly negative media being a positive environment for property in the next couple of years. Add to this we were at a cyclical peak in 2017 heading into a well-predicted cyclical downturn for Auckland in 2018, with the rest of the country being typically 1-2 years behind the Auckland cycle.


My plan now is to wait for bargains that suit my strategies, and to buy back in when the Auckland market has softened. Remember that bargains in Auckland will always be bargains, so keep an eye out for people dumping quality assets at discounted prices. In a falling/flat market some people sell at big discounts and such situations present investor opportunity. The key is not to pay retail or buy assets you can't add value to, while the market is flattening. As there is unlikely to be growth, you need to generate instant equity when you buy because the growth is likely 5+ years away.

Looking outside Auckland, I expect that Wellington will benefit from Labour expanding the government footprint, and it's cheap having not grown as much as other centres did during 2013 to 2017. So I think Wellington is a good market to be in over the next few years. 

I'm sure there will be other pockets of growth around the country, but residential investment property in Auckland is overcooked and must be flat to declining for at least a few years, if not 4-5 years. After that, rents will rise, household incomes will rise, and what is expensive today will become more affordable as incomes catch up to stalled asset values, and we can thereafter see more growth. But it's 5+ years away. 


That's my view.


Matthew Gilligan
Director
© Gilligan Rowe & Associates LP

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Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide only a summary of the issues associated with the topics covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive nor to provide specific advice. No person should act in reliance on any statement contained within this article without first obtaining specific professional advice. If you require any further information or advice on any matter covered within this article, please contact the author.
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