Whangārei: District’s new residential property value increases ‘mind boggling’ - resident

7:19 pm on 1 December 2021

Increases of up to 85 per cent in Whangārei district residential land values are 'mind boggling', a Morningside resident says.

Morningside, Whangārei's biggest residential land value increase in newly-released council revaluations.

Morningside, Whangārei's biggest residential land value increase in newly-released council revaluations. Photo: Northern Advocate / Michael Cunningham

Hayley Barlow's reaction comes as Whangārei District Council (WDC) latest property revaluation shows the district's capital value has increased to $40.6 billion, a 35.1 per cent increase from $30.05 billion in 2018.

Its land value has gone up 42.3 percent over the same time - to $21.15 billion from $14.87 billion. The latest figures show Whangārei district has almost doubled in value in the last six years - its 2015 capital value was $20.78 million.

Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai said the increase in the district's property values was happening across New Zealand.

Morningside's residential land value has gone up by 85 percent - from $117,855 to $217,635 - since the district's last revaluation in 1 August 2018. Over the same time its average capital value has increased by 38 percent - from $402,676 to $554,528.

The suburb tops WDC's just-released revaluations that, without exception, show increased average residential land valuations for every one of 30-plus city suburbs and settlements across the district's 43,810 properties. The figures are newly out this week as part of the council's three-yearly revaluation.

Morningside tops 17 locations out of 33 where residential land valuations have gone up by more than the district's average 51 per cent increase for this property sector. The increase is between 1 August 2018 and 1 July 2021.

Residential property has seen Whangārei district's second highest use category average land value increase (after industrial property) from among roughly a dozen different land use types.

The average residential capital value increase was 39 per cent. (Industrial property experienced the district's biggest leap in average land value - up 72 per cent, its capital value also increasing by 60 per cent.)

Ashton Gibbard, Opteon associate director said there was strong demand for residential and industrial land. Opteon did the latest Valuer General-audited Whangārei revaluation.

These were outlined at a WDc briefing meeting on 30 November.

The newly-released latest property revaluations show across-the-board hikes in average capital and land values as of 1 July 2021 for roughly a dozen different land uses inlcuding lifestye, commrical dairy, horticulture and forestry. These revaluations become the district's 2022 general valuation figures in time to be used for calculating from 1 July.

"It's mind boggling," Barlow said of the district's increase.

She said she was 'blown away' by Morningside topping the district's average land value increases and by the size of the increase. The same reaction applied to the suburb's capital value increase.

Morningside's Hayley Barlow at home at 'mint palace'.

Morningside's Hayley Barlow at home at 'mint palace'. Photo: LDR Northland / Susan Botting

Her 1940's stucco house known as 'mint palace' was purchased for $210,000 in 2009. "I bought in Morningside expecting the property would increase in value. But to think its gone up by three times in value since then is unbelievable," Barlow said.

"In some ways it's not a surprise. The suburb is north facing so gets sun all day and it's close to town so I could walk as I didn't drive at that stage. Everything's a piece of cake," Barlow said of the house she and her family live in.

WDC property revaluations are based on a blend of land, capital and improvement values.

Council rates are based on land values. Capital value is used to guide property sales.

Whangārei's Smeaton Drive area shows the district's second highest hike in average residential land value, up by 83 percent between 2018 and July this year - from $102,157 to $186,753. Its average capital values have increased by 46 percent from $366,291 to $530,619.

Ōtangarei has the third-highest increase in average residential land value, up by 81 percent - from $91,380 to $165,110. It has also experienced the district's biggest average capital value increase - up by 59 percent from $248,780 to $395,279.

WDC will in February look at how the revaluations will impact rates.

Property revaluations were sent to Whangarei's almost 44,000 property owners on 29 November.

Objections can be lodged with WDC until 14 January. The council received four objections within half a day of WDC emailing and posting out to owners.

Mai said the district's overall rates take would not increase as a result of revaluation.

But individual property owners' rates could, depending on whether properties' new revaluations were less than, equivalent to or more than the average value for their sector across the district. Rates would also depend on how the council decided to deal with any major differences between the average and actual revaluations.

"We will be making a policy decision in the new year," Mai said.

Alison Puchaux, WDC revenue manager spoke to WDC briefing meeting on 30 November.

"The movement of a property's land value relative to the average for the properties in the same sector will influence any movement in general rates," Puchaux said.

"For example, if property values in the residential and lifestyle sector increased on average by 45 percent, a residential property that only increased in value by 30 percent would be rated less. Conversely, a lifestyle property that increased in value by 60 percent would be rated more," Puchaux said.

Portland's 10 percent residential land values increase is Whangārei's lowest - and only location with less than 30 percent increase lift.

Whangārei's residential revaluations across 33 Whangārei suburbs and district settlements can be viewed at the [www.wdc.govt.nz/valuations WDC's website].

Gibbard said increased residential land revaluations had been largely driven by demand strongly outstripping supply.

A residential housing market that typically had 700 to 800 listings currently had only around 300 listings available.

Aucklanders continued to be major purchasers, often sight unseen.

"Post the 2020 (Covid-19) lockdown we sustained our highest growth rates with it becoming evident through mid to late 2021 these rates of growth have slowed," Gibbard said.

no metadata

Local Democracy Reporting is a public interest news service supported by RNZ, the News Publishers' Association and NZ On Air.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs