Autumn 2016 – Why we think the numbers stack up well

Why we think the numbers stack up well

nickIt has been an interesting time in the real estate market over the last few months – we have seen mixed opinions and differing reporting on values and trends. Speaking from the front lines however, we are filled with optimism and have been experiencing excellent growth.

There have been recent reports showing only very minor value increases for the Christchurch property market.

However, it appears that the reported figures have been diluted by the ‘As Is Where Is’ sales being included in the data. We saw a considerable number of ‘As Is Where Is’ sales completed last year which (using a fairly crude and general estimate), sell for around 40% below their rateable value.

We believe this is causing the true value of the market increases to be hidden. Excellent growth may not be the case for every suburb in Christchurch, but certainly is occurring in the areas that our team has been selling in.

Looking ahead, we are seeing advertised mortgage rates below 4% as well as some real progress in the central city.

With so much activity well underway in the CBD now, we are also meeting more and more buyers choosing to move in from the outlying suburbs back to more centralised locations.

We believe this is thanks to the increasing number of commercial buildings opening in the CBD, and a revival in the arts and recreation facilities available. The re-emergence of the arts to the central city, such as the Christchurch Art Gallery and the Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA), and increased family-centred facilities like the Margaret Mahy Playground and the Otakaro Orchard collectively make the area much more appealing to buyers.

I am very excited about the way the next year will unfold in Christchurch property, and I am particularly looking forward to watching the revitalisation of the central city.

Here at Cowdy & Co. we are putting a strong emphasis on the importance of looking carefully at every property on an individual basis and advising on the best marketing method to achieve the best result for our clients.

Auction, deadline sales and priced methods all have a place in the Canterbury market right now and it is important to choose wisely.

For advice on any property related matter, call us any time.

Nick Cowdy


CBD revival is beginning to move at pace

We’ve talked about it a lot, we know, but five years on from the day our CBD all but collapsed, it’s so heartening to see the pace of redevelopment quicken in the central city.

Reviving central Christchurch is an essential step in the journey to rebuilding our fantastic little city, and there’s a lot going on in there right now that gives us hope.

The CBD is certainly beginning to fill up again as a number of much-anticipated commercial buildings open their doors; and significant retail tenancies are being agreed for soon-to-be opened retail spaces like The Crossing on Cashel St. A Fresh Choice supermarket will open this year in The Crossing, and is intended to cater to around 15,000 CBD workers expected to fill nearby offices by the middle of next year.

The Crossing’s Project Director was recently quoted in the National Business Review, estimating “that there will be more than 47,000 people working in the CBD by 2021”. The Crossing’s other recently signed high-profile tenants, ASB, Topshop and Topshop Man are clearly banking on that.

And The Crossing isn’t alone in taking a punt on being at the heart of a revitalised CBD. The ANZ and BNZ centres, plus Vodafone, Kathmandu, and Environment Canterbury’s new buildings are all due to open in the coming months.

The hospitality and entertainment scene hasn’t been left behind – with increasing offerings available in Victoria St, and now the new Dux Central area in Poplar Lane.

The reopening of the Christchurch Art Gallery in December is particularly close to our hearts at Cowdy & Co, being passionate supporters of the arts, and more than 40,000 people have visited it in the three months since reopening.

Even Cathedral Square is starting to move, with the old BNZ House and its nearby neighbours being demolished to make way for a major new development due to start later this year. These old, damaged buildings will make way for new office, retail, entertainment and hotel spaces and will certainly breathe some life back into the area at long last.

It’s an exciting time to be a Cantabrian, and even as we remember that awful day five years ago, we’re also able to look forward with excitement to the vibrant new city that’s quickly rising from the rubble.

Otakaro Orchard – a community garden for everyone

orchardorchard 2It’s not just the commercial buildings that are breathing new life into the CBD. The green spaces are just as important. The hugely popular Margaret Mahy Playground is an important example of how green spaces can ignite vibrancy and activity in the areas around them.

So it’s fantastic to see the recent opening of the Otakaro Orchard, next to the Earthquake Memorial on Avon River between Colombo and Manchester Streets.

Otakaro Orchard is a community garden, designed to educate people about growing food and supporting their community.

Volunteers who supported the development of the orchard and garden will benefit from what is produced, and some of the food grown will also be used by a social enterprise café that’s to be built on site.

“It will be a place for residents and visitors alike to come together and share food, and a place to rest and reflect on the future of the Garden City,” explains Dr Matt Morris, of the Food Resilience Network, who is responsible for the ongoing development of the orchard.

If you’d like to support the development of the Otakaro Orchard, a Givealittle page has been set up to help fund the project. You can find it here:


Our commercial team expands again!

Cowdy & Co. Commercial has expanded once again – and it’s our pleasure to welcome David Pitt and Dick Thomas to the team. Their addition means we can continue to grow Cowdy & Co.’s already strong presence and reputation in Christchurch’s commercial property market, and we can be even more effective for our commercial clients.

Check out to see what we’ve got available right now, or get in touch with the team on 03 355 6555 today.

David Pitt
Cowdy & Co. division: Commercial Sales & Leasing Broker

David2 rexResponsible for: Commercial sales & leasing with an emphasis on providing my clients with up to date relevant market intelligence and fantastic service.
I live in: St Martins with the family.
How long have I lived in Christchurch: I have lived in Christchurch for 21 years since moving from Sydney with my then fiancé who wanted to be near her family.
Education: After finishing high school at Woolooware High in Sydney’s south, I deferred university studies for a year, joined the workforce, starting at the Australian Tax Office in their investigations unit. I never did get back to university.
Family: Married to Ange with daughters Katie, Jessica and Alaina.
Personal statement: Knowledge is power! I enjoy solving problems, digging in deep to uncover the facts. And above all, it’s fun.
Previous jobs: Since moving to NZ, I have worked in commercial investigations for both Government departments and the finance industry.
In my spare time: My spare time revolves around my family. My daughters are involved in horse riding and eventing so this takes up a lot of our time. When I do get a quiet moment, there’s nothing better than reading a good spy novel.
The charity I support the most: SPCA. Thanks to our involvement with horses, our family does what it can to assist in the rescue of neglected horses.
Favourite home cooked meal: BBQ lamb chops with a good potato salad washed down with a cold beer on a hot afternoon.
Favourite restaurant: I can’t resist a good Chinese restaurant!
Favourite holiday destination: Oz. When I’m asked what I miss most about Australia, it’s the warm weather and the beach lifestyle.
Favourite thing to do in Christchurch: Fish ‘n chips on Sumner Beach with the family.
Favourite book: Tao Te Ching. I have trained in aikido and have an interest in the eastern philosophies.
Favourite TV show: Any good wildlife documentary on the National Geographic Channel.

David Pitt 027 255 8670

Dick Thomas
Cowdy & Co. division: Commercial Sales

DickI live in: Sumner.
How long have I lived in Christchurch: 30 years.
Education: Waihi Prep School and Christ’s College.
Family: A fabulous partner, two daughters, one son and seven grandchildren!
Personal statement: Born and raised in the South Island high country, nine years of boarding school set me up for a career in farming. My early days of deer farming were followed by owning a manufacturing business. About 30 years ago I made the switch to commercial real estate and have loved it ever since. I enjoy working with people and the satisfaction of meeting clients’ expectations. Over the years I have put together some significant and complex deals.
Previous jobs: Farming, manufacturing business.
In my spare time: I enjoy family time away in our four wheel drive motor home as well as jet boating on the Waimak river and fishing.
The charity I support the most: Men’s prostate cancer.
Favourite home cooked meal: Roast lamb and organic veges.
Favourite restaurant: Headless Mexican in Sumner.
Favourite holiday destination: Central USA (Arizona, Utah), all of New Zealand, particularly the South Island high country.
Favourite thing to do in Christchurch: Walk with my darling on Sumner Beach.
Favourite book: Smoking Monkeys, Drilling Rigs, Bio-Diesel Bikes by Paul Carter.
Favourite TV show: The Weather.

Dick Thomas 021 320 482

Mortgage Break Fees and Cashback Incentives – advice for landlords

With the continuing downward trend of mortgage interest rates it is very tempting for property investors to re-finance or vary their existing mortgages. The current banking environment also means that some of the banks are offering ‘Cashback’ offers on refinancing.

Banks often charge a break fee in such situations, which can be significant. These fees can be called “early repayment fees”, “early repayment adjustment charge”, “early exit fees” or “mortgage break fees”.

In short, all break fees on tax deductible rental debt are deductible at some point. Some can be deducted in the year they arise, other times the deduction has to be spread across the remaining life of a loan. If the mortgage is repaid and terminated, it is usually an instant deduction in comparison to if the loan remains in existence and a variation of the interest rate has occurred whereby the fee requires spreading over the remaining life of the loan.

The above assumes the situation whereby the interest on the loan is already fully deductible, either due to the loaned funds being borrowed for the purposes of an investment activity or under the automatic interest deduction for an “ordinary” limited liability company.

Where a break fee is incurred as part of a variation of the loan’s interest rate the starting point is that the deduction for the break fee has to be spread over the remaining term of the loan. There is however a concession for those who are classified as being a “cash basis person” by meeting relevant thresholds. Cash basis persons can claim the break fee in the tax year they incur.

Inland Revenue has previously provided guidance as to how the tax rules apply to a break fee when the loan is repaid or varied in three Public Rulings (BR Pub 12/01, 12/02 & 12/03), which are available on Inland Revenue’s website.

If you are provided a ‘cashback’ offer as part of your refinance from a bank to cover your legal and associated refinance costs or is paid as an incentive; such offer, if it is associated with lending for an investment activity is taxable income and is required to be included as part of your annual taxable income.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general information only. It should not be relied upon without first obtaining tax advice on your particular circumstances. If you require further information or advice please contact Warwick Watts (Director) or Aaron Cassidy (Associate) of Duns Limited on 03 365 0768.


Character coming back with like-for-like replicas

Not far from the Cowdy & Co. office, a house has been taking shape which has caught our attention and our hearts. A rebuild as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes, this new house is not just a replacement but an actual like-for-like replica.

It is refreshing to see some of the character which was once so widespread in Christchurch, and of which much has been lost, revitalised and loyally reproduced.

The care and attention with which this home has been replicated is a joy to see and we are excited to have it happening right on our doorstep. We commend the owners for undertaking such a labour of love.

Cowdy & Co. have been specialising in the inner north west of Christchurch for 37 years and the homes in this area will always be dear to us, we are enjoying watching the changing aspects of these suburbs as our city begins to take shape once again.














Cowdy Residential welcomes Debbi to ‘Team Freeman’

1 DebbieIntroducing Debbi Freeman
Cowdy & Co. division: Residential Salesperson

I live in: St Albans
How long have I lived in Christchurch: I was born and raised in Christchurch. For the last 13 years I have resided in St Albans.
Education: National Certificate – Real Estate Salesperson
Family: I come from a small family whom all live and work in Christchurch. My father, Mike, is also a salesperson at Cowdy & Co. and together we make ‘Team Freeman’.
Personal statement: I feel very passionate about working in Real Estate and I’m excited to be joining the team at Cowdy & Co. I have a background in sales and marketing and I enjoy meeting and working with people to achieve their goals.
Previous Jobs: Prior to joining Cowdy & Co. I worked as  a Special Needs Teacher Aide at St Albans School. I also spent many years working for a New Zealand owned tourism company, where I promoted the business at conventions all over the USA, especially in Reno, Las Vegas, Dallas and Houston.
In my spare time: I enjoy spending time with my family, catching up with friends over a coffee or a nice glass of wine and reading a good book.
The Charity I support the most: Canteen
Favourite home cooked meal: Sushi, or anything cooked by someone else!
Favourite Restaurant: Flying Burrito Brothers in Papanui make great Mexican meals and margaritas. My son is a big fan of their Macho’s Nachos.
Favourite holiday destination: Within New Zealand, my favourite holiday destination is Queenstown. Overseas, I would have to say Las Vegas for the amazing night life.
Favourite thing to do in Christchurch: Having a meal out with family and friends.
Favourite Book: I’m a big fan of Dean Koontz. I have read over 40 of his books and I’m currently reading his latest called Ashley Bell.
Favourite TV show: The Blacklist.

Debbie Freeman 021 269 9373

“As Is, Where Is”  Time to sell now or wait out the repairs?

We are now five years on from the 2011 earthquakes, but still people are having to wait for their repairs to be done or houses rebuilt. It is no wonder then that five years of arguing with EQC and insurance companies has taken its toll on a lot of people and they would like the opportunity to put everything behind them and move on.

People often ask me about selling “As Is, Where Is” property and whether the market is still strong for these properties, when the best time to sell is, and what info they must furnish the purchaser with.

The reality is that the market is buoyant right now and as proof of that, I have a list of over 100 people looking to buy.

A lot of this interest comes from parents looking for an affordable option to provide for children who are looking to move out of home. Repairs can be carried out over a period of time and the property
eventually insured.

Then there are buyers looking to get a foothold in the rental market, plus developers who have an eye to the future.

On 1 October 2015, rules changed with regards to buying property (other than the family home). Put simply, it means that if you buy a second property, then sell it within two years, you will have to pay a
tax on the profits of such sale.

This needs to be taken into consideration when buying property for resale.

When selling, some people supply all the documentation with regards to scopes of work, insurance scopes and repair strategies. My advice is to supply the information if you wish, however buyers should still carry out their own due diligence before they put an offer in.

Some buyers I work with will get their engineers,  painters, plasterers etc involved early and this makes it so easy to then put an offer in.

If you have any concerns about selling or buying ‘As Is, Where Is’ property give me a call, I will happily advise you and can provide you with a free appraisal and market update.

MIKE FREEMAN – Team Freeman 0274 360 320

New changes to Residential Tenancy Act will help reduce landlord debt

In a sample of more than 10,000 tenancy debts, Tenancy  Practice Services found Northland & West Coast debts highest at about 6 weeks rent on average, Waikato lowest at just over 4 weeks rent, Auckland 5.6 weeks, Wellington 5.89  weeks and Canterbury 4.86 weeks rent.

With landmark changes to the Residential Tenancy Act in July, these losses are set to decrease. A new 10 day process will enable landlords to re-let abandoned properties more quickly and should take 4 rather than 6 weeks.

Here at Cowdy & Co. we work diligently with our tenants to avoid bad debt and abandonment situations, which reduces the risk to all our owners.

If you’d like to know more about how we can reduce the risk of a poor outcome, call Janice Cowdy on 03 355 6686.