Another date NZ property investors are dreading

How scary is the new ring-fencing legislation?

Well, just ask any property investor, most of whom are ma and pa investors with less than three rental properties and they’ll tell you it’s outright frightening.

They are the investors, most likely to be among the 116,000 already declaring a loss on their properties and times look set to get tougher for them where selling up may be the only way out.

Ma & Pa Investors Are Not Greedy Landlords

Ma and Pa investors are not your ‘greedy landlords’ with huge portfolios.  They’re middle aged workers (GenX, Baby Boomers) and retirees, motivated by the need to provide their own financial security in retirement.

For years the message from those in the know has been: we’re living longer and the Government pension will not be enough to live on.

Taking matters into their own hands, ma and pa investors have heeded this advice and parked some savings in one or two rental properties.  However times have been tough in recent years and the not so greedy landlords have seen any profits they had eroded.

Weekly rental increases have been modest for months.  Some may balk at this but yes, the evidence is on the Trade Me Rental Price Index and on this blog too.

Property investors have been sideswiped with increases in running costs, which they have had no choice but to absorb initially, before passing them on in the form of incremental rent increases and now there’s another law to halt that with only one increase permitted every 12 months!

See this news item on Stuff, 116,000 rental property owners declared a loss for the year ending March 2017, and it was during the lead up to, and including, this financial year, that legislation changes really started to bite and property expenses started to far exceeded income.

On blogs, property accounting and finance professionals like GRA have provided their interpretation and opinion on legislation changes and forums like our PropertyTalk give a voice to investors and their sentiment.

Upside

The ring fencing law will stress out many property investors further, and some to the point of no return.  Yes, landlords will sell, so more properties will come onto the market and many first home buyers will happily snap them up.  For those amongst us that are politically motivative,  they’ll only see the upside.

However there’s a downside too, that’s not been mentioned much.

Downside

Rentals typically house more people that first home buyer (FHB) homes.  So for every rental property subsequently bought by a FHB, two people are left without somewhere to live.

Housing has been a hot political potato for so long it’s been one step forward and two steps back irrespective of which party or parties are in power and so there’s no end in sight to this housing crisis madness.

Not Just Local

Targeting the rental property owner has been popular not just locally, it’s been a justifiable fear for landlords in the UK, America, and Australia.  Check out the links below.

So is there a country getting housing right?  Let us know your opinion in the comments below or in a blog post on PropertyTalk or of course in our discussion forums.

theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/aug/18/no-fault-evictions-hundreds-of-families-homeless-each-week
domain.com.au/news/landlords-will-withdraw-homes-from-rental-market-in-response-to-new-laws-reiv-20180806-h13ma8-756733/

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