General Manager (Membership and Advocacy) and General Counsel, REINZ
Lisa Gerrard is the General Manager (Membership and Advocacy) and General Counsel at REINZ. Prior to joining REINZ, Lisa was a property and construction law partner in a reputable Auckland Law Firm. Lisa has a wealth of practical knowledge about the New Zealand property and construction environment and has a personal interest in property development. In her present role at REINZ, Lisa speaks at real estate industry events across New Zealand on a raft of property related matters, including regulatory changes. Lisa regularly liaises with Government Ministers and Officials and appears before Select Committees on behalf of the real estate industry.
2015 – present: General Manager (Membership and Advocacy) and General Counsel at REINZ
2011-2015: Property and constriction partner, Martelli McKegg Lawyers
2008-2011: Principal/ Director, Hayden Tate Lawyers Ltd
2006-2008: Associate, Holmes Dangen & Associates
2004 -2006: Lawyer, DLA Phillips Fox
2001-2004: Lawyer, Kensington Swan
Some Insights from REINZ - Bindi Norwell: Innovation needed to meet NZ housing demand
Prior to the event, REINZ CEO Bindi Norwell has also given us some comments to questions of how she sees New Zealand’s residential market moving ahead as a whole, how it compares to markets across the ditch, the outlook for apartment construction, and the potential for off-site prefabrication:
Is the NZ housing market likely to correct in a similar way to Australia recently?
Although there are some similarities between the two markets, they are quite different in terms of supply issues. In Australia there’s an estimation of an over-supply of -164,000 properties at the moment, largely due to an apartment construction boom that has been particularly evident in Melbourne and Sydney.
The situation is very different in New Zealand, where we have an estimated under-supply of 104,000 properties, and until we can build more houses more efficiently to meet the demand here, that will continue to be the difference.
Price-wise, we have seen some slight cooling in some areas of Auckland, but we don’t expect anything like what is happening in Australia. To give some context, some areas of Auckland have increased by more than 100% in median price over the last ten years, and the current cooling period does open up opportunities for first home buyers to come into the market.
Other factors include the ratio of household debt to GDP, which is slightly better in NZ; unemployment, which is slightly lower in NZ; and the one fundamental that’s truly different: supply – particularly when you consider net migration into NZ of around 56,000 per annum. We are struggling to house the number of people coming in now.
What’s driving the decrease in the number of people listing homes in Auckland right now?
People have been holding back a bit due to uncertainties in the market such as the Capital Gains Tax, changes in regulations impacting on the investment market, including the Healthy Homes legislation.
Now that CGT is off the table, and we have very low interest rates, we’re seeing some renewed confidence in the Auckland market. That said, the banks are still being very prudent with their lending, and some people may not be able to access funding.
How do you view the apartment market at present?
The proportion of apartment sales has gone up from 9% a while back to 12% now. Apartment living culture is changing in New Zealand, particularly around the Unitary Plan, which has opened up opportunities for new apartments to be developed close to transport hubs.
From what we are seeing, the attitude towards apartments is changing as many of the new projects are great, and tailored to specific demographics and shops, transport, scooter parks etc.
With yields pretty stable in this sector – Auckland is generally at around 3.2%, and 4.4% for apartments - there are some great opportunities out there for developers who really understand the target demographics they appeal to, and renewed confidence in these developments now that some uncertainties for investors around CGT have been removed.
What’s your view of prefabricated homes – is the market showing appetite for them?
I do know that to be able to meet the demand issues we have, we need to look at innovative options to build houses efficiently and affordably. Prefabrication is a great option, and it is starting to happen more and more in NZ.
What’s the great value in the NZIBES conference and expo in your view?
It is a great opportunity to network, and to open up perspectives on new technology and innovations around building new houses, particularly to be able to provide more supply into the market.
The housing market involves a number of stakeholders, so for us all to look at the issues and open up opportunities, see what other countries have done as best practice and learn what they have done is really valuable.