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“Great news for homebuyers but be careful.”
That from a Christchurch Quantity Surveyor after news that the city’s housing market is one of the most affordable in the country.
A new report from property researcher CoreLogic has suggested after several years of flat prices, Christchurch’s housing market could start to turn, and interest.co.nz is saying housing in the Garden City is at its most affordable level for 14 years.
QS Victoria Harrison says that’s great news for homebuyers but is sounding a word of caution based on what she and her team at Red Quantity Surveying Ltd and Red LBP are seeing every week, sometimes daily.
“This is not about drumming up business; we are busy enough,” she says. “We want to get a message to potential buyers that they must get any house checked – even their own house – if they want to be sure it has been repaired properly or in some cases, at all.”
Harrison says there’s an increasing number of real estate agents wanting reports done so they are entirely confident the house they are selling is structurally sound and the repairs have been completed correctly.
“That’s very positive because as more EQ repaired houses are sold, and sometimes for the second and third time, it can be difficult to know what was and wasn’t assessed and repaired,” she says. “Each sale blurs the history even more and you want to be confident that you are not going to be one of the “on solds” where you can be left holding the baby. There are more than 700 cases like that and with poorly repaired or unassessed foundations being the most common issue, it can fast turn into a very expensive baby.”
*EQC has recently revealed that a provision needs to be made for the liability they may incur from “on sold properties” and Victoria Harrison says nipping this problem in the bud or at least slowing it down, can be helped by the kinds of assessments Red LBP undertakes.
“Earlier in the year, the Real Estate institute recommended house buyers get “a pre-purchase building or engineering inspection as a regular course of action” and we would support that,” she says. However, getting an engineering report is not a fast or cost-effective option for homebuyers and it may not be needed so Red LBP offers a range of assessments so that prospective homebuyers and diligent home sellers can quickly be confident that a house is structurally sound or know more investigation is required”.
Victoria Harrison says one of the issues her assessors are seeing relate to paperwork only telling half a story when a layperson may think “it’s all there and all ok”.
“We had a place last week where the agent gave us all the scope of works information including a PS4 for works completed, however upon reviewing, we found the engineer sign off only covered two of the 10 structural repairs undertaken. During the inspection we found untreated timber and support framing in the subfloor that was non-compliant and could have caused major problems down the track. On the flip side, of course we also find no problem at all in some houses, however in both instances a layperson buying would have not been able to tell the difference. If I was buying or selling, I would definitely want to know for sure.”
*EQC's Statement of Performance Expectations 2018-19 Pge 23, Note 3