December 2019 Newsletter


November 2019 has seen yet again another increase in the median selling price. A rise of $5,000 from the previous month now has the new record median sitting at $520,000. Compare this figure to last year of $430,000, which gives a12.9% increase overall. 


Sales for the month were 197- this November figure is down in comparison to the corresponding month of 2018 which showed 244 sales. Our days to sell sit at 20 days, a change from last month’s 23 selling days. Listing numbers remain under 300 with the industry website showing 285 properties currently available. This figure appears to show listing numbers are reducing as the Christmas Period approaches.


This month our Cutlers Sales team has seen large numbers of buyers attending our open homes and we are seeing record prices being paid, often due to the multi offers being presented to the vendors. Again we also see several buyers being able to get themselves into an unconditional position in an attempt to get ahead of the competing buyers.


Speaking to some of the major bank lenders and brokers, they are all busy and are doing their best to help their clients achieve the Kiwi dream and secure that little piece of paradise. Interest rates remain low at present but with the Reserve Bank now asking the banks to hold a greater amount in reserve, this could, in the long run, see a rise in interest rates in 2020. Best advice get in early and lock in your rate.


At Cutlers we wish all our clients and friends a happy and safe Christmas and hope you all enjoy a wonderful holiday break. Our staff will be available to help and answer any questions over the Holiday break. Thank you for all your support and we look forward to seeing you all in 2020!


Donald Muldrew

Sales Manager


The Government recently announced a number of proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act and you would be forgiven for thinking that they were written in crayon on the back of a placemat.  It seems that they’re over-reacting to a small number of complaints without giving any thought to the ramifications these changes will have a large number of landlords and tenants.

One of the underlying issues that made people think that changes to the RTA needed to be made was that some tenants have been forced to move several times in a very short period of time due to their landlords deciding to sell their rental properties.

To help deal with the financial implications this had on tenants, the Government made it illegal to charge tenant’s a letting fee however this still didn’t address the tenant’s lack of security as landlords can still give tenants notice to vacate if they decide to sell.

The new proposal extends the notice period for a sale from 6 weeks to 9 weeks but they would also like to make it mandatory for fixed term tenancies to become periodic at the end of the original fixed term.  This makes absolutely no sense as most tenants would prefer to be locked into another fixed term tenancy so they know where they stand and cannot be given notice to leave during that term even if the landlord wishes to sell.  Why the Government isn’t pushing for more tenants to be on fixed term tenancies is a little baffling.

As stupid as that proposal is, it doesn’t quite match the idiocy of giving tenants up until 28 days before the end of their tenancy to decide if they want to stay or not.    If this was in effect now then we would have only started marketing student flats from the 3rd of December and student landlords would be dealing with a huge rush of students trying to sign flats as quickly as possible so they can go home for the holidays.  The students don’t want to be here signing flats in December and it would just be chaos for everyone involved.

Aside from the major negative effects that this would have on the Dunedin student rental market, they obviously haven’t considered how this would make things difficult for your everyday prospective tenant.  Most people have their next rental property locked in well over a month before they have to move, especially if they’re moving to a new city.  If they are basically unable to look at options until 28 days prior to moving then that will put a lot of unnecessary stress on them.  Imagine a family of 4 transferring to a new city for work on the 20th of January.  They would have preferred to have had their accommodation locked in back in November but because of these changes there’s no point in them even looking at options until after the 20th of December – Merry Christmas to them.

It’s a little unnerving to think that these proposals could eventually become a reality but considering how ludicrous they are, we hope that even if they do come through that it will only be temporary as we would like to think that eventually someone with some common sense will be in a position to repeal the changes and things will be back to normal.


Matt Cutler
Managing Director