Auckland real estate Archives - Apartment Specialists

Tag: Auckland real estate

i worry about tax

There are commonly 3 taxes which can be charged when property is bought or sold.

These are:

  • Goods & Services Tax (GST)
  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
  • Stamp Duty

There is no Stamp Duty in NZ (but it is charged in Australia).

CGT only applies if you bought after November 2015 and sell within 2 years.

GST applies when an apartment is on a commercial lease.


When selling your apartment, it is important to know what taxes you may or may not have to pay as this effects the outcome.

There are three main taxes involved when selling your property/apartment in Australasia but not all or any will apply to you necessarily.

New Zealand is a great place for property as the taxes charged are lower than any other first world country.

There is no Stamp Duty which is a tax charged on purchasing a property in Australia or the UK.

Capital Gains Tax only applies to you if you bought after November 2015 and sell within 2 years.

However, the one tax to look out for which many owners forget or are unaware of is GST.

Goods & Services Tax or more commonly known as GST applies to you if the apartment is bought with the intention to be used for what is called a taxable supply.

I.e. for a commercial capacity.

For example, a guaranteed rental, commercial lease or an apartment in a hotel lease.

The important thing here is if your apartment was intended to be used as a taxable supply make sure you talk to your accountant, as there is a good chance that when your sell your apartment a 15% tax will be applied or passed onto the next purchaser both effectively reducing what you are left with.

When to sell, when not to sell.

If you’re looking to sell your apartment in Auckland, although there’s no real ‘right’ time there is definitely a period you want to avoid which. If you sell during this time, it can cost you anywhere from $20,000-$50,000.

In this quick video, Andrew Murray at Apartment Specialists tells us exactly when to avoid a campaign to sell your apartment and why! Listen in to find out when the sweet spot is to get your apartment on the market. Apartment Specialists knows… that’s why we’re the specialists.


Apartments are different to houses and can be sold most times of the year, we recommend the only time you avoid is December through to early January.

Selling at the wrong time can end up costing you more than you may have anticipated. However, apartments are very different to houses and most of the year is a good time.

However, the only time to avoid would be the December, early January period – the holiday period, this is due to a lot of events happening in people’s lives, end of deadlines, holidays, family commitments and so on.

myth 9 auckland apartment auctions

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 26


I go in-depth about auction in this particular podcast so you will know what to expect when you’re dealing with an agent. This is another myth that you know about.


Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists. This is quite a big one. When auctioning your property, only you and the agent have an idea what your reserve is. Now, that is a myth and it shouldn’t be a myth.

Now, I’ll explain to you – I’ve been in two major offices in the open CBD Market for starting my own company. Basically, both did their auctions in the same way. So, what would happen was, you’d have a meeting – you’d have your sales meeting – and those who were auctioning the properties would introduce their property. They’ll ask everybody not what it’s worth, but what would the reserve need to be to guarantee it to sell. And then, the agents would set out the price. Say, that’s worth 200. Say, to guarantee it to sell, it would need to be 180,000. And if it was a 500,000 property, to guarantee it to sell, it needs to be $440,000. Then it would be the agent’s objective to go and try to get that reserve.

The next week in another sales meeting, the agent will report back – different sales meetings or in different agencies at different trends are the ones that I saw – some would go, “What’s reserved?” or “It’s A plus-plus”, which means it’s better than you want it. Or, A-plus means it’s on the money or A, it’s pretty close. B-plus, it’s a little bit far away and B, yes there’s a bit of distance there. Other ones would be going like, “Yes, that’s exactly where you wanted it guys. Go get your buyers” and it’s going to the auction.

Now, it didn’t really sit right with me but that’s sort of how it’s done in the Auckland apartment market when it comes to auction. And what would happen was a whole mentality: that by telling an owner that everybody knows your reserve and knows it’s a low reserve, that’s going to bring in more buyers – it’s going to bring in more competition. Now I disagree with that because it’s bringing in buyers that want a bargain. They’re bringing in buyers who don’t want to pay retail. And so, that’s not the kind of competition you want. Yes, there is an argument that it does make the base of the auction and it can help in that way. But what it does is – it means that your apartment could sell for less than you really want to or what it should be selling for.

So, how to stop this or make sure this doesn’t occur is, why even get the reserves prior to the auction? Why not keep it in your head and you and your partners head? And if the auction gets to the price you wanted to, well then let it sell. If it doesn’t then go from there. Because if you think – put your mind in a bidder or in a buyers mind – you’re bidding for an Auckland apartment – and they already got in mind what they want to pay. If it is a good auction and the other buyer is also emotional – you got two emotional buyers and they’re pushing the prices up. You will at least know that it’s met the reserve. If anything is going to make the buyer say, “Oh, that must be market value”  or “That must be what owner wants. I don’t want to go too much higher.” So how is actually giving the reserve to the buyers an advantage to the vendor? I don’t see the logic – maybe there’s a side that sees it, but if they do please write in a comment or tell me.

That’s a myth. So, when you’re auctioning your property, if you do choose to auction it as a property that is suitable, i.e. not an investor apartment where emotions involved, don’t disclose it. You don’t have to; keep it in in your head. Then, you can make the best decision for you.

I hope that’s helpful. Next month – I’m sorry next week – I’m going to talk about an interesting question. One that you probably wouldn’t expect from me. What’s my opinion on private sales? If you don’t want to use a real estate agent – because a lot of people have had bad experiences with them- how do you sell it privately? And I’ll just do a quick podcast on that.

Cheers. Bye!
myth about urgent sales

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 21


Are urgent sales really that disastrous? Is it really true that  you are going to accept a low price if you sell your apartment urgently? Learn more from this podcast.


Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists. You know, I get this question quite often – and a lot of owners think that – if I have to sell their property or their Auckland apartment really quickly, it means they’re going to have to accept a low price because of their contract. Now, unless you’ve got to sell it within days – which is very unlikely – generally a bank or whatever the situation is that’s making you have to sell it, we usually have how many months time. Now, this means you definitely don’t have to accept a lower price or lower than the market value.

The reason why I say that is, most of the activity that happens when you list an Auckland apartment happens in the first two weeks. You can see this by the amount of hits or the amount of views. For example, when you put an apartment in TradeMe, which is where most of your leads come from. Because with apartments – unlike houses – people search more on the internet than they do on the papers.

So the key thing there is to not panic and realize still – the fundamentals apply – which is presentation. So you’ve got to make sure that you take that week, to make sure that – say for example – what I do with an owner is, it takes me a week to make sure that I’ve got the apartment ready. All the information – I’ve got my sales pitch down, I’ve written the ad the best I can, I’ve got all the photos. So when it goes up on TradeMe, it’s got 12, 14, 15, 16 professional photos. Not putting up one photo and then adding them in five days time because it’s a rush. You’ve already missed the boat.

So the important thing for an owner to remember is you do not have to sell your – or undersell your apartment if you need an urgent sale unless you have to sell it in one or two days. And then what I’d do is I’d probably advise you to go to a trader and they can give you an unconditional offer very quickly. And I would gladly put you in touch with one and you won’t need to go through with a sales agent.

So I hope that gives you a little bit of justice. If you have to sell your Auckland apartment urgently, you don’t have to take that when it comes down to value. You’re just going to make sure you present your apartment properly. Do what you think is normal and just trust your agents to do a good job. And make sure that they explain it to you. And make sure that you follow how they market your property. It might take that time.

All right, next week we’re going to talk about another one. When an agent says that any other agent can sell your property. It’s a bit of a myth in this industry because it doesn’t actually happen. And I’ll explain to you why. Talk to you soon.

Cheers. Bye!

myth 3 rental companies charge auckland apartments

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 20


In this podcast, we will talk about another myth concerning rental companies. I will divulge their common methods and what you need to know about them!


Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists. Myth number three on the Auckland apartment market. All rental companies charge the same – complete myth.

Now, what I come across most is basically, rental companies will charge between generally, 7% of your rent and 9% of your rent. That’s what most of the companies charge. The reason why one charges nine, and the other one charges seven in regards of service, I don’t really see any difference at all. Now what I don’t understand is – owners are paying 7-9% of their rent. So if that say $400 a week, that is –  I don’t know – around $36 a week to the rental manager, to look after their apartment. Now you times that by 10, that’s $360. Times it by another five, and that’s a year. So that’s a lot of money you’re paying to a rental manager.

So what I don’t understand is on top of that, a lot of the rental manager’s charge for all these other things. For example –  okay, they’re going to check your apartment. They’ll go and check your tenant. Now they should be checking your tenant in my opinion four times a year because tenants can do all kinds of damage to your apartment. You want that checked to make sure the tenant’s are looking after it. There’s no damage and they’re not having parties. All those kind of things. All the horror stories we hear – and I see quite often. Yet, some only do it twice a year. And then others I’ve come across haven’t even check it at all and have got no idea what is happening. Yet, you’re paying them for doing what? Just sitting there?

Now then, there’s all these other charges some companies will be charging for when they might have to do a call-out. So for example, maybe something needed to be done or fixed in the apartment. So they get called out to the apartment to see it – and they’ll charge the owner a call-out fee. Or when work needs to be done and say a plumber comes in and fixes it and that gets organized and there’s an invoice or whatever. They’ll then put a percentage on top of the invoice that they charge. Now, I just don’t understand the industry really here because it’s not really transparent. What are you paying that 7% or 9% of your rent for? Shouldn’t it be that to manage your apartment? And doesn’t all those responsibilities should come underneath it?

So really it’s finding – Now, I don’t do rental management. I’m not trying to get your business or anything. I’m just trying to educate you and knock out – okay what’s sort of happening here. And then look at the company that’s been going after you. Because, how is an owner supposed to know if they are being looked after? Or what other companies are doing or charging cause there’s some very good ones out there.

And so look at your statement, do you understand it? Is it very transparent? Do you know what you’re being charged? Do you think it’s fair? If you’ve got no idea, it’s no fault of yours. Send an email. Scan in an invoice to and I’ll have a look at it and sort of give you an idea of what you’re being charged and what’s normal in the market and what’s above or below that. And obviously this is a service and that kind of thing which only you really know.

But yeah, look into it. See what you’ve been paying because you pay thousand dollars a year for the apartment to be managed. And if it’s not being done properly and you’re getting charged too much for no extra value or service, you’re being taken for a ride.

Anyway, I hope that’s given you some invisibility. Next week myth number four. And we will be talking about agent sharing commission which is conjunctional sales. So the myth is all agents make it easy for other agents to sell your apartment. And if they do, they share the commission equally.

I’ll talk to you next month. I think you’ll find this one quite interesting and have a good week.


part iii auction isnt achieving highest prices auckland apartment market

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 17


This is the third part of my podcast regarding auction and I will go in-depth on  the Auckland Apartment market.  Get all the details on this podcast.


Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists. Today we’re talking about why auction isn’t having the same success in the Auckland Apartment CBD market as in the housing market and it’s due to emotions.

Now, buying a house is so much more emotional than buying an apartment. Now for starters, around 70% of all apartment owners don’t live in their apartments. Hence, a huge proportion, probably 50%, 60% of purchasers are investors. So they’re not emotional purchases. What happens is it’s harder to find emotional purchasers and we all know at an auction – we’ve all paid too much for something and why did we? It was because the emotions kicked in, not the logic. And that’s what you need to happen at an auction. So trying to find emotional buyers, as I see it, is more difficult. And for an auction to work, you need two or three, preferably three emotional buyers. And it’s difficult, and it’s why auctions don’t have the same effect.

Look at it this way, an apartment – also on top of that – is more often a stepping stone as housing prices are increasingly so far beyond this generation’s means. That if they do have a house and they are looking to invest, they’re going to apartments because they’re lower in price than a house.

So that’s a few indicators. An auction needs emotion to really work. And when you’re selling apartments, it’s easy to find one emotional buyer and get the maximum you can from him, than find two or three. That’s why so many auctions get passed up, that’s why so many auctions are left with one purchaser who would have paid a lot more but got a bargain because the other purchaser was an investor. And this was all about the numbers. I hope this helps.

Next time were going to be talking about some myths. Basically about things that I find the general public just don’t know about  the real estate industry. I think you’ll find this really really intriguing.

Talk soon. Cheers.

why auction isnt achieving the highest prices for the auckland apartment market

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 16


This is the second part of my podcast and we will discuss more why auction in the Auckland apartment market is not achieving the  same results as it is in the housing market.


Andrew Murray,  Apartment Specialists. Today, we’re talking about why auction in the Auckland apartment market is not achieving the same results as it is in the housing market. And it’s quite simple. It’s supply and demand.

If you go to any suburb around Auckland and see how many listings are available, there will be 20, 30, 40, sometimes 10. Yet if you go to the apartment market, it’s always over 600. I think there was 611 this morning. We all know for auction to work, there has to be less supply than there is demand  i.e., there has to be more buyers than there are sellers. That is the reason why auction is creating such frenzy around the Open City. I’ve got a good friend of mine. They’re a couple and they want to start their family. They’re panicking because there’s just so much competition. There’s so many emotional buyers wanting to purchase. That’s just a family home and there just aren’t enough listings out there.

Yet in the apartment market, it’s very different. Buyers aren’t as emotionally involved. Now, I’m not saying that auction doesn’t work. I’m saying that auction has its place. I’m saying it’s when there’s scarcity.  So auction I think is a really good measure when you’ve got an apartment that’s very unique and obviously favourable. So you have a lot of people wanting it and they know that in a months’ time or two months’ time, there won’t be another one just popping up. That will create that emotional connection to the property, which will drive the prices up and that competition factor, which makes it work.

Now, I did have a few people from the last podcast that did go, Well, I did get a good price for mine, and that’s what I mean. It’s because your property was unique – and don’t get me wrong – sometimes you do achieve it – but I’m just saying, more likely than not, it’s not achieved through auction.

Look at the traders. These are people who buy apartments – most likely through real estate agents – and then sell them at a profit. Now, do they sell by auction? Nine times out of ten they don’t. That’s their business to get the highest price and they choose not to auction. I think that’s a pretty good indication of what’s working in the CBD because a trader in the housing market does sell by auction.

Anyway, What I want to leave you there is with – okay, let’s look at two scenarios. You’ve got a buyer who wants to buy your apartment. That is willing to pay 480,000. And you’ve got a buyer who’s willing to pay 420,000 for your apartment. Now, how much does the buyer have to pay – who would’ve paid up to 480,000. Only 421,000? 425,000? And that’s why in this market, I feel if you’re listing with a price and creating a multi-offer situation, it is far more effective. There is a lot of technique and skill that goes into how you list it with a price and how to achieve that maximum price. We can talk about that another time.

Anyway, next week we will talk about another reason why – giving you more education regarding why, auction isn’t as successful in the Auckland apartment market as it is in the housing market and hope you found this helpful.

Talk soon. Cheers.

selling auckland apartment different selling house

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 14


In this podcast, I discussed the difference between selling a house and selling an Auckland apartment. There’s a big difference between these two properties that you should know about.


Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists. Today, I’m going to be talking to you about a question I get asked all the time: Is selling your house the same as selling your apartment? In short, the answer to that is: absolutely not. And the reason is – There’s a few reasons. I’ll just quickly go through them now. It’s really, really important that you understand this.

The first reason is supply. If you go to any suburb around Auckland and look at how many listings there are. Say, for example, on Trade Me, there might be 20, 30, 40. Yet, if you go to the Auckland CBD, which is a suburb, there are over 20,000 apartments. And at any one time, there are at least 600 listings. So that changes the whole dynamics. It changes how you sell your apartment. We all know, for example, auction works really, really well when there are more buyers than there are sellers. So you can just use that as an example, and that is the reason why auction is not having the same success in the Auckland CBD market than it is in the housing market. Yet, as an owner, how are you supposed to know? And it’s the reason why – I’ll talk a bit more about that in other podcasts.

The next reason is that 70% of owners don’t live in their apartments. So that changes the dynamics again. You’re dealing with tenants, you’ve got presentation issues, you’ve got access issues, and that means you’re going to do different things. You’re going to have different ways of approaching the apartment, approaching the tenant, approaching the presentation, how you market.

The next one is fear. Purchasers in the apartment market have a lot more fear than purchasing a house. Why? Because in an apartment, you can’t see on the 16th floor if there’s a problem. On the house, you can look underneath it. It’s pretty simple. And obviously, you’ve got all of the publicity and all that kind of thing. So, purchasers prefer to purchase with more conditions, not unconditionally, because that’s the key, and rightfully so.

The next one is where the buyers come from. In a suburb, we all know who they are, we go to the paper we look. But a huge proportion of the purchasers in this market are international, they aren’t going to live in the apartment and are from all over New Zealand, they don’t look in the local newspaper, but on the internet. And that’s where the buyers are going. And so how you market your apartment is crucially different, and that can change your whole campaign.

So, all this means is that how you sell your apartment is very, very different. So what you need to do – and make sure you do – is when you’re going to sell your apartment, talk to an apartment specialist, not somebody who sells a home, because it’s so different. In the same way that if you’re selling your home, don’t go to an apartment specialist.

Now, the next couple of podcasts, I’m going to be talking about specifically why is auction not working in the CBD? Because a lot of people are auctioning their properties. And there’s something wrong there. Because in most cases it’s not achieving the best prices. So why should it be used? Anyway, I’ll talk to you next time.

Thank you. Cheers!


understanding auckland apartment buyer

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 12


I’ll go straight to the topic and tackle the common tasks of a real estate agent and how we attract an Auckland apartment buyer who will likely be interested in our seller’s apartment. All these in this podcast.


Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists, number nine – Knowing your buyer.

Now, what do I mean by that? Well, it’s what we’re here to do. As real estate agents, what do we do? We sell and we market. And to sell or to get those people to sell to, we’ve got to attract them – which means we need to know the type of audience.

For example, if your apartment is going to be most likely sold to an investor – we’ve got to target investors, and vice-versa with owner occupiers. Otherwise, you’re most likely not going to get the best result. Yes, you could get lucky, but we’re talking about most likely. Because again and again and again, we’ve got to be getting the best result for our vendors – which means we’ve got to know our market. Every single building has a slightly different target market.

For example, I may be selling a building which is 40% Chinese. Well, I’m European. So, how am I going to market to the Chinese? Well, what I do is, I deal with about 20 different Chinese agents. I deal with Chinese buyers’ agents, and that’s just to give an example. Also, what if a building is popular with the French? Well, I’ll deal with the French buyers’ agents, and vice-versa. There’s a lot of different ways that we can market in this industry. And it’s about knowing the right one for our vendor’s apartment.

So ask your agent, what is the target market? How are you going to reach them? And how is that going to maximise the amount of enquiries and leads created? That is a huge, huge point that determinants how much will you get for your apartment.

Anyway, hope this helps and I will talk to you soon with the other theme.


apartment specialist mindset

Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 11


In this version of my podcast, I will discuss the common mindset of buyers when choosing a real estate agent and what they expect from them. I’ll go in-depth in this podcast.


Agent Murray, Apartment Specialists, number eight. Now today we’re going to be putting our buyer’s hat on and we’re going to think like a buyer. So if you’re an owner and you’re choosing an agent, you’re going to be thinking “Okay, this agent is actually going to be selling my property. So they need to know what they’re talking about”.

Now, I see too many agents come in and call themselves apartment specialists. They come into buildings where they don’t know actually what’s going on. When you put your buyer’s hat on – do you think if you walk up to an agent who’s selling an apartment and you’re asking them questions, and they can’t answer them, or the answers they give are clearly vague or they turn out to be wrong, this raises alarm bells?

Buyers, especially when dealing with real estate agents – since we’re one step above car sales men apparently are looking for these alarm bells. They’re in-tune to them. So What happens is when a buyer sees alarm bells, or feels uncomfortable, or feels that the agent isn’t giving him the confidence that this is going to be a good purchase, they run or reduce the price. So make sure that the agent that’s representing you knows your building inside out – knows the history, because the biggest thing an agent – the most important thing an agent needs to do is take away the fear and give a buyer confidence. Because once they do that, all you’re left with is the price.

Does your agent know your building? Give them a test. So in the mail you’ll get sent the body corporate minutes. Most of the time, most owners – to be honest – don’t read them. But find them in your e-mail, find them in the mail or where you keep them and ask them a few questions. Give them a bit of a test and see if they pass. That’s a really good way of telling if they really know your building. I hope this helps because this makes a huge difference when selling.

I’ll see you next time. Cheers!