Here’s some crystal ball gazing for 2016!

  1. Houses and land parcels will get smaller, footpaths will get wider. As our population gets older, evidence suggests that there is a growing demand for smaller, low maintenance homes closer to amenities and other people. This means that provincial areas could continue to decline into the future as they struggle to attract residents, jobs and money. Even though interest rates are expected to climb through 2016, the impending boom times are unlikely to be affected and investor buying is expected to go well beyond Auckland for the next 18 months.
  2. Peer to peer lending is making a resurgence. After the failure of a number of lenders and the resultant reduction in options, companies like Harmoney are recreating a lending option for borrowers, many of whom are very keen to buy property while the market is good. This increases the ability for buyers to obtain funding and fuels the property market.(/li>
  3. Government actions to unclog the housing pipeline are gaining momentum. The large amount of money being spent on major infrastructure is long overdue – some would say by 30 years. The improved roading networks should improve the ability of companies to service their customers more efficiently.
  4. Political and regulatory risks remain. The lag between creating workable legislation and planning documents takes some years to be properly effective. Planning decision makers may have to act ahead of proper regimes being in place in order to put into effect appropriate development to avoid a growing housing bubble.
  5. Virtual reality technology will become more accessible. The technology sector has come a long way in recent times (compare phones to 5 years ago or 5 years from now). The ability to visualise design work, through tablets and smartphones, will enhance peoples understanding of land development. Virtual reality homes, showing people what they can buy before it is built, will no doubt become mainstream within a few years.

How will you, your business and your community respond to these trends?