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Let’s Celebrate

New Zealand Property Investor is raising a glass to two decades as the voice of property investors across the country, writes Joanna Mathers.

By: Joanna Mathers

2 December 2023

It started as a pamphlet in the late ‘90s, produced by volunteers. In 2003, New Zealand Property Investor became a fully-fledged, glossy newsstand magazine. Now, in 2023, the magazine is celebrating two decades as the voice of New Zealand property investors.

The magazine was launched by the highly experienced investor (and founder of GO Property Rentals) Daryl Fisher. He was president of the New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation (NZPIF) at the time and the magazine was initially a labour of love, created in-house by volunteers. Early copies of the magazine were DIY affairs, but they served their purpose as a vehicle for news and views.

But by the early 2000s, the federation started considering how to turn the magazine into a more serious affair.

“We had a contact, Philip Macalister, who ran a publishing company in Rotorua,” says Fisher. “We proposed that he publish the magazine on our behalf and sell advertising within it; members of associations around the country would be guaranteed a significant discount on subscriptions.”

The relationship has worked well for both parties.

New Zealand Property Investor magazine has always provided the NZPIF with a channel to reach non-members, as well as being a way in which members have been able to learn more about the activities of other investors and what is happening in associations around the country,” says Jan Hains, communications officer at NZPIF.

Ups And Downs

The years in which New Zealand Property Investor has been in operation could be typified, without hyperbole, as a rollercoaster ride for investors. The market struggled through the global financial crisis, rebounded, plateaued, and soared to unheralded heights post-Covid.

Interest rates plummeted and soared, regulations tightened, and property management developed from “cottage industry” to mainstream.

And those investors who bought for value gains two decades ago, when the magazine launched at newsstands, have been well rewarded.

The tables compiled by CoreLogic show that in some places values have increased by well over 500 per cent. These most dramatic rises have occurred in smaller areas (South Waikato District increased in value by 541 per cent, with Kawerau increasing by 535 per cent). But the larger centres, Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, have all experienced triple digit growth.

There’s no doubt the property market has been good to long-term investors.

But that’s just one part of the story. Property investment is also about relationships. Tenants are our lifeblood, and the developments around providing quality homes for those who want or need to rent have been significant.

The Healthy Homes standards, while sometimes expensive to put in place (especially for those with multiple properties) have added value to our rental stock and helped keep the population healthy.

As Sue Harrison, the president of New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation, shared in her opening speech at the recent NZPIF conference: “While money may seem like a driving force in our investing journey, there are more noble motivations at play. Are we making our world a better place in our pursuit of a better lifestyle for ourselves and our families?”

Interesting sentiment indeed.

The stats prove that the property market has rewarded long-term investors.

Positive Force

Hains has been working alongside the team at New Zealand Property Investor magazine for over a decade. She has seen how publishing and property investment have changed, and the value the magazine has added to the federation’s offerings.

“Being able to advertise monthly association meetings in each issue has complemented information on the NZPIF website,” she explains.

“Many members prefer to access this information in print rather than online.

Even when the NZPIF developed an app for members which also listed upcoming meetings around the country, many still preferred to access this information in the magazine.” She says that New Zealand Property Investor has been a very positive force in the property investment industry.

“It is gratifying to see each new issue with its good news stories available for purchase in bookshops and supermarket magazine stands.

“The magazine is aspirational and highlights what is good about the property investment industry – providing homes for those who do not wish to or cannot purchase their own.”

Former editor Amy Hamilton Chadwick began working as editor of the magazine in 2010. She says that it gave her a great financial education, and she met some interesting characters along the way. “I got to interview all the old-school investors. They were brilliant – hard cases who refused to buy if they couldn’t get a house for 20 per cent below its ratings valuation,” she says.

“Then I got to interview all the young guns who were buying up large post- GFC, and some of them did fantastically well and set themselves up for life by taking big risks early in their lives.”

She says that she heard wonderful stories of investors succeeding wildly after starting with nothing, and some who overreached: “If I’m honest, sometimes the failures were even more memorable.”

“Shout out to all the wonderful people who have taken the time to talk to me about property and who have taught me so much: investors, real estate agents, property managers, economists, mortgage brokers. It’s been a delight.”

We agree, and we look forward to meeting the new breed of investors coming through, as we head into our next 20 years.

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