1. Home
  2.  / Sign Of The Times
Sign Of The Times

Sign Of The Times

The times they are a-changing, so investors need to move with the times and make the most of the opportunities that come with change.

By: Miriam Bell

1 November 2019

We are living in a time of change, good and bad. There’s no escaping this.

Not only do we need to constantly adjust and reset to keep up with ongoing transformation and disruption in all aspects of our lives, but the fact this is happening is constantly reiterated to us via media, old and new.

While it may not be happening at quite the lightspeed of other sectors, change is hitting the property sector too. And the past month has seen some significant developments which are a sign of how times are changing in the realm of property.

One of these was the opening of Fletcher Building’s flash, new, high tech, prefabricated house building factory in South Auckland. It’s the largest of its kind in the country and great expectations are riding on it.

That’s because it will reduce onsite build times by 60% (six to 10 weeks). It also has the capacity to produce the core structural components for around 500 new homes each year. So the political hope is that it will herald a new wave of innovation which helps to transform the building sector and increase New

Zealand’s housing stock. What does this mean for investors? Well, firstly, any significant ramping up of housing production impacts on supply and that, in turn, has an impact on the market - which should be of interest to engaged investors.

But, perhaps more importantly, it is a potent sign of how processes, technology and thinking are changing in the housing industry. Let’s be clear: Fletcher’s new facility is not an industry disrupter in the mould of Uber or Airbnb. But it represents a shift in building strategies and techniques.

That shift, along with the technology involved, will filter down to smaller scale prefab companies and to the type of builds that many investors do: adding secondary dwellings, subdivisions and small developments. It also comes hand-in-hand with government changes intended to streamline consent processes.

New Zealand’s existing prefab industry is likely to benefit from this, as well as the greater mainstreaming of the concept of prefab building. That’s why in this issue we take a close look at the prefab sector and explore what it has to offer for investors.

Change is a theme running through another of our articles this month – although it’s in a more hands-on fashion. Summer is on the way and that makes it a great time to reinvigorate and improve your rental property. To help out, The Block 2013 winner Caleb Pearson shares his top tips on how landlords can do this well for both their benefit and their tenants’.

And, in this issue, we also feature a profile on the NZ Property Investors’ Federation’s 2019 landlords of the year. Kirsty and Richard Kelly’s story is an inspiring one and makes a great read. We hope that it, along with the rest of November’s magazine, are thought-provoking and motivating for you.