Static house prices to provide relief for ratepayers

By John Cousins

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Tauranga ratepayers have been told to expect little change to the values of their properties, compared with three years ago.

The lingering impact of the recession on the city's three-yearly revaluation will be reflected in most of the notices sent to ratepayers next month.

Council business services manager Dean Riley gave councillors a strong hint of what to expect from the city-wide revaluation by Landmass Technology.

He said that initial indications were that there would be very little movement in values since the last revaluation in 2009 - a year after the global financial crisis hit in late 2008.

"There will be some movement, but very little. It will be very smooth," he told a council workshop yesterday.

His reference to the rating revaluation reinforces what most people who follow the property market will be expecting.

The Bay of Plenty Times understands that certain areas of the city tended to move more than others, but overall there would be little change in values.

Apartments and the more expensive end of Tauranga's property market have been slow since the 2008 crisis burst Tauranga's normally buoyant property bubble. The 2009 revaluation highlighted how the recession had wiped out gains made since 2006 and retreated a further 4 per cent.

The busiest section of the market since then had been lower-priced properties, which had become more affordable for first home buyers. Young couples have also been able to take advantage of lower interest rates and using their KiwiSaver accounts as a deposit for a house.

Notices of the impact of the revaluation on individual properties were expected to be in ratepayers' letterboxes by mid to late November. The flat values meant the council will not have to wrestle with big swings in rates when it prepares its budgets for the 2013-14 annual plan.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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