Manukau Courier : October 24th 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014 Fear as values surge By JAMES IRELAND HOMEOWNERS will find out next month just how much Auckland Council says their properties are worth. And some Mangere Bridge residents already wonder what the suburb’s soaring values will mean for their rates bills. The results of the three- yearly citywide revaluation were released last week. Between July 1, 2011, and July 1 this year Auckland properties, including those in South Auckland, have risen in value by an average of 34 per cent. Mangere Bridge topped the South Auckland list with an average value increase of 53 per cent. Alfriston had the least growth with a 21 per cent rise. The council uses the valuations to work out what portion of the city’s total rates bill each property owner pays. The new valuations will be used from July 1 next year when Auckland’s total rates bill is set to rise by 3.5 per cent. A minor rise in value might come with a rates decrease for some. Others with a larger rises might have a higher rates bill. Raewyn Thomson, who owns a stationery shop in Mangere Bridge, says she has seen huge changes in property values and rates in the 20 years she has lived there. ‘‘I really worry, particu- larly about the older people being able to pay the rates bills. They keep going up and what do we get for our money? Yes, they have increased property values but if they sold, where would they go?’’ Thomson says rates bills creeping up towards $3000 become unmanageable, particularly for elderly people on fixed incomes. ‘‘They come in and see me every day. ‘‘Their friends are here but there’s nowhere in Mangere Bridge for elderly people to go once they sell up and want to move into a retirement village. ‘‘The closest place is in Hillsborough.’’ But it’s still a wonderful place to live, she says, and over the last few years there has been a big rise in the number of young people coming into the area because they can’t afford to buy in the inner-city suburbs. Mangere Bridge Realty agent Michele Farnham says young people who would have previously bought in Bright future: AlimGuy looked toMangereBridge as an up-andcoming suburb to buy his first house. ➤NUMBERSUP Increases in South Auckland valuations: Alfriston&The Gardens: 21 per cent Clendon Park: 33 per cent Clover Park: 30 per cent Favona: 40 per cent Flat Bush&TotaraPark: 32 per cent Goodwood Heights: 24 per cent Mangere: 40 per cent MangereBridge: 53 per cent Mangere East: 42 per cent Manukau: 28 per cent Manurewa: 35 per cent Manurewa East: 30 per cent Otahuhu: 36 per cent Otara: 35 per cent Papatoetoe: 35 per cent Randwick Park: 39 per cent Wattle Downs: 33 per cent Weymouth: 31 per cent Wiri: 29 per cent. suburbs such as Remuera or Epsom now see Mangere Bridge as a great option. ‘‘After the young people move here, what I’ve seen is their parents sell their houses in grammar zone areas and move out here too.’’ Photos: JAMES IRELAND Buying a house on the northern side of Mangere Bridge would have cost around $650,000 a year ago, she says. ‘‘Now it’s more like $750,000.’’ Design engineer Alim Guy has just bought his first house in Mangere Bridge. The 25-year-old grew up in Mt Roskill but says Mangere Bridge was in the back of his mind as an up-and-coming suburb. The fixer-upper cost him $461,000 and he plans to spend $20,000 to refurbish it. ‘‘I can definitely see myself living here long-term but it’s also an investment,’’ Guy says. ‘‘The rates costs were defi- nitely factored into my budget but it wasn’t the biggest concern. If we start to see big rises I might get a bit worried though.’’ Buying a house that needed work was an advantage, he says. ‘‘But I think it can put people off who don’t want the hassle.’’ ❚ The council will be issuing revaluationnotices for individual properties from November 10. Poor rating: Raewyn Thomson worries about risingproperty values and their possible impact onrates onMangereBridge’s elderly residents. MANGEREBRIDGE PROPERTIESUP53PERCENTONAVERAGE What’s the effect on your rates bill? Property valuations have ‘‘noimpact whatsoever’’ on the overall amountof rates a council collects, Auckland Council chief executive, Stephen Town says. If property values go up, not even acentof additional income flows to the council, he says. ‘‘Property values simply help to determine how rates are shared across ratepayers. ‘‘The overall amount of rates collected is set through the long-term planningprocess, which involves consultation with the community. ‘‘A council first determines how much money it will need to fund its operations, subtracts anyincomeit receives and the amount left over is the level of rates it collects. ‘‘Property values determine how this is then shared among ratepayers.’’ Councils are required by law to conduct valuationsand to use these as a factor in the distribution of rates, Town says. The council is now in the process of finalising its Long-Term Plan, which details its financial plans between 2015 and 2025. It has to shear $2 billion off capital budgets over the next 10 years, to keep rates capped at an overall 3.5 per centincrease. Without the cuts the city would face a rise of 4.9 per cent a year. This year the council took in $1.4b inrates and $1.7b from fees, user charges, grants and development contributions. The total value of the 525,000 properties assessed in the citywide revaluation camein at $474 billion. Residential properties make up 70 per centof that.
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