I simply cannot understand why the general New Zealand population has such a grudge against property investors. Our investments combined with the time and energy we put into them provide people with homes. Isn't this a good thing?
The latest attack appears to have come from the Reserve Bank in response to calls that their LVR restrictions are too hard on first home buyers. Bank Governor, Graeme Wheeler, was reported saying that "The issue is also around people who invest and buy multiple houses. We have been thinking quite deeply about whether we need to introduce measures to discourage some of those practices and we're currently exploring that in-house".
The NZPIF has requested a meeting with Mr Wheeler to discuss the issue and advocate the rental property point of view. It will be interesting to discover why the Bank wants to restrict rental property investment, what outcomes they expect and what mandate they have for doing so.
I could understand them want to restrict investment in some other industries. Cigarette companies, for instance, harm the health of many. I don't see much social good in casinos, yet there are no calls to restrict the number of shares you can buy in companies within these industries.
A NZPIF study has found that it is $136pw cheaper to rent the average NZ home than it is to own it. On top of this you don't need to save a 20% deposit. This study shows that rental property in New Zealand is good value for money. It does not appear that as an industry we are price gouging our customers, so why are we held in such distain?
It is not like this opinion is new. Rental property owners appear to have been held in low regard for years. The NZPIF has been trying to advocate for the industry however much of the media is not interested in listening. Hopefully the facts will come out over time and we will see a change in the public opinion towards rental owners.
Ironically, an issue that we are likely to hear more of over the coming year is security of tenure for tenants. On one hand they don't want us investing in rental property then they want to stop us selling our rentals, forcing us to keep our the tenants.
At the end of the day, rental property owners provide an essential service and satisfy a basic human need for shelter. We should be congratulated, so I take my hat off to all PIA members and NZ Property Investor magazine readers.
As this is the last issue of the year, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May your tenants not give notice in the weeks before the holidays and may you have a relaxing and well earned end of year rest.