As the value of properties throughout the country are falling dramatically we have survey results that prove the structural damage being done to the rental marketplace. The marketplace relies very heavily on private ownership of around 85% or rental homes. Owning rental homes is a business with a range of expenses beyond the mortgage involved, so there needs to be some rewards as part of the risks of the investment involved.
The Reserve Bank only has eyes for bringing down inflation, which has brought a sledge hammer to the property market. As yet nothing is being done to help ease the pain for landlords and therefore tenants, who are the end users of our mostly privately funded rental market place. Instead the financial burden has been increased for those brave enough to risk owning tenanted investment homes by increasing both interest rates and taxes, along with tighter rules for managing difficult tenancies. The upshot is when we lose good properties and good stewards of tenancies (landlords) it is a slow process to replace the rental homes. This is playing out now as the demand is steadily increasing with borders open once again. The pain caused by a shortage in supply is increasing.
With the percentage of mortgage interest that can be claimed reducing to 50% from the 1st of April 2023 as the policy roll out continues, this year we have repeated a 2021 survey in earlier this year. The significant result was the percentage of rental property owners indicating they will, or probably will, sell one or more rental properties due to these new rules increased from 21.22% in 2021 to 34.5% in 2023. At the other end of the scale, the percentage of respondents who indicated that they will not, or probably will not, sell one or more rental properties reduced in this time from 58.1% in 2021 to 44.23% in 2023.
The 2023 survey data shows that this legislative tax change is adversely affecting both rental property owners and tenants of these properties. As the policy roll-out continues and the percentage of mortgage interest that can be claimed as a business expense reduces further, these negative impacts will be further amplified.
Tenants are at risk of losing their home if rental property owners are forced to sell. Tenants standard of living will also be negatively impacted due to additional cosmetic maintenance of these properties no longer a feasible option for many property owners.
This 2023 survey data also highlights the negative attitudes of New Zealand property investors towards the current legislative environment. Comments within the survey show that investors are not happy with the treatment they are receiving from the current Government, with many close to selling all properties and exiting the industry all together.
As an organisation NZPIF serves apolitically to provide the views of property investors who are critical to the marketplace for rental homes in New Zealand. The market needs to function in balance and our members strive to be excellent stewards of their tenancies, whether by using Property Managers or self-managing. It is not feasible, sensible nor part of a good democracy for all housing to be state owned. Our greatest challenge to this Government is to restore the tax deductibility of mortgages so tenants as the end users may benefit.
See you at your local Property Investors Association soon. Go to www.nzpif.org.nz for meeting and joining information.