With the rising cost of property across New Zealand, it’s not surprising that so many parents are having to help their grown-up children buy property. In fact, it’s estimated that the “Bank of Mum and Dad” is the sixth largest lender when it comes to mortgage lending in New Zealand. While bank lending requirements have made it harder for first-home buyers to use their parent’s help to get onto the property ladder, there are still a few ways you as a parent can help.

Cash loan

Helping with a loan towards the deposit could be the kickstart your child needs to buy their first home. As with all loans though, it’s important you document the loan properly in a loan agreement, specifying whether you want your child to make regular repayments and how much, how long the loan term will be, and whether or not you’ll charge interest – and if so, how much.

Things to think about: if you have other children, will you be able to help them with a loan too? If you’re borrowing from a bank to lend to your child, can you realistically afford it? Many retirees are asset rich and income poor – and the bank will want to know that you can afford to repay your loan.

If you’re still paying off your own mortgage, consider the financial implications of dipping into your own equity or taking on a much bigger mortgage without having the income to cover repayments.

Monetary Gift

If you have the money, you may want to give your children an early inheritance with a monetary gift they can use as a deposit. This is a really straightforward process as you simply gift your child the money they need.

Things to think about: can you afford to gift more than one child? Will you have enough money to live on comfortably in retirement? Be mindful of your future health and medical needs. An early inheritance should only be for families who have significant capital, who won’t be placing a financial burden on themselves by gifting their children.


Acting as a guarantor for your child’s first home purchase is another way that you as a parent can help your child onto the property ladder. It’s a decision not to be taken lightly though: if your child defaults on repayments, the bank will look to you to repay the loan. If you need to put your own house up as security in order to act as guarantor, you could end up losing your own home to repay your child’s debt.

Things to think about: does your child have the means and motivation to repay their loan? Will you be placing a serious financial burden on yourself by acting as guarantor? To limit your exposure to risk, ensure that you guarantee the absolute minimum amount that the bank will allow and obtain legal advice before making any decisions.


Buying a property with your child means you have a share of the property and will be registered on the title of the property. It’s a good way to protect your investment and have a share in the capital gain on the property when it’s sold.

Things to think about: ensure you sign a Property Sharing Agreement that specifies who pays what, who lives in the house, and what happens when the property is eventually sold.


As always, it’s worthwhile seeking sound financial advice when it comes to buying property. If you’d like to sit down with an adviser and review your current situation with a view to helping your children onto the property ladder, simply call Kevin Burrowes on 027 232 2316 or email kevinb@mx.co.nz.

Our thanks to Mortgage Express for this insightful article.

Real Estate Career: Do you want an exciting and rewarding career?

Real Estate is an industry that rewards hard workers! If you are wanting to build a strong career this is your chance. We are looking for motivated, self-starters who are passionate about building a rewarding career to join our award winning team.

You may be experienced or new to the industry, either way you will have the chance to enjoy exciting rewards and unlimited potential!

Our upcoming Careers Evening is a great opportunity to find out more about this exciting career. It is being held on Thursday 21st November 6pm at Holmwood Auction Rooms, 397-399 Ilam Road, Ilam.

Topics covered include:

  • Why real estate
  • What costs are involve
  • What to expect
  • How Harcourts will help you succeed
  • Training & support provided by Holmwood

Holmwood Professional Development Programme

We are committed to developing all of our team regardless of experience to be ahead of their competitors in terms of training, market knowledge and skills. The Holmwood team join together in our dedicated training room to share ideas, learn from each other and listen to invited guest speakers.

Register your interest by filling in the form below or call Candice Toughey on 021 155 2609 for further information

When you’re looking for a new home, one of the first things you need to consider is the order of events – do you sell your existing property before you buy, or after? Here are some factors to consider before taking the plunge.

Buyer’s market or seller’s market?
When buyers are plentiful, but properties aren’t, homes generally sell quickly. In a seller’s market, there is less risk associated with buying first and then selling your existing home. However, sellers in this kind of market may be less likely to accept an offer that is conditional upon you selling your home, so you could end up owning two properties for a period of time.

The average time it takes to sell a property varies from region to region and from month to month, so it’s important to talk to your sales consultant to get advice about current market conditions, recent comparable sales in your area and the possible demand for your property before making a decision to buy first.

Keep in mind also that in a seller’s market there will be more competition, so you can expect to pay top dollar your new home. The good news is that you’ll have the peace of mind that comes from finding the right house to buy before selling yours.

real estate christchurch buying or selling property?

Do you know how much you can spend on your next property?
Until you sell your property, you may not know exactly how much you’ll have to spend on your next one. In a buoyant market, you could easily have unrealistic expectations when it comes to the value of your own property. Your sales consultant can help you get a realistic picture of your property value by preparing a comparative market analysis of what similar properties have sold for in your area in recent times.

Are you a cash buyer?
If you choose to sell first, you will instantly become a cash buyer and be in a much stronger position to buy as soon as you find what you want. Do your homework on the market and area that you are looking to buy in so you’re ready to buy when the right property comes up.

Have you found your dream home?
Buying a new home is an emotional decision. If you want to follow your heart and buy that dream home before selling your current home, make sure you’re well informed. A good sales consultant will provide quality advice for your unique situation. If you are looking for a very specific type of property and it becomes available, it could be a good move to snap it up even if you haven’t sold your home, but there’s no downside in getting expert advice before you do.

Are property prices are going up?
If you’re in a rising market, it could make sense to buy your new home first and negotiate a longer settlement. Your current property could potentially rise in value during the settlement period, allowing you to earn more when you sell it.

Are property prices falling?
Falling property prices can work in your favour as well if you can attract an interested buyer before prices drop further, leaving you free to purchase your new property at the lower end of the market cycle. However, falling property prices are also an indication of a slower market so it could take you longer to sell your existing property.

At the end of the day, your best course of action is to work with a real estate professional who can provide you with the local knowledge and insights you need to make an informed decision for your specific circumstances.

Give one of our consultants a call today if you would like to know more about the current Christchurch real estate market.


On 15 August 2019 the Government announced a policy that allows owners of on-sold over-cap properties in Canterbury to apply for an ex gratia Government payment to have their homes repaired.

If you’ve bought a home in Canterbury and discovered that it is damaged over the EQC cap, you may be eligible for an ex gratia payment to cover the cost of repair.

Under the policy, you will have twelve months (no later than 14 August 2020) to register your interest for the ex gratia payment. After that time, the policy will not be available.

If you qualify you may be able to receive an ex gratia payment equal to the agreed cost of repair.

To qualify for the support package, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  1. You have purchased a property in Canterbury after 4 September 2010 (the date of the first 7.1 magnitude Canterbury earthquake) and on or before the announcement of this support package on 15 August 2019; and
  2. Before selling the property the previous owner settled a claim with EQC on an under-cap basis; and EQC cover depends on how the natural disaster damage occurred.
  3. Post-sale you have discovered the property has incomplete or insufficient repairs either as a result of defective repair or through damage which had not been properly assessed; and
  4. The cost of the repair, together with the amounts previously paid by EQC for the property is more than the EQC cap ($100,000 +GST); an
  5. You are unable to access private insurance to cover the cost of repairs.

This is will be a welcome resolution to many homeowners but is subject to agreement with EQC as to the extent and cost of necessary repairs.

christchurch real estate eqc insurance

What is payable under the policy

Where the eligibility criteria are met, payment will be based on a scope of works that takes into account:

  • the work required to repair the natural disaster damage in accordance with the EQC Act, and
  • any other reasonable cost of that repair work.

We may have settled the original homeowner’s claim by a managed repair (where we undertook the entire repair process), cash payment (where the homeowner receives a cash payment and manages the repair themselves), or a combination of the two.

If a previous homeowner received a cash payment for some or all of the repairs, and those repairs need addressing, you will need to find out who did the work, and what warranties are in place. You can read about warranties on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s building website

If you find that the repairs have not been carried out, you may need to find out more from the person you bought the home from, and the real estate agent you used to buy the property.

It’s important that any payment you receive is used for repairing or replacing damaged property. Any future insurance claims or cover may be affected if the payment is not used for this purpose.

If you would like to register your interest for the ex gratia payment please use this online on-sold property register of interest form.
Alternatively use our printable register of interest PDF form.

The weather is getting warmer and we are heading into a very busy selling season in the Christchurch real estate market. Harcourts Holmwood have recently announced another Gala Auction on Thursday 28th November  from 6pm at our auction rooms (Ground Floor, 397-399 Ilam Road).

The Holmwood Summer Gala Auction packages include special marketing offers that are not to be missed. Speak with one of our consultants today for more information.

christchurch real estate harcourts holmwood summer gala auction

Update on the Christchurch real estate market by Hayden Broadbelt

August saw the Reserve Bank of New Zealand drop the official cash rate fifty basis points to 1%. The size of the drop was seen as a surprise by many economists, but greatly welcomed by the housing market as the banks dropped their interest rates following the RBNZ direction. The flow on effect was positive, with first home buyers making their presence felt in the housing market. Reports have shown open home numbers increasing on the back of these favourable lending rates.

Properties for sale across Christchurch continued to be tight as property owners looked towards the warmer months to showcase their properties. Days on market dropped by 6 days to 39 days from last month, demonstrating that strong buyer demand and limited stock availability has increased sales levels. August also saw a 3.3% lift in the median sale price as the trend line continued to go in the right direction. There were 536 properties sold in August, showing an expected seasonal increase.

Christchurh real estate

Anticipation for the Spring rush continues to hold the housing market to ransom as vendors remained in a holding pattern in the hope of achieving above market values for their properties. Their price expectations continue to be a hurdle despite strong buyer demand. Auctions continue to be the preferred vehicle for sale as buyer v buyer will always achieve better results than buyer v vendor.

Of course property listings are the lifeblood of any real estate business and the volume of listings coming into Harcourts across the city continues to track well. Harcourts remains the preferred real estate company in Christchurch with close to every second new property to the market being listed by your city’s favourite real estate brand.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling, or are just after some friendly advice, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch or request a no-obligation appraisal by clicking  HERE – the team here at Holmwood are ready to help.


From the daffodils that frame Hagley Park and the blossoms that line the Avenues, there really is nowhere quite like Christchurch in the Spring.

And, as the Garden City comes into bloom, the local property market is looking full of life too! Despite winter’s reputation as a quiet time in real estate, the median house price in Christchurch was up in both June and July, compared to the corresponding period last year. The total volume of sales increased across that two-month period as well, with more than a thousand properties changing hands.

These results seem to fly in the face of the narrative circulated by the media in recent weeks. But, it’s important to remember that most of the data used by industry commentators is based on national figures – and those figures are heavily influenced by the Auckland market. If you’re buying and/or selling in Christchurch, the only numbers which really matter are much closer to home.

Christchurch real estate market Harcourts Holmwood

Given the current momentum of the local market, the coming months are shaping as the ideal time to sell your home. The onset of spring is always the catalyst for sales, with purchasers hustling to complete transactions before Christmas. New job prospects and schooling requirements for 2020 fuel this even further, while the warmer weather and the sunnier days mean homes just look, and feel, that much more appealing.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling, or are just after some friendly advice, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch or request a no-obligation appraisal by clicking  HERE – the team here at Holmwood are ready to ‘spring into action’!

Harcourts Holmwood announce sponsorship of the Christchurch Chapter of Good Bitches Baking

Good Bitches Baking (GBB) is a network of people who want to show kindness to those in their communities. They do this by delivering delicious homemade baking to people in the community who are having a hard time.

Their mission; to make Aotearoa the kindest place on earth.

The organisation was started by Wellington friends Nicole Murray and Marie Fitzpatrick in 2014. They founded GBB, in the Kiwi tradition of delivering comforting food in an hour of need, and it has become extremely popular throughout New Zealand. There are now GBB Chapters right across the country with new Chapters starting all the time.

Good Bitches Baking Christchurch Harcourts Holmwood

The Christchurch GBB Chapter, led by Sally Clarke, has massive 175 bakers. In July they baked 177 boxes of goodies for different organisations and groups across Christchurch including Battered Women’s Trust, Women and Men’s Night Shelter, Post-Natal Depression Canterbury, Neo-Natal Ward and Dementia Canterbury to name a few. Harcourts Holmwood are absolutely delighted to announce their sponsorship of this thriving Chapter.

“I was so pleased when Sally approached us to sponsor this organisation,” says  Harcourts Holmwood CEO, Tony Jenkins. “Good Bitches Baking is a fabulous and very kiwi concept. We can all remember times in our lives when sitting down with a cup of tea and some home-baked treats has provided a moment of reprieve from a difficult situation.”

Click here to find out more about GBB and see how you can volunteer

Spring is fast approaching and we are heading into a very busy selling season in the Christchurch real estate market. Holmwood have recently announced another Gala Auction on Thursday 26th September from 6pm at our auction rooms (Ground Floor, 397-399 Ilam Road).

The Holmwood Spring Gala Auction packages include special marketing offers that are not to be missed. Speak with one of our consultants today for more information.

Harcourts Spring Gala Auction

For the 2020 school year, the Burnside High School zone has been extended beyond what it was in 2019.

This comes as part of a seven-year project by local principals and boards of trustees to manage enrolments across the city. Seven schools – Burnside High, Hillmorton High, Mairehau High, Papanui High, Riccarton High School, Linwood College, and Haeata Community Campus will amend or implement their enrolment zones.

burnside christchurch schools

New Burnside High School Zone

The four single-sex state high schools – Christchurch Girls’, Christchurch Boys’, Shirley Boys’, and Avonside Girls’ – will have “dual-layer” enrolment schemes where their zones overlap with that of a nearby co-educational school.

Those four schools’ zones will not be revised because three were changed recently, and Christchurch Boys’ zone was accepted as is. Hornby High and Cashmere High reviewed their zones last year and will not be consulted on either.

Click here to view interactive map of the new Burnside High Zone