…and we’re not scared!

Take a look outside and see if you can spot them… teddy bears are popping up in windows and on garden fences all around the world to create some special ‘physically-distanced’ magic for kids of all ages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inspired by the popular children’s book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”, by Michael Rosen, the real-life Kiwi bear hunt has seen homes from Bluff to Auckland place teddy bears in their street-facing windows, allowing local children to “hunt” for bears in their neighbourhood. The teddy bear hunt is now a global pastime as millions upon millions enter self-isolation and lockdown. The motto of the book – “We’re not scared” – has resonated for many.

At Harcourts Holmwood the communities we serve are the foundation of what we do, so to help bring a little more magic to the kids in the communities we serve we have created some simple colouring templates for you to use, share and have fun with.

Follow the super simple steps to bring the magic to life:

1. Grab a teddy bear – preferably pre-loved
2. Print off or re-draw your Harcourts Holmwood teddy bear picture template
3. Display your teddy bear somewhere at the front of your home where a child would see it
4. Surprise and delight the kids and families in your local area.

Download Poster 1 – Harcourts Holmwood

Download Poster 2 – Harcourts Holmwood

Download Poster 3 – Harcourts Holmwood


Prep time: 15 mins
Bake time: 12-15 mins
Makes: 24 mini brownies


175g butter, chopped

150g dark chocolate

250g light brown soft sugar

85g self-raising flour

50g cocoa powder

3 large eggs, beaten

100g milk chocolate chips

24 mini chocolate eggs, plus extra to decorate

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line 24 holes of a mini muffin tray with paper cases. Put the butter, dark chocolate and sugar in a pan and heat it very gently, stirring all the time until the butter and chocolate have melted. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for a few mins.
  2. Meanwhile, sift the flour, cocoa and a good pinch of salt into a large bowl. Stir in the warm, melted chocolate mixture and the beaten eggs, then add half the chocolate chips and mix until just combined.
  3. Divide the mixture between the cases and place a mini egg into the middle of each muffin, pushing down gently. Bake for 12-15 mins until cooked but still gooey in the centre – they will continue cooking a little as they cool down. Leave to cool for 10 mins in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Melt the rest of the chocolate chips in short bursts in the microwave, or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring frequently. Leave to cool until it is quite thick, then dot a small amount on each cake and stick on some more mini eggs.

It’s hard to believe that February has come and gone, Summer is now well and truly behind us – the days and weeks are flying by so fast!

With 2020 now in full swing, and people planning for the year ahead, Autumn is shaping up to be a compelling time to sell.

Traditionally, we’ve always been taught that Spring and Summer are the ideal periods in which to sell – and that’s certainly still a great time to be on the market. However, the team at Harcourts Holmwood has also noticed a marked increase in buyer activity in this current market, particularly with first home buyers.

The fresher months certainly bring some benefits. The days are still long and there’s plenty of natural light, but the fierce heat of mid-summer is starting to dissipate, making for perfect open home conditions.
The market’s in great shape at the moment. The latest REINZ stats show that 2020 started with an increase in both median price and the overall volume of sales, not to mention a whopping 20% drop in the number of average days taken to sell.
All of this means there are still plenty of opportunities to take your home to market before Winter starts knocking on the door.
If you’re thinking about buying or selling, or are just after some friendly advice, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch – one of our Holmwood Consultants will put together a marketing plan that’s tailored to your needs.

You can also request a no-obligation appraisal by clicking  HERE – the team here at Holmwood is ready to help you!

The REINZ stats comparing December 2019 with 2018 were recently released, with encouraging signs evident across the board. In December, both the median house price and the volume of sales were up on the same month for the two previous years, while the number of days taken to sell dropped dramatically from 35 to just 30.

No doubt this growing confidence will have fed into people’s resolutions for the year ahead. And, if January was the time for goal-setting, then February is all about action! If your plans for 2020 involve a step up (or even down) the property ladder, then now’s the time to set the wheels in motion.

Establish your priorities. The house-hunting process will be much, much easier if you’re clear about what you’re looking for from the outset. Start by creating a list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’. It’s really hard for sales consultants to help you if we don’t know what you want.

Know your budget. Understanding how much you have to spend is critical. Consult with your lender (or ask us about preferred mortgage brokers) early on in the process and clean up your finances as much as possible. A few months of responsible spending will give you the best chance of securing the ideal loan.

Do your research. Ask us about what’s happening in the current market; it’s where we work and what we do every day so our shared knowledge can be to your advantage. We can provide data on recent sales in the areas you’re looking at; the more knowledge you have, the better your decision.

For more information contact one of our consultants today

Due to the current COVID-19 Coronavirus we have decided to suspend the Holmwood Careers Evening until further notice.

Please contact us today to discuss how you can join the Holmwood team and start your exciting and rewarding career in Real Estate!



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 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

Harcourts Holmwood Top Picks for enjoying Christchurch this Summer 2020.

Click on the links below for more information. Reminders will be up on our Facebook page. HAVE FUN!!

Deep South Lazy Sundays

Every Sunday 19 Jan – 16 Feb 2020
3.30pm to 5pm
Botanic Gardens



World Buskers Festival

23 January to 16 February 2020
Christchurch City



Chinese New Year Parade

16 Feb 2020 3pm to 5pm
Starts: Bridge of Remembrance
Finishes: Cathedral Square



Summer pool parties

Break out your bathers Christchurch as Jellie Park, Waltham, Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre and Lyttelton pools host parties across the Summer season!



Live at the Point – Sunday Sessions

Every Sunday until 16 February 1pm
Godley House gardens, Diamond Harbour



Night Noodle Markets 2020

6 Feb 2020 to 15 Feb 2020
4pm to 10pm
North Hagley Park


YES Power Sparks

15 Feb 2020, 6.30pm to 10pm
Fireworks at approx. 9.40pm
North Hagley Park


Electric Avenue Music Festival 2020

22 Feb 2020, 11am to 11pm
North Hagley Park


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.

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.