REAA - The Update
  October 2017
Tēnā koutou

After weeks of waiting, we finally have a new Government. It remains to be seen what implications will be for our industry. In the meantime, here's what you can read about in this newsletter:
  • Top five issues in complaints and enquiries in 2017
  • What do people think about their real estate experience?
  • REAA consults on changes to the Continuing Education Practice rules
  • Tribunals Powers and Procedures Legislation Bill
  • Anti-Money Laundering Bill Update
  • Topics for Continuing Education in 2018
  • Have your say on agency complaint handling
  • Trends from the industry
  • In the media - mortgage broking / conflict of interest
In brief...
  • Continuing education reminder for 2017:
    With only two months left until the end of the year, now is the time to get onto your continuing education if you have not already. Your 10 hours of verifiable and 10 hours of non-verifiable continuing education need to be completed by 31 December 2017. You can find out more by clicking here.
  • Updating your profile in the Licensee Portal:
    You can use the Licensee Portal to update any changes to your address, contact and employment details during the year at any time. We have started collecting data on the languages you speak and the type of real estate work you do. You can update this information in the name and address page on the Licensee Portal. You’re not required to provide this information, but it helps us to target our communications to specific groups.
  • New websites update:  
    In the last couple of newsletters we've let you know that we are changing our name to the Real Estate Authority (REA), and launching two new websites. The new REA website will be simpler and easier to navigate. The second website will be aimed at consumers, and provide information to educate buyers and sellers. We intend to launch both websites and our new name in late January 2018.

We’ll be in touch again before Christmas. But in the meantime, I hope you find this newsletter valuable. Enjoy those extra hours of sunshine each evening.

Kevin Lampen-Smith
Kevin Lampen-Smith

Kevin Lampen-Smith
Chief Executive Officer/Registrar

Top five complaints and enquiries topics
The REAA receives complaints and enquiries from various people involved in real estate, business, and commercial transactions, when they are in many different stages of the transaction process. We have identified the most common themes over the past six months and have included some tips for preventing complaints about these issues.

These areas are:
  1. Providing misleading information
  2. Not disclosing defects or important information about a property
  3. Advertising/marketing
  4. Customer service issues
  5. Sale and purchase agreements
Read some top tips on these topics from our Early Resolution staff.
Read More

What do people think about their real estate experience?
Each year REAA undertakes research to understand what consumers think of the real estate industry. We interview people who have dealt with a real estate licensee in the last year, including unsuccessful buyers and sellers of property.
We do this research as part of an audit that helps REAA determine what to focus on to help achieve our objective of increasing professionalism and confidence in the real estate industry. The outcomes help frame Continuing Education topics and other projects that REAA plans to work on. This year's survey was undertaken on behalf of REAA by Nielsen Research.
Read More

REAA consults on changes to the Continuing Education Practice rules
REAA proposes making changes to Continuing Education Practice rules to ensure people re-entering the industry after a break are sufficiently skilled on up-to-date training.
REAA has also identified that some parts of the sector may benefit from more specific training offered by another industry body. These changes are proposed to come into force from January 1, 2018. Have your say by November 8.
Read More

Tribunals Powers and Procedures Legislation Bill
In our last newsletter we outlined that the Tribunals Powers and Procedures Legislation Bill (Tribunals Bill) was introduced into Parliament at the beginning of August.
The Bill has now had its first reading and has been referred to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee. Public consultation on this bill is likely to be in early 2018. There is a number of key changes proposed to the Real Estate Agents Act 2008.
Read More

Anti-Money Laundering update
The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Financing of Terrorism Act has now passed and become law. The law takes effect for real estate agents on 1 January 2019. We focus on likely red flags that may indicate suspicious activity.
Read More

Topics for Continuing Education in 2018
We've set the topics for continuing education for 2018. The five modules are based on the types of complaints and enquiries we receive, and on topical areas.

The topics include meth, and the recently-introduced Supervision Standard, the multi-offer process, current market appraisals, and the basics of contract law.

Have your say on agency complaint handling
One of our objectives is to better support our industry to deal with and resolve complaints at an agency level. To help achieve this objective, we want to hear from you about your experiences in resolving complaints within your agency. We invite you to take a brief, anonymous survey about complaint handling within your agency.

We will be conducting in-depth interviews with agency managers and eligible officers in the coming months. You can access the survey here.

Trends from the Industry
It has been an interesting few months in the property sector as market conditions continue to evolve in light of the recent election outcome, tighter lending conditions, and slow sales volumes this winter.  Each newsletter we aim to provide some industry insights from across the sector.

REINZ’s Monthly Property Report for September outlined that fewer properties have sold in recent months. In August and September no region saw an increase in the volume of property sold when compared to the same months in 2016.

Auckland auction volumes are down on the same period from 2016; with auctions now comprising approximately a quarter of all sales in the city, and 15% of all residential sales nationally.

The volume of homes sold in September dropped 26%, from 7,352 homes in September 2016, to 5,428 homes sold in September 2017.  The median price of homes sold increased by 1.2%. Six regions in New Zealand experienced a double-digit median price increase in residential properties sold when comparing September 2016 to September 2017.

For more information and market trends, read REINZ’s September Monthly Property Report.

From CoreLogic
Core Logic released its Quarterly Pain and Gain report for the April - June 2017 quarter earlier this month. The report showed only 3.7% of sales, or fewer than one in 25 properties sold in this period were sold at a loss. Of the metro regions Christchurch is the city where properties are more likely to be sold at a loss (just under 8% of properties sold at a loss).

For more information on this report and to see information from your region, read CoreLogic’s Pain and Gain Report.

Last week CoreLogic released their Monthly Property Market and Economic Update for October and November. Of note is the increase in the volume of first-home buyers, which at 22% of all residential property purchases, is at the highest level since 2007.

In the media - mortgage broking / conflict of interest
Kevin Lampen-Smith, REAA’s Chief Executive spoke with Radio New Zealand earlier this month following a report from Consumer New Zealand. The report showed some real estate agents are offering clients a mortgage broker and earning a referral fee from the broker, without informing parties to the contract. Listen to the interview here.

While REAA hasn't had complaints about this issue, the Real Estate Agents Act clearly states in section 136 that:

A licensee who carries out real estate agent work in respect of a transaction must disclose in writing to all prospective parties to the transaction whether or not the licensee, or any person related to the licensee, may benefit financially from the transaction.

It is not in breach of the Act to benefit financially from a transaction in this way, but it is in breach to not disclose this information to all parties in writing.

Unsatisfactory conduct

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