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Rates grab misses a few big fish

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  • Rates grab misses a few big fish

    Rates grab misses a few big fish
    10:35AM Sunday Oct 26, 2008
    By Jane Phare
    Jimmy Kirkpatrick and his socialite wife Gilda's house has risen in value by 11.2 per cent to $19.79 million. Photos / Herald on Sunday

    Jimmy Kirkpatrick and his socialite wife Gilda's house has risen in value by 11.2 per cent to $19.79 million. Photos / Herald on Sunday

    Actress Lucy Lawless and New Zealand's richest man, Graeme Hart, might just get away with nominal rates rises next year, but All Blacks coach Graham Henry is likely to face an increase.

    As the 2008 CVs for Auckland and North Shore arrive in letterboxes throughout the two cities, homeowners with hefty rises in property value can expect to pay an extra share of the rating burden next year. Auckland City CVs increased by an average of 12.5 per cent, which means that Hart, already paying $44,700 annually in rates, won't have to pay much more next year.

    His Glendowie clifftop mansion now has a CV of $22 million, up $2m from 2005. But that 10 per cent rise puts him under the Auckland City average which will hold down his share of the rates.

    The same will apply to actress Lucy Lawless and her husband Rob Tapert, whose Mission Bay home, tucked away on a large site behind high gates, has risen in value by less than 10 per cent to $ 6m which means their $ 13,000 annual rates bill will stay much the same. But Graham Henry will be in for a rise.

    His St Heliers clifftop home has gone up by 30.8 per cent to $3.82m, which means his $6800 rates bill will too. The gated Parnell mansion belonging to National's leader John Key now has a CV of $7.28m but the 6.7 per cent increase since 2005 means his $15,800 rates bill could drop.

    Not so lucky is near neighbour, Navman cofounder Lionel Rogers, who last year built a home, clad in Getty marble, perched on the cliff where the old White Heron villas used to be.

    His CV has risen by nearly 40 per cent to $12.57m, meaning his $20,000 annual rates bill will soar. One home in Marine Parade, Herne Bay, has increased in value by a staggering 73.7 per cent, from $2.66m to $4.62m, and another, in Remuera's Arney Crescent, has increased by a whopping 92 per cent, from $3.45m to $6.63m.

    Auckland City Council's group manager of data services, Grant McInman, says homeowners have until December 1 to lodge an objection to their CVs and he's expecting about 2.5 per cent of the city's 154,000 homeowners to do so.

    The first objection was lodged, via the internet, the morning after the rates notices were posted out. However, the Prime Minister Helen Clark is unlikely to complain about her CV. The valuation for the Mt Eden bungalow she shares with her husband Peter Davis went up by just 2.8 per cent, from $720,000 to $740,000. As a result their annual rates bill of $1970 is unlikely to rise by much.

    While most of Auckland's swanky homes have increased in value, one of Remuera's most gracious mansions, the 110-year-old Fairholm, has gone down. Owned by property developer and apartment builder Peter Turner, the property's CV has dropped from $9.2m to $8.7m. (Turner bought the property in 2005 for $9.5m.) And over on Waiheke John Hawkesby's beach hideaway has dropped in value from $2.9m to $2.82m.

    But, as Barfoot and Thompson managing director Peter Thompson warns, council CVs cannot safely be used as a price guide in the current property market. As an example, he says, the CVs for two Remuera properties for sale in Portland Rd varied widely. One was well above the recommended sale price for the property and the other well below. He recommends getting appraisals from real estate agents and taking an average price. Even then don't expect a quick sale.

    Thompson says sales by auction or tender, which encourage buyers to make a decision, are taking on average 58 days. A sole agency listing is taking 80 days and general listings are taking 130 days. But there are plenty of vendors who live in hope. Certainly the owner of Pakatoa Island in the Hauraki Gulf is not taking the CV as a price guide. The island is for sale for $35m, even though the latest CV is $18m (up from $14.5m in 2005).

    Waiting too for a sale are multimillionaire Jimmy Kirkpatrick and his socialite wife, Gilda, who own an investment property in Paritai Drive. Despite the increase in the property's CV, up to $7.19m from $5.05m, it is still a way off the $10m price tag. The Kirkpatricks are paying more than $30,000 in rates for that property and their home opposite. The huge pale lemon house has been lavishly renovated over the past two years and has risen in value by 11.2 per cent to $10.79m.

    While homeowners may be wondering just how accurate their CVs are, Auckland City Council valuers themselves say they're already out of date. The CVs were based on data from July this year, data that one council spokesman says is already out of date as the market has slumped further.

    Thompson agrees the market has gone backwards since the CVs were fixed but is encouraged by an jump in sales last week compared with the previous week which he describes as - the worst in two decades - He predicts "casualties" in the industry before a "very tough" market recovers.

    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx