An Auckland real estate agent is hoping a couple of free gym memberships might entice potential property buyers to come to view an apartment.
Having offered a year's worth of free avocado on toast on a Three Kings property after it was passed in at auction, Ray White Remuera real estate agent Ben Ryken has moved on to gym memberships, offering the new owners two one-year memberships to BodyTech Gym.
"One of the big pulls for that apartment block is that it's right on the doorstep of BodyTech gym… one of the most expensive in Auckland," Ryken explained.
When buying apartments, potential buyers tend to overlook the more unique features of the property, focusing on the building, how reputable the developer is, and the area around it first, he said.
"It's a bit harder to stand out as an apartment in the current market compared to a house, where you can have street frontage," Ryken added.
Having seen an increase in apartments listed for sale over the past two-to-three weeks, he wants to make the three-bedroom apartment, based in the central suburb of Grafton, stand out.
Although the price of the two, one-year gym memberships pales in comparison to the price of the apartment, he's hoping the small investment will bring buyers in, when he anticipates they'll "fall in love" with what they see.
"It's higher-spec compared to everything else in the building and the owners have upgraded it to the nines... I just think that people need to get in the door to see it," Ryken added.
There are many factors at play in the property market, including rising interest rates, tighter loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions, removal of tax incentives for investors, and increased lending restrictions.
Ryken expects removal of managed isolation requirements from early in 2022 to bring a "big mix of buyers in the pool", but said he has noticed a change of sentiment in the market.
"What we are finding is we're really having to qualify buyers and talk to them about the benefits of properties more than six months ago," Ryken added.
Acknowledging house prices are "unsustainably high", a Markets Outlook released by BNZ on November 22, ahead of the 25 basis point rise to the Official Cash Rate on November 24, said there were early (mainly anecdotal) signs rising interest rates and tightened lending conditions had started to affect the housing market.
At best, this would lead to a stalling in house price appreciation. More probably it would result in a "modest correction in prices", (in the order of 5 percent to 10 percent), the bank said in the report.