State houses on market for 24 hours
‘‘In response to changing demand we've taken them off the market.’’
It may well have been one of the quickest marketing campaigns in real estate history.
Last Tuesday For Sale signs went up outside three boarded-up state houses in Ranui and Cannons Creek in Porirua.
The Harcourts website appealed to ‘‘Property Developers, Investors, and Builders’’ and advised ‘‘Investors Gear Up’’, but by Wednesday morning the listings had been removed.
On Tuesday night Kapi-Mana News sent questions through to the buildings owners, Housing NZ, to ask why the properties were for sale. By Wednesday afternoon a spokesperson said the houses had been taken off the market.
‘‘We had been intending to sell them as they are three bedroom properties and demand is mainly for one and two bedroom properties. However, in response to changing demand we’ve taken them off the market and reconsidering how we use them.
‘‘Housing New Zealand is currently responding to changing demand in a number of areas.’’
Housing NZ did not respond to questions asking how demand changed overnight and the Harcourt’s agents would not com- ment.
The houses had been empty for nearly three years according to Allie Burns who had lived on the street for 12 years.
‘‘They still get the lawns mowed and the security guards used to come round sometimes to check up on them. But no one has lived in them for ages.’’
Housing NZ told the previous tenants they had to leave because the properties needed earthquake strengthening, she said.
Zar Mason said she and her family were moved on from two of the houses that were marketed for sale.
‘‘Both times I was told the properties weren’t safe because they needed earthquake strengthening, but nothing was ever done.’’
She had lived in one house for 10 years before she was moved to one further up the road and was then ultimately moved out of the street.
‘‘I’m peeved because that was my street, my community, my children grew up there. I could let my kids play outside because everyone looked after each other.
‘‘I don’t think they should be selling them, people are homeless all over New Zealand. They need to fix these houses up and put families in them.’’
In August, Housing NZ said a combination of earthquake strengthening, methamphetamine contamination and ‘‘pending sales’’ were keeping 486 state homes in the Wellington area out of the hands of some of the 523 people on the Ministry of Social Development housing register. Across New Zealand, 2486 houses are vacant, and 5012 would-be tenants crowd the waiting list.