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Aucklanders get new property valuations — and commentator immediately appeals, saying his is too high

What's got his back up | Auckland Council website falls over.

Mon, 10 Nov 2014

LATEST: Auckland Council's property value web crash — an offline problem

High-profile property commentator Alistair Helm has told Auckland Council he'll be appealing his property valuation — and he believes many more people than usual will do the same.

The one-time CEO turned Properrazi founder took to social media to complain this morning as new valuations went live on Auckland Council's website. (Be patient if you're after yours. Whatever rates hikes have been spent on lately, it's not web servers. The site was swamped to a standstill first thing this morning*).

The average valuation increase for all properties in the city is 29%, the council says.

Residential properties have increased an average 34% over the last major round of valuations in 2011; commercial  properties 16.4%, industrial 15.7%, lifestyle 17.7% and rural 4.6%.

The super-size increases are mixed for super city home owners. A big CV is great to tout when you're selling your home; not so much when you're paying the associated rates hike.

The guts of Mr Helm's objection is that his home's new CV is out of sync with recent property sales in his area.

"I am not keen to expose specifics of the issue around our appeal," he tells NBR. "[But] I believe though that the Auckland Council will have a much higher level of challenge to these CV’s than ever before.

"In our situation, we bought our house nearly a year ago during which time the price of property in our suburb has barely moved - and certainly by viewing sales since July of this year there has been no appreciable change.

"Yet our assessment of the CV for our house is 14% higher than we paid for it — so to have the Auckland Council say the CV is based on the market value at July 2014 is without foundation. That will be the grounds for our challenge."

On Twitter, he labelled the council's valuations inconsistent and "once over lightly".

No doubt with his pending high rates bill in mind, he Mr Helm called his valuation news from the council, "A Christmas present you have to pay for, for the next 3 years — like a credit card debt!"

Does Mr Helm think CVs should be done away with?

"CVs are not a good measure of true value as they are updated only every three years," he tells NBR.

"Given technology they could be a rolling CV and therefore a more appropriate measure of valuation and therefore apportionment of value. All councisl use Core Logic and they could provide an integration to their algorithm that could spit out an updated CV every three to six months."

He adds, "If Auckland Council is using a CV to apportion my rates then I want there to be principle equality. If they say that the CV which will be used to assess my rates is what they describe as the likely value as at July 2014 then I want to ensure their CV matches as closely what our property value would have been in July and that is not 14% higher than we paid for it in December."

* At 9.20am, Auckland Council posted the following to its Facebook page: "Due to high demand for property values, some people are experiencing delays accessing the Auckland Council website this morning. We apologise for the inconvenience and are working on resolving the issue asap. If you are looking for revaluation info, please check back later today. For urgent enquiries please call 09 301 0101."

UPDATE: At midday I was able to finally access the new CV for my property and cheerily tweeted an all-clear. But I spoke too soon. Things were still bogged down again and late this afternoon I still wasn't able to get into Property Search. High volume continues to cause issues, the council says — although at least other parts of its website are now accessbile for those with non-property frenzy queries. 

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Aucklanders get new property valuations — and commentator immediately appeals, saying his is too high