So this is the Government's Housing Affordability plan?

Expert advice: Hold on tight for the housing crisis sales – 09 Mar 2008 – NZ Herald: New Zealand National news

Optimism unshaken as top end auctions stall – 09 Mar 2008 – NZ Herald: New Zealand National news

Two items today highlight what may well be the government’ master plan for housing affordability. Decimation of the sector.

Don’t buy yet, don’t sell right now, and polish the nugget you’re sitting on. That’s the key advice from three property gurus who claim to have the good oil on how to prosper in New Zealand’s slumping housing market.

With the number of sales down across the country and prices beginning to fall in some areas, investment experts say the time is ripe to study the market and wait for the bargains to hit.

They say first-time home hunters should use the next six months to save a better deposit.

The experts say, “just wait the economy will tank and then there will be bargains”. More experts agree.

Families wanting to upgrade to a better property should also follow the six-month rule, says Mike McCombie, one of three property experts behind a new real estate guide How to Survive and Prosper in a Falling Property Market [out March 17].

“The market’s not going to go anywhere apart from sideways or down,” says McCombie, an investor who bought his first property in 1977 when he was just 19.

Thirty years later he is advising first-home buyers to “be cautious and patient”. He estimates some homeowners will be backed into a corner by rising mortgage rates which could see some bargains on the market. “There will be some people who have to sell.”

Co-author Mark Withers agrees, and advises those looking to make a buck to watch what happens in mid- to low-income suburbs.

“There’s going to be more bargains to be had in these areas simply because there’s more people in difficulty,” says Withers.