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Storage is one of the most sought after features when searching for a new home. Extra storage makes a home all the more attractive to potential buyers, whether it’s additional garage space for your mountain bikes (that you never ride but promise you’re going to start using) or a walk in wardrobe (yes, yes and yes!) these features are a calling card because people crave order and functionality, at least in some capacity. What this means for you is that if you plan on spending some time in your home that you should consider where you can maximise your storage to create a living environment that is spacious and well thought out.
Take advantage of the space that you do have
This is really about utilising any areas that have not reached their full potential. Small changes like taking your kitchen cabinetry and extending it floor to ceiling maximises the space that may have sat above the cupboards, unused and collecting dust. You may have only added centimetres on either side, but this could result in the inclusion of an entire other shelf to fill.
Incorporate storage in unassuming places
Finding space where perhaps traditionally there wasn’t is such a useful way to up the anti. Looking at furniture like a master bed or lounge and selecting an option that has built in storage underneath is a great way to add depth and storage solution for items you may not use too frequently. Some lounges or ottomans will even be hollow, perfect for soft furnishings that you may not want to display. Ultimately this could free up some wall space, or keep the cupboards at a level that is full, but functional.
Think small
The vacuum cupboard has to be one of the most underrated storage solutions in the business. Everyones all, attics and garages but it’s important to take notice of the small things as well. There is often ample opportunities to create narrow storage solutions with a big impact and now there are plenty of accessories to build a space that you’ll forget how to live without. Small spice drawers, wine racks, there are so many options to explore, I just takes a little imagination.
Work smarter not harder
Sometimes it’s about using the same space in a slightly different way. Perhaps it’s using the same drawer and separating it with dividers to store items vertically. This is particularly useful for kitchen commodities like baking trays that are normally stacked on top of one another, storing them vertically means it can operate almost like a filing cabinet and you don’t have to take out all the other trays to find just the right one you’re looking for. You could use a similar tactic in your linen cupboard by storing each set of sheets inside one pillowcase (revolutionary!) this makes stacking simple and you’ll never accidentally pull out 3 other pillowcases with the one you were looking for.
Author: Rosalie Molloy 


The latest results are out and NZ’s property value growth has enjoyed a comeback recently, with the national property value average rising from February’s 6.5% to 7.3% in March. This 0.8% lift may not seem monumental, but it represents the strongest annual growth rate since June 2017 – no doubt underpinned by continued low interest rates and high employment rates.
NZ’s average value of housing stock is now $667,618 with residential real estate asset worth a total of $1.08Trillion. 
To understand the types of buyers currently active in the market, we looked to CoreLogic’s unique measure of buyer classification data, covered off in this month’s NZ Property Market and Economic Update Report.  
Just 27% of sales went to a group of people identified as ‘movers’: those who have sold an existing property and purchased another.  This group is also currently showing great skill for biding their time. Patience may be a virtue, but it’s easier to practice when you’re not desperate to get onto the property ladder in the first place. 
‘First home buyers’ are making the most of KiwiSaver fund access for deposits and a more partly flexible lending environment, with the easing of Loan to Value ratios and lower interest rates, somewhat countering stricter serviceability criteria. They’ve held their ground in the past few months and account for a healthy 22% of sales across the country. This group is willing to sacrifice home type/location to take that first step on the ladder, especially in Auckland.
‘Multiple property owners’ (those who own more than one property) have returned to their market share of 37%, but it’s those not requiring finance that are keeping up the share, as mortgaged multiple property owners now account for only 24% of sales (non-mortgaged with 14%) compared to 27% and 12% respectively in 2016. They may be facing extra regulations around the provision of rental property, and the threat of more tax but it doesn’t appear to be deterring all property investors, just those who require funding.
Head of Research Nick Goodall  comments: “Although the mix of buyer type varies around the country, ‘first home buyers’ are currently the group showing greater resilience in NZ’s property market and  contributing to values holding firm - an interesting market dynamic to note as we head towards the Winter period”.
To get a fuller picture of what’s happening in the NZ Property Market, download your free copy of the report here
When a property is recently listed on the market for sale, it gets the shiny ‘new listing’ label. In our data analyses, we classify ‘new listings’ as properties that have newly been listed in the last week. “They’re a good indicator of market confidence and play a role in influencing price pressures”, Head of Research Nick Goodall explains. 
According to the latest NZ Property and Economic Update Report, even though new listings have eased off over the past 3-4 weeks, the only areas where ‘new listing’ activity figures are lower than those enjoyed a year ago are in Wellington and Canterbury. Otago’s new listings have shot up (this could be vendors looking to cash in on recent value improvements, or perhaps its property investors exiting the market before new rental quality requirements becoming law). If you look at NZ as a whole, new listings are actually up 5% on the same time last year.
But, it’s not all about the shiny and new. To get a fuller picture, we also measure the ‘total’ number of properties listed for sale in NZ. As well as new listings, this figure incorporates those properties that were listed prior to the last week. More choice of properties often means less price pressure, and vice versa. Nationwide, total listings are actually 8% higher than they were a year ago - driven by Waikato and Auckland, while Wellington remains near all-time lows, flat year-on-year and down 23% on the same time two years ago.
OK - so we’ve got many areas with more properties on the market than last year: but what can listings tell us about other market dynamics?  And what’s the picture looking like for actual sales? 
Well, for starters: total listings can make it easier to understand localised price pressures. 
The upwards price pressures happening in Wellington are easy to put into context against a 10% drop in new listings and zero movement in total listings against last year. Even dropping demand hasn’t dented the upward price pressure, showing how powerful a lack of listings can be. Wellington’s first home buyers (32% of sales) and ‘multiple property owners’ (35%) will know all about that. For first home buyers, this is a record-breaking level and for multiple property owners, non-mortgaged buyers are holding up their overall share as those requiring mortgages continue to struggle for finance.. “It’s an interesting dynamic: both groups are impacted by tighter credit tests, but are also faced with price pressure requiring competitive offers for properties. Unlike ‘movers’ who have dropped right off to just 20%, their lowest share of property in the history of our time series! 
Over 9,500 properties sold last month. This level of sales volume is down 2% year-on-year across New Zealand, but as Goodall notes: “the pace of decline is certainly slowing and actually, there are tentative signs that some parts of the country are past the worst of poor performance. If you look at the ‘last three months combined’ figures for Hamilton, Christchurch and Dunedin, they’re actually higher than they were one year ago.  It’s unfortunately a different story for Tauranga and Wellington, where 3 month sales volumes compared year on year are -3% (Wellington) and -9% (Tauranga). 
So yes: listings have a major role to play: but it’s not all about the shiny and new. How about value performance then? …well that’s a whole different story. To get a better picture about what’s happening with NZ property, download your free copy of the report here.
One of life's most simple pleasures is climbing into fresh, crisp sheets after your daily hustle. It is a small luxury that resonates across people and place. It is a part of the allure of a beautiful hotel, and the most luxurious of experiences pale in comparison because this is completely and utterly accessible, every day of the week.
There is no reason you can’t bring that hotel feel into your home and the small touches of luxury will make your bedroom your sanctuary. Whether you are after a silkiness that is reminiscent of royalty or your taste is tittering towards the clarity of raw linen, far beyond colour variations, there are countless options to try and test. However if 1000 thread count means nothing to you (can someone please explain what this actually means?!) then I have invented a scale you can truly get behind.
Rating: 6/10 Softness
Timeless and classic, cotton bedding is the old faithful, never fail bed linen. With comfort and stability on its side, it’s hard to look elsewhere. This blend has stood the test of time. Take this ranking as an average across thread counts, although comfortable, and consistent, there is no oooh and ahhh at the touch and feel.
Rating: 7.5/10 softness
Linen blend has a rawness to it, that adds texture and structure. I’m talking beautifully crisp, if that is what appeals to you. Linen wears spectacularly over time and the more it is used, washed and slept on, the softer it becomes. Like your favourite pair of sneakers, this just gets better the more you use it. You can pick up this combination in an array of awe-inspiring colours (the tobacco is something special) at In Bed Store.
Rating: 9/10 softness
Brought to my attention by the wonderful team at The Beach People, eucalyptus blend (approximately 65% eucalyptus) marries natural fibres to create a linen that emulates silk in both look and feel (very, VERY soft!). Hypoallergenic for all your sensitivities, but the major selling point of this style of bedding is it’s breathability, the beauty of the blend is that it is almost completely undisturbed by temperature fluctuations, which is missing from other fabrics that rank similarly on the very professional and completely legitimate ‘softness scale’.
Whatever your preference I strongly recommend trialling as many styles as you can. You have explicit permission to spend obscene amounts of time and energy resting your head on as many different types of linen as you can, after all, a good nights sleep is priceless!
Author: Rosalie Molloy