News in brief: Beach weekend ends in brawl for financial adviser

by NZ Adviser18 Nov 2015
Beach weekend ends in brawl for financial adviser
A prominent financial adviser has denied assault charges after allegedly punching his former friend unconscious, claiming it was in self-defence, The Dominion Post reports. 

Owner of Masterton financial advisory firm Rival Wealth, Tim Fairbrother arrived in Masterton District Court yesterday for the second and final day of a judge-alone trial on a charge of assaulting his former friend and cricket teammate Troy Sayer.

Sayer and Fairbrother got into an argument about a business matter involving Sayer's wife, who was Fairbrother's firm's accountant.

Sayer claimed that his wife had been bullied by Fairbrother after she gave some business to another firm instead of his, but Fairbrother said he had simply expressed "hurt" about the decision, the paper reported. 

Police prosecutor Sergeant Jodie Lawrence suggested Fairbrother had made up his version to protect his business, which manages about $70 million for some 2000 clients nationwide, which Fairbrother denied.

The judge will announce his decision early next month.

Lifestyle property sales soar to record heights  
The latest Real Estate Institute of NZ data released today shows lifestyle property sales have jumped by nearly 40% (584 more sales) for the three months ended October, compared to the same time last year.

“Sales volumes for the three month period ending October 2015 have again reached record levels, with reports from some regions indicating increased interest in the lifestyle market as a result of higher pricing in the residential sector”, says REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke.

There were 2,123 lifestyle properties sold in total for the three months ended October 2015, compared to 2,075 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended September 2015 (+2.3%), and 1,539 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended October 2014. 

The median price for all lifestyle properties sold in the three months to October 2015 rose by $20,000 to $525,000 compared to $505,000 recorded for three months ended October 2014 (+4.0%). 

Rotorua house sales spike 71%
Houses continue to be snapped up in Rotorua as sales increased by 71% in October, the ninth consecutive month of double-digit increases, according to a REINZ housing market report.

October saw the largest number of recorded sales since 2007, with a total of 159 homes sold and only January recorded fewer sales than the previous year so far.

"The market is looking very positive," said Harcourts Rotorua's Hielke Oppers. "A lot of sales and sale prices are going up, time to sell is going down, all the indicators are positive."

Oppers said investors from Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga had all been active in the market.

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