Agent pinged for 'simplistic summary'

00:24, Jul 27 2012

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against a real estate agent for offering financial advice he was not qualified to give.

The authority also said a statement made by Property Brokers in a radio advertisement was misleading, and ''a very simplistic summary'' of the risks of property investment.

In the advertisement which aired on The Radio Network stations, Property Brokers managing director Tim Mordaunt said with the retirement age likely to rise people should be thinking about their own super schemes.

''Now is the time to buy an investment property,'' the advertisement said. ''Prices are affordable, interest rates very low. Your tenant will pay of your mortgage and Bingo, when you retire you have income.''

The ASA said the ad could be considered investment advice which was the domain of qualified investment professionals.

It also said the statement strongly implied that a financial return was guaranteed if people bought an investment property, which was misleading as ''no such surety could be given by the Advertiser''.

''In the Complaints Board's view this was a very simplistic summary of [the] risks of property investment.''

Property Brokers operates in provincial areas in the lower North Island and Canterbury. It sells farms, rental properties, lifestyle blocks and commercial/industrial investments as well as residential homes.

Mordaunt told the ASA he is a registered public valuer, a fellow of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, and has long experience in real estate.

''I know I do have both the experience and qualifications to advise people on property investment. It is people who don't take sound advice that get into trouble,'' he said.