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Regional Commentary and Property Market Statistics - April 2020

Market Statistics

Property Brokers 18 May 2020

PB030482 - Regional Commentary & Property market StatisticsThe number of properties sold in April across New Zealand decreased by -78.5% from the same time last year – from 6,082 to 1,305 – as the level 4 lockdown made it very difficult for property sales to occur, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), source of the most complete and accurate real estate data in New Zealand.

For New Zealand excluding Auckland, the number of properties sold decreased by -82.4% when compared to the same time last year (from 4,357 to 767).

 

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “The number of properties sold across the country decreased by 78.5% when compared to the same time last year which is not entirely surprising given that for the first 27 days of the month the entire country was in complete lockdown and sales could only take place via contactless methods such as online/phone auctions or using digital technology such as FlexiSign.

 

“Of the 1,305 properties sold across New Zealand, about half were sold in the first 10 days of lockdown (656
properties), followed by just 272 between 11-20 April which included Easter, and then an uplift in the last
10 days of the month with 377 properties sold,” says Norwell.

 

Despite the decrease in sales volumes, median house prices across New Zealand increased by 17.2% in April to a
new record high of $680,000, up from $580,000 in April 2019.


Median house prices for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased by 6.6% to a median price of $520,000, up from $488,000 in April last year.

 

Regions with the largest decrease in annual sales volumes during April were:
• Southland: -92.1% (from 140 to 11 – 129 fewer houses)
• Nelson: -91.6% (from 83 to 7 – 76 fewer houses)
• Manawatu/Wanganui: -87.2% (from 384 to 49 – 335 fewer houses)
• Gisborne: -86.6% (from 67 to 9 – 58 fewer houses)

 

Record median prices were recorded in:
• Hawke’s Bay with a 39.4% increase to $648,000 up from $465,000 at the same time last year – the first time the median price has gone over the $600,000 mark and a $103,000 uplift from March
• Wellington with an 18.3% increase to $730,000 up from $617,077 at the same time last year
• Nelson with a 22.8% increase to $660,000 up from $537,500 at the same time last year.

Regional Analysis - Auckland

“The Auckland market remained stable in April with a 9.2% annual increase in median prices to $925,000. Additionally, Papakura District and Waitakere City both achieved record prices of $735,000 and $875,000 respectively. A lot of vendors are meeting the market with good negotiations between parties as both buyers and sellers seem to be motivated. Vendors are listening to feedback and completing deals across various price points. There are fewer first home buyers in the market, but we may see more return with the temporary removal of LVRs. The number of cash buyers will also depend on how stringent bank  lending is. There was a lot more activity towards the end of April as we moved into Alert Level 3. Over the next few months, it is expected to be steady, however, it will also depend on how long we stay in lockdown, the management of wider economic policies and access to bank lending. With more than half of the country’s new listings in April in Auckland, it suggests that perhaps Auckland may be the first region to find its ‘new normal’ in the next few months.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 34 days is the same as the 10-year average for April. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 18 weeks, 11 weeks less than in April 2019.

Auckland-2021 

Regional Analysis - Northland

“In April, the Northland market saw a 4.6% increase in median house prices reaching $510,000 compared to this time last year. Additionally, the REINZ House Price Index also saw a new record, up 9.4% year-on-year to 3,098. However, due to COVID-19 lockdown, there was a record low of only 41 sales (down 78.1% annually). As expected, the market has been quiet during Alert Level 4, however, enquiry and interest in rental investment property has been consistent. Investors are actively looking at purchase opportunities in the market with good returns. Vendors are keen to see where prices will sit over the coming months, some may look to sell quickly while others will
take a wait and see approach.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 71 days is much higher than the 10-year average for April which is 55 days. The level of
inventory available for sale currently sits at 41 weeks, two weeks more than in April 2019.

Northland-2020

Regional Analysis - Waikato

“The Waikato market saw a slight decrease in house prices in April, decreasing 3.6% year-on-year to $530,000. However, both the Taupo District ($650,000) and Thames-Coromandel District ($764,000) achieved new record median prices. In the Thames-Coromandel region, some holiday owners have now decided to hold onto their properties as they cannot currently travel on holidays overseas. Being able to work from home is making people look at where and how they can live. Overall, there are noticeably less buyers due to the effects of COVID-19, however, the mood feels optimistic going forward. There are more first home buyers interested in the market; they are gathering information such as potential price reductions, looking at supply levels but they are also taking
into account their own job security, KiwiSaver balances and the impacts of the temporary removal of LVRs. An encouraging level of Alert Level 3 activity has also occurred with new listings, appraisals, buyer viewings and offers filtering through. Over the coming months, there should be a reasonable number of both buyers and sellers wanting to transact.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 39 days is less than the 10-year average for April which is 42 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 17 weeks, four weeks less than in April 2019.

 

Waikato-2021

Regional Analysis - Bay of Plenty

“The Bay of Plenty region saw median prices reach $640,000, an annual increase of 6.7%. Rotorua District also achieved a new record price of $522,000. The REINZ House Price Index saw a new record of 3,050, one of only two regions alongside Northland to achieve a new record. Additionally, it was one of three regions to see a positive movement in the HPI month-on-month. However, with a small sample size of 75 sales completed in April there should be a certain level of caution taken with these results. Although it has been very quiet over the last 4 weeks, there has been enquiry from investors and some first home buyers, but mostly everyone is waiting to see what happens. Looking forward, there may be more of a drop in sales activity compared to other parts of the country, particularly in Rotorua because it is a tourism hot spot.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 35 days is much less than the 10-year average for April which is 48 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 16 weeks, one week less than in April 2019.

BOP-2020

 

Regional Analysis - Gisborne

“Gisborne house prices were up 11.7% year-on-year to $400,000, however, there were only 9 sales throughout April. Gisborne was one of three regions alongside Nelson and West Coast to have less than 10 sales in April. Many vendors are taking a wait and see approach. There have been a few offers presented that are lower than expected, but vendors are not rushing into decisions and are looking to see where the market moves in the next couple of weeks. One advantage vendors’ have been talking about locally is how the lockdown period has given them the opportunity to do work on their properties to get them ready for sale. Auctions are hugely popular in Gisborne and this time last year there were 40 auctions, whereas this year there were none. Auctions are planned to start up again in May which will give a good indication of where the market is sitting and whether we will see similar prices to pre-lockdown.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 38 days is less than the 10-year average for April which is 39 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 15 weeks, three weeks more than in April 2019.

Gisborne-2021

Regional Analysis - Hawke's Bay

“Interestingly, during April the Hawke’s Bay achieved a record median price of $648,000. Both Hastings District ($645,000) and Napier City ($700,000) also achieved record median prices. However, with 39 sales (down 83% annually) the increase in prices is likely due to the increase in the proportion of houses sold in the $750,000 - $999,999 price bracket (+17 percentage points). There has been extremely high volumes of online website traffic and social media page views for many of the agencies in the region. A huge upsurge and interest in property on Google indicates that people are continuing to search for property and are finding out the information they need to get ready for when the Level 3 is over. As we entered Alert Level 3, market activity has been very busy with mid-range property viewings, final inspections and settlements taking place.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 33 days is less than the 10-year average for April which is 41 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 10 weeks, the same as in April 2019.

Hawkes Bay-2

Regional Analysis - Taranaki

“The Taranaki market remained stable with no movement in median price ($380,000) compared to the same time last year. April has been challenging with fewer than 30 new listings until the change to Alert Level 3 towards the end of the month. Since then, there has been a few more listings come onto the market. Enquiries have been strong throughout the month and there are plenty of buyers out there. Over the next few months, the market is expected to track cautiously. How banks deal with finance applications will also have an impact on market activity.”(REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 24 days is much less than the 10-year average for April which is 42 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 18 weeks, one week less than in April 2019.

Taranaki-2022

Regional Analysis - Manawatu/Whanganui

“House prices in the Manawatu/Wanganui region increased 14.3% year-on-year to $400,000. Additionally, Palmerston North City and Rangitikei District both achieved new record median prices of $595,000 and $386,000 respectively. Although new listings reduced, there were more sales completed towards the end of April once the country transitioned into Alert Level 3. The Manawatu/Wanganui region is not solely driven by tourism and has more stable employment with Government and Defence, distribution centres, agriculture and the education sector, so there is an expectation that the region will not be affected as much as other parts of the country. However, there are a number of major work and infrastructure projects that have been put on hold so time will tell how things look going forward. It is unknown as to how the market will perform in the coming months, but many buyers and sellers remain positive which is a good start.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 22 days is much less than the 10-year average for April which is 40 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 10 weeks, one week less than in April 2019.

Manawatu-2020

Regional Analysis - Wellington

“April saw median prices in Wellington achieve a new record of $730,000. Additionally, Upper Hutt City also achieved a record median price of $650,000. The REINZ House Price Index increased 9.6% year-on-year to sit just under the 3,000 mark at 2,992. Vendor expectations in terms of asking prices remains relatively the same, but there is some anticipation that prices may take a slight fall over the coming months. There have been a few more investor enquiries come through over the last month. On the flipside, there have been less first home buyer enquiries. However, first home buyers should start to make their way back into the market with the temporary removal of LVRs, depending on whether they have lost income or not. There may be more job security for those that live and work in Wellington due to the number of government jobs in the region when compared to other regions which could also see the region recover more quickly than others when it comes to sales volumes.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 31 days is less than the 10-year average for April of 35 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 9 weeks, one week less than in April 2019 and is the lowest weeks of inventory of all the regions.

Wellington-2021

Regional Analysis - Nelson/Marlborough

“In April, The Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman regions all saw house prices increase with Nelson achieving a new record median price of $660,000. In saying that, Nelson also had the lowest number of sales (7) across all regions, none of which fell into the sub $500,00 price bracket, which may have resulted in a new record. Overall, the Nelson/ Marlborough/Tasman market remains active even if there is limited stock. Inspections during Alert Level 3 have been popular among the $700,000-$750,000 price bracket, which is the stronger segment of the market. Depending on how Alert Levels unfold, the region will remain an attractive relocation destination. Additionally, the Marlborough region has benefited from a good grape harvest which has provided job security for many locals. Over the coming months we should see more listings coming onto the market from those who have held back due to uncertainty over COVID-19.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 23 days is much less than the 10-year average for April which is 37 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 17 weeks, three weeks less than in April 2019.

Nelson-2020

Regional Analysis - West Coast

“The West Coast recorded a median price of $215,000, a 7.5% increase compared to the same time last year. Surprisingly, although the rest of the country had record low sales count, it was not the lowest monthly sales count for West Coast. There were a few months in the 1990s where there were less than the 9 sales seen in April. The market on the West Coast was surprisingly active throughout April, particularly in the Buller area with strong interest in both investment properties and various holdings related to the onsale of Lafarge Holcim’s Cape Foulwind assets. On the flipside, the Westland District showed a noticeable slowing, which reflects the current uncertainty in the community, with their high level of regional tourism-based employment. There is a lot of positive talk around the removal of LVRs and potentially a return of first home buyers, who have been relatively absent from the West Coast for some time.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 63 days is much less than the 10-year average for April which is 89 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 96 weeks, 52 weeks more than in April 2019

West Coast-2021

Regional Analysis - Canterbury

“In April, the Canterbury market achieved an annual median house price of $465,000. The Canterbury marketplace has resilience embedded into the community due to the earthquakes so potentially buyers and sellers in the region may be less likely to be concerned about things going forward. The region is less reliant on tourism and international students compared to other regions, so there may be less impact on the market. Buyers and sellers in the region have remained relatively upbeat about the market going forward. The region is less reliant on tourism and international students compared to other regions, so there may be a lesser impact on the market in the long term. Over the coming months, there is an expectation that sales volumes may reduce, but with more than 200 new listings coming onto the market in April this may not come to pass. Looking forward median prices are expected to stay relatively stable.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 36 days is more than the 10-year average for April which is 34 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 18 weeks, three weeks less than in April 2019.

Canterbury-2022

Regional Analysis - Otago

“Queenstown Lakes saw the median prices decrease by 6.6% to $850,000 year-on-year. Given a considerable number of buyers are from outside the region, the lack of in-person viewings has impacted the market therefore the move into Level 2 this week is very welcome. The industry remains positive and whilst acknowledging that the loss of Airbnb will have an impact on the rental market it will be good news for renters and be encouraging for people wanting to move into the area. The number of new listings in Level 3 was less than anticipated but that is now steadily increasing.” (REINZ)

 

“Median prices in Dunedin increased annually by 14% to $490,000. There is some interest and activity from investors, but most are taking a wait and see approach to see if the market adjusts post-COVID-19. The market is expected to remain fairly stable at this stage but the strongest market indicators will become clear once we enter Alert Level 2.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 31 days is less than the 10-year average for April which is 36 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 14 weeks, three weeks more than in April 2019.

Otago-2021

Regional Analysis - Southland

“The Southland region experienced a 6.8% increase in median prices to $316,000 compared to the same time last year. However, sales volumes dropped 92% year-on-year (11 sales), the worst hit region across the country. Feedback across the region is that there has been many enquires throughout lockdown, especially in Gore where there is demand from out of town buyers as well as high rental demand. Over in Te Anau there has also been positive enquiry with first home buyers and owner occupiers who are attracted to the lifestyle and the affordability compared to other regions across the South Island. The region continues to be discovered, with room to grow. Over the coming months, the market is expected to be slower than usual with some help from the temporary removal of LVRs.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 30 days is less than the 10-year average for April which is 39 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 16 weeks, three weeks more than in April 2019.

Southland-2021