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Regional Commentary and Property Market Statistics - August 2021

Market Statistics

Property Brokers 15 Sep 2021

MicrosoftTeams-image (55)Four out of 16 regions reached new record median prices and 25 districts reached new record median highs. House prices have once again risen across the country, with every region seeing a year-on-year increase from August 2020 (REINZ).

The median house price for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased by 22.8% from $570,000 in August last year to a new record of $700,000 in August 2021.

Jen Baird, Chief Executive at REINZ says: "House prices have once again risen across the country, with every region seeing a year-on-year increase from August 2020. This latest lockdown has not dampened demand for, or confidence in, the housing market as we saw in early 2020. We have heard from across the industry that prices achieved on sales completed in the early part of this lockdown continue to illustrate an ongoing excess of demand over supply; prices are still rising.

The strength of the market sees the REINZ House Price Index reach a new high nationally. Nine of the 12 regions across New Zealand reached a record level in August, showing that the underlying value of property is holding
strong,” continues Baird.

“Looking at Auckland, we’ve seen another record median price, the ninth record in the last 12 months – this growth is spread across the region with five of the seven districts reaching new record median prices in August,” she continues.

Regions with the largest increase in annual sales volumes during August were:

• Waikato: 23.8% increase from $630,000 in August 2020 to a new record of $780,000 in August 2021.

• Manawatu/Whanganui: 35.3% increase from $451,000 in August 2020 to a new record of $610,000 in August 2021.

• Canterbury: 24.3% increase from $498,000 in August 2020 to a new record of $619,000 in August 2021.

 

Regional Analysis - Auckland

“The median house price in Auckland reached a new record high of $1,200,000 in August, increasing 26.4% year-on-year. Five of the seven districts in Auckland also reached record median prices in August: Franklin District ($950,000), Manukau City ($1,157,000), Papakura District ($940,000), Rodney District ($1,280,000), and Waitakere City ($1,120,000). Waitakere City has now seen a record median for four consecutive months. Furthermore, Auckland has experienced a new high of 3,985 on the REINZ House Price of Index, up 27.9% year-on-year.

New listings saw an 18.8% decrease annually, leading to an ongoing low level of stock in Auckland (down 23.6% year-on-year), which continues to cause some people to experience the fear of not finding anything. People are holding back from listing their property until they have secured another, adding to the shortage of stock. Some are waiting for alert levels to ease before they list their property. Auckland has remained relatively resilient to lockdown so far and people have been adapting to online real estate functions which has seen online auctions, virtual inspections and buyer enquiry activity continue. In August, 39.5% of properties were sold by auction – the highest percentage of properties sold by auction across New Zealand. In the coming months with easing of alert levels and the usual spring uplift, market activity is expected to increase.”
(REINZ)

The current Days to Sell of 32 days is less than the 10-year average for August which is 35 days. There were 10 weeks of inventory in August 2021 which is 6 weeks less than the same time last year.

 

 

Regional Analysis - Northland

“In August, the Northland region reached a median house price of $650,000, an 8.9% increase year-on-year. The REINZ House Price Index of Northland reached a new high of 3,922 which is a 27.0% increase from August 2020. As expected, the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown slowed down activity in the market, however, buyer enquiry was still strong. With Auckland being a main buyer pool for Northland, it is no surprise that buyer activity from out of town has decreased, however enquiry from Northlanders remains strong.

Listings remain low with a 26.7% decrease from August 2020. This is reflected in the low level of stock available, down by almost half (46.6%) from this time a year ago. Northland also experienced its lowest number of sales in August since 2014, with 132 properties sold. First home buyers are finding it difficult to find properties in their price range with 34.8% of properties sold above the $750,000 price mark. This has resulted in some first home buyers looking into the outer suburbs to find more affordable housing. With the COVID-19 Alert Levels in Northland easing and the arrival of spring, an increase in listings is expected in the months to come.” (REINZ)

The current Days to Sell of 36 days is much less than the 10-year average for August which is 59 days. There were 10 weeks of inventory in August 2021 which is 29 weeks less than the same time last year.

 

Regional Analysis - Waikato

“The Waikato region saw a record median house price of $780,000 in August, up 23.8% year-on-year. Four districts in the Waikato region also reached record median house prices: Hamilton City ($840,000), Hauraki District ($620,000), Matamata-Piako District ($755,000), and Taupo District ($790,000). Waikato has seen a new high of 4,368 on the REINZ House Price Index, increasing 32.9% year-on-year. With many people adopting a more positive mindset this lockdown, the Waikato region has seen online capabilities of real estate firms such as online auctions, come to the fore. In August, 22.2% of properties sold by auction compared to 7.6% in August 2020.

Like many regions around the country, Waikato is also experiencing a low level of stock with just seven weeks of inventory down from 12 weeks this time last year. Listing numbers are down 33.6% year-on-year with some vendors waiting to list their properties until alert levels have further eased. Waikato has also had its lowest median days to sell for an August month since 2016 at just 29 days. With demand continuing to outweigh supply, open homes had good numbers of attendees prior to lockdown in early August, and with the alert levels now easing, listings are expected to increase.” (REINZ)

The current Days to Sell of 29 days is much less than the 10-year average for August which is 42 days. There were 7 weeks of inventory in August 2021 which is 5 weeks less than the same time last year.

 

Regional Analysis - Bay of Plenty

“The Bay of Plenty saw an increase in median houses prices in August, up 26.3% annually reaching $840,000. In addition, Tauranga City reached a new record house price of $970,000. Bay of Plenty reached a record high of 4,152 in the REINZ House Price Index, a 37.5% increase year-on-year. The COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown in August meant that activity in the Bay of Plenty slowed, and new listings were low with 366 new properties coming to the market, down from 558 in August 2020.

Inventory remains short in the region down 42.5% year-on-year. The Bay of Plenty experienced the lowest number of properties sold for an August month since 2011. Auctions were a popular method of sale in August with 32.6% of properties sold, with online auctions prevalent during the lockdown. First home buyers are having difficulty finding properties within their price range with 63.4% of properties being sold over the $750,000 price point. Investor numbers declined which is likely due to the legislation changes earlier in the year, including loan-to-value ratios and new bright-line test rules introduced earlier this year, and likely rises in the OCR.” (REINZ)

The current Days to Sell of 32 days is much less than the 10-year average for June which is 44 days. There were 7 weeks of inventory in August 2021 which is 4 weeks less than the same time last year.

 

Regional Analysis - Gisborne

“Gisborne saw an 8.7% annual increase in median house price in August to $500,000. A sense of uncertainty has been felt in Gisborne’s market brought about by the recent COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. Low levels of stock continue to be an issue for the region with just six weeks of inventory available to prospective purchasers. However, stock has increased 21.4% annually – the only region to see an increase for the fourth consecutive month.

In August, Gisborne experienced the lowest number of properties sold since the last COVID-19 Alert Level 4 affected months, with just 22 properties sold. Prior to lockdown, Gisborne’s market was tracking as expected coming into the warmer months. Buyer enquiry has remained strong throughout the lockdown due to demand outweighing supply and it is expected that, with the arrival of spring and easing of alert levels in the region, there should be lift in activity in the market.” (REINZ)

The current Days to Sell of 37 days is less than the 10-year average for August which is 39 days. There are 6 weeks of inventory in August 2021 which is 10 weeks less than the same time last year.

 

Regional Analysis - Hawke's Bay

“The Hawke’s Bay saw a median house price of $700,000 in August 2021, up 17.6% year-on-year. Hastings District
reached a new record median house price of $790,000, up 31.7% annually. The number of first home buyers remains steady in the market with 46.5% of properties sold within the $500,000 to $749,999 price bracket. Some first home buyers are feeling uneasy about whether their pre-approvals will be renewed with the potential rise of interest rates. Like other regions across New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay has seen a reduction in listing numbers in part due to the recent lockdown, down 40.4% annually, contributing to an already low level of stock.

The Hawke’s Bay saw the lowest number of properties sold for an August month since records began, with only 147 properties sold. In August, the number of properties available to prospective purchasers was down 38.5% year-on-year. Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay reached a new high on the REINZ House Price Index of 4,524 up from 3,293 in August 2020.” (REINZ)

The current Days to Sell of 30 days is less than the 10-year average for August which is 37 days. There were 7 weeks of inventory in August 2021 which is 1 week less than the same time last year.

 

Regional Analysis - Taranaki

“The Taranaki region saw median house prices reach $565,000, up 25.0% from $452,000 in August 2020. Three districts in Taranaki also reached record medians: New Plymouth District ($651,100), South Taranaki District ($449,000), and Stratford District ($520,000) which was up 10.6% from its previous record set in February this year.

Despite lockdown, buyer enquiry remained strong in the region. Prior to lockdown, Taranaki’s market was tracking steadily, although available stock remains low. In August, Taranaki saw just six weeks of inventory available to prospective purchasers with a median 26 days to sell, showing demand continuing to outweigh supply. With low levels of stock and listings down 25.2% annually, vendor expectations of the value of their homes are high and 63.2% of properties are now selling over the $500,000 mark, compared to 39.9% at the same time last year. Taranaki recorded the lowest number of properties sold in an August month since records began, with 114 properties sold.” (REINZ)

The current Days to Sell of 26 days is much less than the 10-year average for August which is 38 days. There were 6 weeks of inventory in August 2021 which is 4 weeks less than the same time last year.

 

Regional Analysis - Manawatu/Whanganui

“The Manawatu/Whanganui region experienced a record median house price in August, reaching $610,000 up 35.3% annually. This price growth was spread across the region with five of the eight districts in Manawatu/Whanganui also reaching record median prices: Horowhenua District ($625,000), Palmerston North City ($720,000), Ruapehu District ($446,000), Tararua District ($476,000), and Whanganui District ($560,000). The region had the highest REINZ House Price Index percentage increase of the country, up 47.0% annually from 3,461 in August 2020 to 5,089 in August 2021.

The Manawatu/Whanganui market was steady moving into August, but the alert level change impacted the ability to carry out real estate work and saw a reduction in sales in the later weeks. Online enquiry increased with people having more time on their hands to browse. First home buyers are finding house prices more unaffordable with 78.4% of properties now sold over the $500,000 price point. Listing numbers in the region are low with a 36.7% decrease year on-year, with many vendors waiting for restrictions to ease to put their property on the market.” (REINZ)

The current Days to Sell of 27 days is much less than the 10-year average for August which is 39 days. There were 8 weeks of inventory in August 2021 which is the same as the same time last year.

 

Regional Analysis - Wellington

“In August, the median house price in Wellington increased 21.5% year-on-year to $875,000. Wellington City reached a record median house price of $1,100,000, up 35.4% from the same time last year. The REINZ House Price Index shows Wellington reached a new high of 4,225, up 39.0% annually. The COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown saw online buyer enquiry increase with people having more time to browse pre-listed properties. The level of stock in Wellington was low in August with a 7.1% decrease year-on-year, leaving just five weeks inventory available to prospective purchasers, in part due to new listings decreasing 29.9% annually.

Wellington recorded its lowest level of sales for an August month since 2010, with 510 properties sold. Investor activity is slightly down when compared to the same time last year, due to factors including the recent lockdown, and new legislation. Over the next few months market activity is expected to increase as alert level restrictions ease within the region and general spring uplift.” (REINZ)

The current Days to Sell of 34 days is the same as the 10-year average for August of 34 days. There were 5 weeks of inventory in August 2021 which is 1 week less than the same time last year.

 

Regional Analysis - Nelson/Marlborough

“In August, the Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman region experienced an increase in median prices with Nelson reaching $670,000, Marlborough reaching $585,000 and Tasman reaching $800,000. Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman saw continued confidence in August with strong buyer enquiry, although many were waiting for eased restrictions to allow physical viewings of a property. All three regions are experiencing a slight decline in the number of first home buyers when compared to this time last year and this could be due to 86.3% of properties now being sold above the $500,000 price point when compared to 69.7% in August 2020.

Prior to lockdown, listings were starting to become limited in Nelson with a 43.8% decrease year-on-year, but in Marlborough listings increased 14.3% when compared to August 2020. Nelson also experienced its lowest level of sales for an August month since records began, with 53 properties sold. Tasman recorded its lowest August sales count since 2010 with 53 properties sold. Market activity is expected to increase as we move into spring and lockdown restrictions ease.” (REINZ)

The current Days to Sell of 32 days is less than the 10-year average for August which is 35 days. There were 8 weeks of inventory in August 2021 which is 3 weeks less than the same time last year.

 

Regional Analysis - West Coast

“The West Coast saw an increase in median house prices in August, up 17.6% to $300,000 when compared to this time last year. The Buller District reached a record median house price this month of $355,000. Despite the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown, interest still appears to be strong particularly from outside the region. Buyer enquiry remained secure across the region. Like many other regions, the West Coast’s inventory levels declined 52.6%, due in part to the decrease in new listings coming to the market, down 36.2% from the same time last year.

The West Coast saw the lowest number of properties sold in an August month since 2014 with 28 properties sold. The median days to sell a property sat at just 44 days, the lowest for an August month since 2007. With the warmer months approaching and alert level restrictions easing, listings are expected to increase, and market activity will lift.” (REINZ)

The current Days to Sell of 44 days is much less than the 10-year average for August which is 106 days. There were 12 weeks of inventory in August 2021 which is 22 weeks less than the same time last year.

 

 

Regional Analysis - Canterbury

“Median house prices in Canterbury saw a new record of $619,000 in August, up 24.3% from $498,000 in August 2020. Three districts in Canterbury also reached record median prices: Christchurch City ($650,000), Kaikoura District ($675,000), and Waimakariri District ($645,000). Canterbury is experiencing a low level of stock down 49.6% annually. These low levels of stock have meant that competition has remained high for available properties, and these are selling quick. Canterbury saw the lowest median days to sell a property for an August month since 2013, at just 28 days. Before the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown, listings were starting to increase heading into spring, but the lockdown slowed things down and as a result, new listings are down 35.5% when compared to August last year. Auctions have continued online throughout the lockdown and August saw Canterbury sell 28.0% of properties by auction up from 13.8% the year prior.

Canterbury saw a new record on the REINZ House Price Index of 3,492 up 31.2% annually. People are remaining optimistic that if alert levels continue to ease, activity should increase and recover from the lockdown promptly. The impacts of the lockdown are expected to be felt throughout the coming weeks, easing as more properties come to the market.” (REINZ)

The current Days to Sell of 28 days is less than the 10-year average for August which is 33 days. There were 6 weeks of inventory in August 2021 which is 9 weeks less than the same time last year.

 

Regional Analysis - Otago

Dunedin City - “Median house prices rise 22.1% annually reaching $629,000. Median house prices increased in Central Ward ($594,000) up 15.3% annually, Mosgiel-Taieri Ward ($568,000) up 26.2% annually, and Waikouaiti Coast-Chalmers Ward ($462,500) up just 1.6% annually. The COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown this month saw a slowing of sales and listings in Dunedin City and when compared to August 2020, sales count was down 19.3% from 145 to 117. Median days to sell remains similar annually, with 28 days compared to 27 days in August last year. The number of first home buyers decreased annually as finance is taking longer to secure, along with the rise of house prices making homes more unaffordable for some. Many remain hopeful for an influx of listings and sales over the next couple of months as alert level restrictions continue to ease.” (REINZ)

Queenstown Lakes -“Wanaka reached a record median house price in August of $1,193,000, up 26.2% annually, exceeding the Queenstown-Lakes District’s median house price which increased 10.6% year-on-year to $1,045,000. Queenstown-Wakatipu reached a record median house price in August, up 15.2% year-on-year to $975,000. The COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown increased online buyer enquiry but slowed down offers, which could be due to the generally high percentage of out-of-town buyers who were unable to travel. The number of first home buyers in the region have continued to decrease as the median house prices exceeds $1,000,000 and access to affordable property becomes more difficult. Properties are selling faster this August with median days to sell decreasing annually by 20 days from 58 in August 2020 to 38 days August 2021. Many are expecting the property market to recover promptly with the arrival of the warmer months. Once Auckland’s alert levels have eased, there should be further growth in out-of-town buyer enquiry and a busy few months ahead.” (REINZ)

The current Days to Sell of 30 days is less than the 10-year average for August which is 34 days. There were 8 weeks of inventory in August 2021 which is 4 weeks less than the same time last year.

 

Regional Analysis - Southland

“The Southland region had an 8.6% annual increase in median house prices in August, reaching $405,000. Gore District ($375,000), Invercargill City ($421,000), and Southland District ($425,000) also had annual increases in their median house prices. The level of stock in Southland is lower than that of August 2020, down 26.3%, influenced by new listings being down 37.9%. Market activity reduced during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown, and auctions though a small part of the market have grown substantially up from 1.6% of properties sold by auction in August 2020 to 9% this August.

Southland saw fewer investors during August when compared to the same time last year, due to the new legislation and talk of increasing interest rates. Southland saw the lowest number of properties sold for an August month since records began, with only 100 properties sold. The arrival of spring and easing of alert level restrictions will likely result in an increase in market activity over the coming months.” (REINZ)

The current Days to Sell of 33 days is less than the 10-year average for August which is 39 days. There were 9 weeks of inventory in August 2021 which is 6 weeks less than the same time last year.