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Regional Commentary and Property Market Statistics - January 2020

Market Statistics

Property Brokers 18 Feb 2020

PB030482 - Regional Commentary & Property market StatisticsThe number of properties sold in January across New Zealand was up 3.2% on the same time last year (from 4,459 to 4,603) making it the busiest January in 4 years 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 increased by 0.9% when compared to the same time last year (from 3,279 to 3,308) – also the highest for the month of January in 4 years.

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “Normally January is a quiet time of the year, and for a few regions that was definitely the case, however, overall the country had a strong start to the year with the most residential properties sold for the month of January in four years.

Regions with the largest decrease in annual sales volumes during January were:
• Tasman: -29.3% (from 58 to 41 – 17 fewer houses) – the lowest since January 2017
• Southland: -27.2% (from 151 to 110 – 41 fewer houses) – the lowest for the month of January in 6 years
• Otago: -17.1% (from 269 to 223 – 46 fewer houses) – the lowest for the month of January in 9 years.

“Looking around the country, 10 out of 16 regions saw annual increases in the number of properties sold, with
particularly strong uplifts in sales volumes in most of the middle of the North Island and the top of the South Island,” continues Norwell.

Regions outside Auckland with the highest percentage increase in annual sales volumes during January were:
• Nelson: +42.6% (from 54 to 77 – 23 more houses) 
• Manawatu/Wanganui: +15.3% (from 281 to 324 – 43 more houses) – the highest for the month of January in 3 years
• Bay of Plenty: +11.5% (from 340 to 379 – 39 more houses) – the highest for the month of January in 4 years
• Marlborough: +11.3% (from 62 to 69 – 7 more houses).

Regional Analysis - Auckland

“Prices in Auckland continue to hover in the upper $800,000’s, increasing 8.7% year-on-year to $875,000. A record price was also achieved in Waitakere City of $830,000. Additionally, the REINZ House Price Index increased 4.4% annually reaching 2,918. Although sales were quieter in some areas across Auckland, overall sales increased 9.7% annually, recording the most January sales since January 2016. First home buyers and investors have been fairly quiet during the holiday period, however there is still plenty of enquiry coming through. There has been a drop in the number of cash buyers in the market likely due to banks being reluctant to stand by pre-approvals or allow bridging finance. Although, there are some examples of bank lending beginning to relax which has seen a slight boost in activity. There were more investors in the South Auckland market compared to this time last year and an increase in the number of out of town enquiries. A number of ‘Baby Boomers’ are also now looking to sell and move outside the Auckland region which should hopefully contribute to an increase in listing numbers.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 43 days is above the 10-year average for January which is 41 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 18 weeks, eight weeks less than in January 2019.

Annotation 2020-02-18 163539 

Regional Analysis - Northland

“The Northland market saw prices increase 5.3% to $520,000 compared to January 2019. Additionally, the Far North District achieved a record median price of $565,000. Days to sell decreased by 2 days to 55 days compared to January 2019 (the highest days to sell of all regions). Strong demand for properties across all price ranges continues as an increase in the number of out of town investors increase. Rental investments particularly in the Whangarei market are becoming more sought after whilst access to finance is good. Over the next few months we should see the market start to pick up after a slightly quieter period over the summer holidays. Demand for new listings will continue to be a priority, with listings down 4.3% year-on-year. Competition for mid-range properties is expected to remain amongst investors and owner occupiers alike.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 55 days is less than the 10-year average for January which is 61 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 37 weeks, four weeks more than in January 2019

Northland January 2020

Regional Analysis - Waikato

“In January, the median price was just shy of $600,000 with a record price of $599,000, likely due to an increase in the number of million-dollar properties sold (+1.4%) and an upward trend towards large style homes. Additionally, 4 out of the 10 districts saw record prices (Matamata-Piako District $548,500, Taupo District $615,000, Waikato District $635,000 and Waitomo District $310,000). The number of first home buyers has remained constant, however they are spending more as the median house price increases with the majority now spending over $400,000. Interest rates are attractive, but buyers are having to take out higher loans to reach the increase in house prices. In Thames, there are a lot of positive purchasers who are organised and prepared to meet the list price, but they are waiting for new listings to hit the market. Investors remain active in the market with great lending options available, but ‘Mum and Dad’ investors are still competing with first home buyers. The Waikato region overall has seen a 4.2% increase in new listings which is a great start to 2020 and we expect more activity in the market over the coming months.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 49 days is less than the 10-year average for January which is 51 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 15 weeks, two weeks less than in January 2019.

 

Waikato January 2020

Regional Analysis - Bay of Plenty

“The Bay of Plenty experienced a record median price of $683,000, up 17.8% on last year. Additionally, 4 of the 6 Bay of Plenty Districts saw record median prices – Opotiki District ($600,000), Rotorua District ($520,000), Western Bay of Plenty District ($740,000) and Whakatane District ($615,000). New listings have slightly increased 0.9% compared to the same time last year, however there is still a shortage of listings which is resulting in the continuation of multi offers, good auction clearance rates and properties selling faster in the lower priced brackets. As investment rates continue to stay low, investor interest in property throughout the region will remain high. The lack of options in Rotorua is restricting the number of people willing to sell or list which is likely to be contributing to the lack of sales (-4.2% year-on-year) and pushing up prices. Interestingly, sales in the Western Bay of Plenty District increased by 137% compared to the same time last year, as people recognise the need to buy now before prices move even further out of reach and because more people have been ‘discovering’ the region. Buyer enquiry and attendance at open homes is strong but may quieten as we near the election in the middle of the year.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 53 days is less than the 10-year average for January which is 59 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 12 weeks, four weeks less than in January 2019.

BOP January 2020

 

Regional Analysis - Gisborne

“The median price in Gisborne increased by 20.1% from $333,000 in January 2019 to $400,000 in January 2020. Demand across the region remains strong with many prepared buyers looking to buy in the sub $400,000 price range. There are approx. 30% more cash buyers in the market compared to this time last year and first home buyers continue to compete for properties particularly under $320,000. Auctions in the lower priced brackets are performing well and are likely to be pushing up prices. The increase in prices are providing opportunities for investors to compete with first home buyers. The market has been busy with plenty of enquiry, bustling open homes and more listings coming onto the market, however new listings are down -4.9% annually. Days to sell in the region is the lowest across all regions at only 27 days.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 27 days is a lot less than the 10-year average for January which is 49 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 14 weeks, seven weeks more than in January 2019.

Gizzy January 2020

Regional Analysis - Hawke's Bay

“A 22.2% increase in the median house price saw the Hawke’s Bay region achieve another record median price of $550,000. Napier City also saw a record median price of $592,000, creeping closer to the $600,000 mark. The Hawke’s Bay region saw a lift in new listings (+5.9%) and a 4.4% increase in sales, the most January sales since January 2007. Buyer enquiry remained high but similar to last year, with the mix of buyers being mostly local with approximately 25% either from out of town or overseas. First home buyers are feeling frustrated with the lack of options available in their budget between $350,000 - $700,000 which is likely to be contributing to multi offers. Confidence remains high across the region underpinned by a strong economy, a good agriculture sector, buoyancy at the ports and good employment opportunities. Looking forward to the next couple of months, we expect the market to pick up with lots of positive activity.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 32 days is much less than the 10-year average for January which is 49 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 10 weeks, one week more than in January 2019.

Hawkes Bay January 2020

Regional Analysis - Taranaki

“In January, the Taranaki region reached another record median price reaching $420,000. The REINZ House Price Index also saw a positive month-on-month movement of 2.4%. The continued increase in house prices is likely due to the significant decrease in inventory (-46.9%) compared to this time last year. The lack of listings is having a significant impact on the number of sales with only 133 sales completed in January (-11.9% annually). Buyers are active across all price brackets and strong buyer demand continues. With the second to lowest days to sell at 28 days, it seems properties don’t last long on the market especially in the lower priced brackets. There has been less activity at open homes but that is likely due to a seasonal trend, rather than anything else. The next few months will pick up with more activity, especially if there is an increase in listings.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 28 days is a lot less than the 10-year average for January which is 49 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 16 weeks, six weeks less than in January 2019.

Taranaki January 2020

Regional Analysis - Manawatu/Whanganui

“In January, the Manawatu/Wanganui region saw a similar result to the end of 2019, achieving another record price of $411,000. Additionally, all Manawatu/Wanganui districts achieved record prices except the Ruapehu District. Palmerston North City reached the $500,000 mark for the first time, Horowhenua District $430,000, Manawatu District $455,000, Palmerston North City $500,000, Rangitikei District $360,000, Tararua District $296,000 and Whanganui District $341,000. The injection of new listings (+10.6% year-on-year) has likely contributed to a 15.3% annual increase in sales. The popularity of the region is likely to have attracted an increase in investors who were more present this month, compared to this time last year. More affordable homes under the $300,000 mark are becoming few and far between which is making it harder for first home buyers to purchase a home in the region. The mix of buyers are mostly local with very few interested parties from out of town. This year the market should perform similar to last year, a strong market with the anticipation that more listings will come onto the market in the next month or so.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 33 days is much less than the 10-year average for January which is 48 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 11 weeks, one week more than in January 2019

Manawatu January 2020

Regional Analysis - Wellington

“In January, the Wellington region saw an increase in median price from $562,500 in January 2019 to $620,000 in January 2020. Additionally, both Porirua City ($807,000) and Upper Hutt City ($620,000) achieved record median prices. Buyers are having to look further afield to purchase in the wider Wellington region due to the lack of listings and affordable properties closer to the city. Interest in the outer suburbs is also becoming more attractive in anticipation of Transmission Gully which is due for completion in late 2020, making it easier to access these suburbs. This is likely to be contributing to the competition and price increases in the northern suburbs. Sales were up slightly by 0.7% annually, but total inventory levels decreased 20% and are back to the lowest inventory in the country at 8 weeks. The lack of listings and competition continues to contribute to multi offers across all price brackets. Houses are selling reasonably quickly, especially with interest rates where they are now. Open homes are very busy with a large number of potential buyers attending, especially the first open homes for newly listed properties. People buying off plans, especially for town houses continues to be a popular choice. More listings should come onto the market in the next month or two, however demand will remain high.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 38 days is less than the 10-year average for January of 46 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at eight weeks (the lowest of all regions), one week more than in January 2019.

Wellington January 2020

Regional Analysis - Nelson/Marlborough

“The Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman regions all experienced an increase in median prices, with the Tasman region increasing 13.9% to $655,000 year-on-year. Despite the overall decrease in new listings throughout the region, sales increased significantly in Nelson by 42.6% compared to this time last year. There have been more investors spread across the Nelson market as new homes are viewed as rental opportunities. The rental market is endorsing the growth and positivity throughout the region, however, there is still a shortage of rentals currently available leaving limited options for tenants. A mix of local, out of town and overseas buyers attending open homes has been consistent with plenty of interest and enquiry throughout the summer period. In the Blenheim/Marlborough region there has been a significant number of first home buyers in the market this month. However, with fewer properties available there has been an increase in multi offers and auctions being brought forward. Overall, listings are still tight, so activity is focused on new listings as they come onto the market.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 41 days is less than the 10-year average for January which is 44 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 14 weeks, half a week more than in January 2019.

Nelson January 2020

Regional Analysis - West Coast

“The West Coast market experienced an active January compared to this time last year with a 42.4% increase in the median price reaching $235,000. Additionally, sales numbers were up with a 2.8% increase year-on-year, the most January sales in the West Coast since January 2008. A boost in new listings was also recorded at 17% annually. Days to sell also decreased significantly by 39 days, now sitting at 33 days compared to the same time last year. The entire coast had a strong month with good levels of enquiry and good sales figures to match. Excellent results were achieved in the Buller District with agreement numbers reaching levels last seen pre the mining crisis of 2012. Hokitika is showing signs of growth and the Grey District has once again performed consistently. Across the region, the number of early retirees continues to provide a ready source of buyers looking to capitalise on the lower housing prices across the coast. All three regions are experiencing almost complete occupancy in the rental market with rising rents to match. Overall the market is performing positively regardless of the variance in results a small market can reflect.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 33 days is a lot less than the 10-year average for January which is 71 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 191 weeks, 147 weeks more than in January 2019

West Coast January 2020

Regional Analysis - Canterbury

“The median price in Canterbury recorded an equal high of $465,000, up 8.1% on last year. Sales across the region increased 4.8% annually with 674 sales, the most January sales in Canterbury since January 2008. In Timaru it has been quiet at open homes with many people away on holiday or preparing for the new school year. There continues to be good demand for lower priced properties under $400,000, however, listing numbers are lower in this price bracket. In Ashburton there is an increase in the number of investors who are looking at developments in the area. Overall, there are plenty of buyers out there, but they are willing to wait for the right property. The market should continue to perform steadily but may quieten down as we near the middle of year closer to the election.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 46 days is higher than the 10-year average for January which is 42 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 17 weeks, four weeks less than in January 2019.

Canterbury January 2020

Regional Analysis - Otago

“The Queenstown Lakes District saw a decrease in sales volumes (-22.4%) when compared to the same time last year. However, the median price increased 9.8% monthon-month to $1,055,000. The market has started to pick up this month with more people attending open homes and activity from the property enquiries over the summer period. There have been quite a number of auctions already which have produced good clearance rates. Looking across the wider Otago region saw a record median price of $570,000, up 19.9% on last year.” (REINZ)

 

“Median prices in Dunedin City reached a new record of $550,000, up 5.8% from the previous record set in November 2019. Although sales were down 28.1%, the region had the same number of new listings compared to this time last year. There are a similar number of first home buyers in the market compared to last month, but they are struggling to purchase due to the price increases and some are even dropping out of the market, especially those who don’t have assistance from parents or other avenues. There are enough out of town buyers to keep up the momentum and there is good investor interest in Dunedin.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 43 days is less than the 10-year average for January which is 46 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 15 weeks, 7 weeks more than in January 2019.

Otago January 2020

Regional Analysis - Southland

“The Southland market had a strong start to 2020 with a new record median price of $359,000, up 28.7% annually. Additionally, all three districts experienced record highs with Gore District hitting the $300,000-mark, Invercargill City recording $346,000 and Southland District reaching $440,000. The REINZ House Price Index for the region reached a new record high of 3,352, up 17.7% annually, the second highest annual increase following closely behind the Manawatu/Wanganui region. The increase in prices is likely due to the decrease in the number of properties sold in the sub $250,000 price bracket, dropping from 37.1% in January 2019 to 10.9% in January 2020. New listings are coming onto the market strongly, up 20.9% annually, the highest increase of all the regions. There are more first home buyers in the market this month who are attracted to the affordable pricing, but many are competing in multi offer situations. The market should continue to perform positively throughout 2020.” (REINZ)

 

The current Days to Sell of 31 days is much less than the 10-year average for January which is 46 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 12 weeks, four weeks less than in January 2019.

Southland January 2020