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Regional Commentary and Property Market Statistics - November 2018

Market Statistics

Property Brokers 14 Dec 2018

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Vendors from around the country have been delivered an early Christmas present with record median prices achieved in six regions and another record median price set for the country in November according to the latest market statistics from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

The national median house price in November for residential properties was a record $575,000 up 6.5% from $540,000 at the same time last year. For New Zealand excluding Auckland, the median house price was a record $485,000 up 7.8% from $450,000 in November 2017. Auckland’s median house price dropped -1.5% to $867,000, down from $880,000 in November 2017, but was up from last month by 0.3%. Additionally, six regions achieved a record price during November. These regions were Northland, Waikato, Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Tasman and Southland.

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “For two months in a row now we’ve seen record median prices set for New Zealand driven by extremely strong growth in some of the regions where demand for good properties continues to outstrip supply. In fact, prices rose annually in 14 out of 16 regions around the country – the only exceptions were Auckland (-1.5%) and Canterbury (-3.3%). Of those 14 regions experiencing annual increases, 7 of them saw double digit increases showing the strength of the market.

While these record median prices will be a great early Christmas present for vendors selling their homes, they make hard reading for those first time buyers who are desperately saving to get onto the property market. However, with the likes of KiwiBuild and models such as BNZ’s shared-ownership scheme there is some light at the end of the tunnel for those first home buyers feeling locked out of the property market," continues Norwell. 

 

Regional Analysis - Auckland

“November saw the Auckland market continue on its stable pattern of median prices in the $850,000 - $880,000 bracket. Results varied across the region with Franklin District seeing an 11.3% price uplift, yet Rodney saw an 11% fall in prices annually, highlighting the disparate results across our largest city. Vendors are meeting the market in terms of price, but they are taking their time resulting in longer days on the market, especially in some suburbs.

There are very few cash ready buyers and banks’ pre-approvals cannot be relied upon as approved cash, but this only affects the length of the negotiation and not the overall sales. December is likely to see a steady market with prices remaining at current levels.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from October to November, the observed increase in median price was slightly less than what was expected and the observed small increase in sales count was quite a bit less than expected. The current Days to Sell of 37 days is more than the 10-year average for November which is 33 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 19 weeks, four weeks less than in November 2017.

 AKLD_Nov18

 

Regional Analysis - Northland

“With a 21.2% increase in median price in November, the Northland market saw a new record median set for the region. Additionally, the Far North District saw a record price of $505,000 achieved. The region experienced a positive uplift in inventory compared to 12 months ago (an 8% increase) which has given potential buyers more choice in the market. We have also seen that first home buyers had less competition in their price brackets as there were fewer investors active during November.

Open home attendance wasn’t as busy, which could be a result of the lower number of investors active in the market at the moment. Banks are still being stricter on requesting more information about the buyer and the property, and we are seeing fewer pre-approved buyers. It is looking positive for the remainder of the pre-Christmas season."

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from October to November, the observed increase in median price was greater than expected and the observed decrease in sales count was in contrast to the expected increase. The current Days to Sell of 43 days is less than the 10-year average for November which is 51 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 26 weeks, three weeks less than in November 2017.

 NTHLD_Nov18

 

Regional Analysis - Waikato

“November saw a slow start to the Waikato market, but it became more active and we saw a strong end of the month, with some good auctions and multiple offers. The region also achieved a new record high median house price, now at $529,000, up 8% year-on-year. Additionally, the Hauraki, Matamata/Piako and South Waikato Districts all achieved record prices during the month. Bank lending is still good, which is positive for the coming summer months.

First home buyers continue to be a strong part of the market, being around a quarter of the total buyer pool and we see that they are now paying higher prices compared to last year. This is partly because they are bidding against investors who still see this as an affordable region to buy in compared to other parts of the country. Properties that are marketed from $300,000 to $600,000 see good inspections at open homes. There are consistent sales and with new real estate agencies opening it shows a positive and strong market that will probably remain stable well in to the New Year.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from October to November, the observed increase in median price was a little more than expected and the observed increase in sales count was less than expected. The current Days to Sell of 36 days is less than the 10-year average for November which is 41 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 14 weeks, six weeks less than in November 2017.

 WKTO_Nov18

 

Regional Analysis - Bay of Plenty

“The Bay of Plenty region experienced a mixed market during November, with median prices in Whakatane up 14.7% year-on-year, yet down -13.8% in Opotiki when compared to the same time last year. November was a busy month across the region with the number of sold houses increasing by 17.4% compared to November last year. Tauranga followed its traditional end of spring pattern with a strong upper end of the market, compared to the lower and middle price ranges and we saw a decrease in the level of first home buyer interest.

Open homes for new listings were well attended. However, for the properties that didn’t sell within a couple of weeks the vendors might need to adjust their price expectations. Overall, its looks to be a normal pre-Christmas rush, and then it will slow down before it all gets busy again in February.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from October to November, the observed increase in median price was fractionally smaller than expected and the observed large increase in sales count was larger than expected. The current Days to Sell of 39 days is less than the 10-year average for November which is 46 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 16 weeks, three weeks more than in November 2017.

 BOP_Nov18

 

Regional Analysis - Hawke's Bay

“The Hawke’s Bay market continues to be buoyant seeing a new record high median house price of $470,000, a further 2.2% increase from last month’s record high median house price of $460,000. We expect this trend to continue, with strong buyer enquiry and confident vendors over the coming months. We have seen an uplift in the number of appraisals and new listings went up 10.3% creating room for a greater number of sold houses at the end of the month, up 20.5% compared to October and up 9.7% year-on-year.

With the market this active, all aspects of it have experienced a general uplift and it will probably continue until the Christmas slowdown."

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from October to November, the observed increase in median price was smaller than expected and the observed big increase in sales count was greater than expected. The current Days to Sell of 31 days is less than the 10-year average for November which is 40 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 9 weeks, two weeks less than in November 2017.

 HB_Nov18

 

Regional Analysis - Taranaki

“The Taranaki market remained stable with a continued strong buyer demand lowering the number of days to sell to 27, compared to 34 a year ago. Inventory dropped 4.0% in November compared to last year. However, the upswing of listings that came in October has levelled out as vendors are now choosing to wait until the New Year to put their property on the market. It is in the lower price bracket that the shortage is most acute, which affects first home buyers and investor options.

Volumes and prices continue to hold up particularly in the Stratford District. Assuming that the buyer demand remains at this level, we will likely see an upswing of the market once we are back from the holidays, hopefully with new stock in all price brackets.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from October to November, the observed decrease in median price was in contrast to the expected increase and the observed large increase in sales count was larger than expected. The current Days to Sell of 27 days is much less than the 10-year average for November which is 40 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 15 weeks, one week less than in November 2017.

 TAR_Nov18

 

Regional Analysis - Manawatu/Whanganui

“The Manawatu/Whanganui market remained buoyant, with a continued growth of first home buyer interest, albeit not at the same rate we experienced last month. This interest will most likely continue into the new year due to the changes to the LVR. With the strong buyer demand, it would have been great to see more new listings coming to market, similar to what we saw last month.

However, November experienced an 18.2% decrease in new listings if we measure against last year, leaving the total number of properties on the market lower than November last year (down 21.4%). Despite the shortage of listings, prices remain strong, up 12.6% year-on-year for the region. Additionally, the Horowhenua District achieved a record median price of $315,500.“

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from October to November, the observed tiny decrease in median price was fractionally more than expected and the observed increase in sales count was not as large as expected. The current Days to Sell of 28 days is much less than the 10-year average for November which is 40 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 11 weeks, six weeks less than in November 2017.

 MAN_Nov18

 

Regional Analysis - Wellington

“The Wellington market sees first home buyers struggling with many looking to buy apartments just to get into the market. Additionally, many are moving further out in the suburbs if they need a standalone house, as suburbs like Tawa and Johnsonville are becoming too expensive. Buyers traditionally looking in Lower Hutt are now looking in the Upper Hutt as they get more value for money there.

Inventory continues to be in short supply and it decreased -14.2% compared to November 2017, now at 7 weeks compared to 9, which impacts prices as Wellington saw a new record median house price of $613,000, up 11.5% compared to one year ago. Lower Hutt, Masterton and Wellington Cities also achieved record median prices in November. The market will continue to be busy going forward.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from October to November, the observed increase in median price was fractionally smaller than expected and the observed increase in sales count was much less than expected. The current Days to Sell of 31 days is the same as the 10-year average for November. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at seven weeks, two weeks less than in November 2017. This is the lowest (in terms of weeks) level of inventory of all the regions.

 

WGTN_Nov18 

Regional Analysis - Nelson/Marlborough

“The Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman market is still in a strong position and with the holiday season approaching and an influx of visitors, it traditionally also adds positivity to the market. Tasman achieved a new record high median house price of $645,000, a 19.2% increase year-on-year. We continue to see a competitive first home buyer presence across the region, especially in the lower end but at the next price level as well. We also have good attendance at open homes, which turns out to become quite competitive with multi offers in some price ranges.

Vendors appear to be favouring pricing with a deadline sale. Nelson did not see the traditional end of spring surge in new listings. Instead, Blenheim followed more in those traditional tracks with more property coming to market. They also saw that buyers were quick to make a decision and close the deal as people want to move before Christmas. The market looks like it will stay this buoyant at least up until the holidays when the region takes a more relaxed approach.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from October to November, the observed increase in median price was greater than expected and the observed minute decrease in sales count was less than expected. The current Days to Sell of 36 days is more than the 10-year average for November which is 35 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 13 weeks, two weeks more than in November 2017.

 NEL_Nov18

 

Regional Analysis - West Coast

“We see a real mix of interest with confidence returning to the West Coast market as a whole. There is definitely an increase in the number of investors looking at the region compared to the same time last year. We see that the LVR rules continue to affect first home buyers. Vendors are more optimistic as they feel an improvement coming. Inventory went down by 17.8%, additionally listings were down 10.7% year-on-year."

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from October to November, the observed increase in median price was smaller than expected and the observed large decrease in sales count was much larger than expected. The current Days to Sell of 76 days is more than the 10-year average for November which is 72 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 51 weeks, 39 weeks less than in November 2017.

 WC_Nov18

 

Regional Analysis - Canterbury

“Canterbury was the only region to experience a decrease in both price and volume of sales during November possibly implying the market is taking an early Christmas break, but in reality, after such a strong performance in October a slight decrease is not unexpected. The HPI showed an annual increase in the index of 0.8% indicating there is still some strength in the market. Additionally, inventory levels are up year-on-year highlighting improving buyer choice in the region.

Buyers are being cautious regarding price unless there is competition and there has been good attendance numbers at open homes. The number of active investors in the market decreased compared to 12 months ago and some auction results suggest that some vendors still need to be conscious of their pricing expectations. We are going to head into a healthy first quarter of 2019, based on current levels of interest and buyers will make confident purchasing decisions having measured up the market through spring 2018.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from October to November, the observed increase in median price was less than expected and the observed decrease in sales count was in contrast to the expected increase. The current Days to Sell of 35 days is higher than the 10-year average for November which is 31 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 18 weeks, five weeks less than in November 2017.

 CANT_Nov18

 

Regional Analysis - Otago

“November saw continued strong interest from most buyer types across all price ranges. There have been more unconditional buyers in multi-offer situations, usually resulting in their securing the property. There are investors still in the market, but not in great numbers due to the higher house prices and uncertainty of incoming government compliance. Open homes saw strong attendance, but it will most likely start to slow down closer to Christmas.”  Dunedin City.

“Prices have increased 14.5% year-on-year in the Queenstown Lakes District and are up 10.7% on October. Banks appears to have more funds to lend and they are easing the conditions for first home buyers in the Queenstown Lakes market. There has been an upswing at open homes, mainly by first homes buyers as we see that investor interest has dropped around 30% compared to 12 months ago. Prices will most likely remain stable as buyers have a set price in mind that they are not willing to negotiate too far from at the moment.”  Queenstown.

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from October to November, the observed minute decrease in median price was less than expected and the observed minute decrease in sales count was less than expected. The current Days to Sell of 29 days is less than the 10-year average for November which is 33 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at eight weeks, six weeks less than in November 2017. This is the equal second lowest (in terms of weeks) level of inventory of all the regions.

 OTAGO_Nov18

 

Regional Analysis - Southland

“The Southland market continues to be seen as an affordable region to buy property in with a new record high median house price, now at $275,000, up 7.8% compared to October and a year-on-year increase of 3.8%. For the fifth month in a row Southland had the lowest days to sell of any region.

There were fewer first home buyers and investors compared to 12 months ago, which became apparent at open homes. Inventory dropped -19.6% which impacted the total number of properties sold. 162 properties were sold, which is 35 properties less compared to October, the lowest number sold since January this year.

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from October to November, the observed increase in median price was slightly greater than expected and the observed large decrease in sales count was in contrast to the expected increase in sales count. The current Days to Sell of 23 days is much less than the 10- year average for November which is 33 days. This is the region with the lowest median days to sell. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 11 weeks, ten weeks less than in November 2017.

 STHLD_Nov18