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Regional Commentary and Market Statistics - September 2018

Market Statistics

Property Brokers 11 Oct 2018

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The low number of new listings in July has meant that the number of houses sold in New Zealand during September decreased by -3.0% year-on-year according to the latest market statistics from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

The number of properties sold across the country fell from 5,674 in September 2017 to 5,506 in September this year – 168 fewer properties. This is the lowest for the month of September since September 2011. For New Zealand excluding Auckland, the number of properties sold decreased by -3.3% – 133 fewer properties when compared to September 2017 (from 4,023 to 3,890).

Across the country 12 out of 16 regions saw a fall in volumes with 6 of those regions experiencing double-digit decreases. Regions with the largest annual decrease in sales volumes were Northland, Gisborne and the West Coast, however, Marlborough, Southland and Waikato regions reported a strong annual increase in sales volume.

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “Traditionally there is a lag of about 6 weeks between significant movements in listings and sales results. With July’s listings down by 5.4% year-on-year and an all-time low level of listings in seven regions, it’s little wonder that September’s sales volumes were so low. There simply weren’t as many properties for sale resulting in a very quiet start to spring.

However, with August and September’s listing numbers up 0.1% and 11.7% respectively, it is expected that October and November’s sales volumes will be much stronger – particularly as people want to sell ahead of Christmas,” continues Norwell.

 

Regional Analysis - Auckland

“The Auckland market continues on its stable trajectory that it has been on for some months now. With no major changes to market conditions anticipated, we expect that the market will stay the same for the next few months. Breaking Auckland’s market down, we saw quite mixed results during September with the Albert-Eden-Roskill Ward experiencing a 24.6% price rise in the annual median price, whereas the Waitemata and Gulf Ward saw prices fall 21.3% annually showing how different the Auckland market is depending on which area you’re looking at.

There is less interest from first home buyers and fewer investors when compared to September 2017 - but compared to the past few months we’re starting to see interest levels rising from both first-time buyers and investors. With listings up significantly in September we expect a lift in volumes going forward.

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from August to September, the observed stability in median price was essentially what was expected and the observed large decrease in sales count was only fractionally more than expected. The current Days to Sell of 39 days is more than the 10-year average for September which is 33 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 23 weeks, four and a half weeks more than in September 2017.

 Akld_Sep18

 

Regional Analysis - Northland

“The Northland market continues to see good buyer demand, especially for 3-bedroom houses in the $350,000 - $500,000 range, where stock numbers have been very low. This demand has helped push the median price up to the record $505,000 experienced during September. Much of this price growth has been in the Whangarei District in areas such as Hikurangi-Coastal and Whangarei Heads Wards which have experienced annual price increases of 142.9% and 34.4% respectively. The sunnier spring weather has brought a welcomed rise in new listings (up 13.7%) and a big lift of open homes attendance.

Banks continue to be cautious with lending. Investors have started to show interest again, however, they are careful and are mostly interested in fully insulated properties that don’t need any maintenance ahead of the upcoming Healthy Homes legislation announcements.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from August to September, the observed increase in median price was greater than expected and the observed decrease in sales count was greater than expected. The current Days to Sell of 48 days is less than the 10-year average for September which is 55 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 33 weeks, four weeks more than in September 2017.

 NTHLD_Sep18

 

Regional Analysis - Waikato

“The Waikato market saw a buoyant start to spring, continuing in the same pace it has been for the whole of winter with no signs of slowing down. There was a 9% increase in the number of properties sold compared to 12 months ago and auctions are still doing well, contributing to a higher number of cash buyers and they are spread across the market. September showed a more balanced demand across all price ranges and finance is being approved in most cases. There are still plenty of multiple offers with first home buyers trying to secure good properties. There has been an increase of local buyers compared to last month and it is good to see more listings coming on as the demand is still strong.

Taupo’s affordability continues to attract investors and they are competing with first home buyers, which has caused the prices to go up. Other areas to record strong price rises during September were the Turangi-Tongariro, Putaruru and Otorohanga Wards. The Thames and Coromandel District, particularly in Mercury Bay, Whangamata and Pauanui have all started to show signs of coming into the more active period with spring. Overall, the Waikato market will likely have a very busy spring as interest in the region remains strong.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from August to September, the observed decrease in median price was in contrast to the expected small increase and the observed decrease in sales count was not as large as expected. The current Days to Sell of 38 days is less than the 10-year average for September which is 44 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 18 weeks, one and a half weeks more than in September 2017.

 WKTO_Sep18

 

Regional Analysis - Bay of Plenty

“New listings attracted a lot of interest at first open home viewings in the Bay of Plenty market during September, as the market continues to see a positive flow forward. Interest was shown for properties in all price ranges, but the traditional spring rush hasn’t quite kicked in yet. Investors are interested but cautious with upcoming changes to the Healthy Homes legislation. This creates opportunities for first home buyers, as the competition for the affordable homes eases off.

The listing numbers slightly improved from last month’s very low numbers and this will hopefully only be the start of a more active market with more vendors deciding to list their properties, as demand will continue to drive the market up until Christmas.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from August to September, the observed decrease in median price was larger than expected and the observed large decrease in sales count was smaller than expected. The current Days to Sell of 44 days is much less than the 10-year average for September which is 50 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 14 weeks, two weeks more than in September 2017.

 BOP_Sep18

 

Regional Analysis - Hawke's Bay

“The Hawke’s Bay market continues to struggle with low listing numbers and there was only a 1% increase in new properties coming to market compared to August. Agents are trying to meet buyer interest in the region with very few available listings. Most of the interest is shown by locals, who know the region and they are interested in all price ranges.

The median price for the region has held steady at the record equal of $445,000 held up by strong growth in Hastings and Napier. For the more affordable end of the market there is an even split between investors and first home buyers. If listing numbers increase, the upcoming period leading up to Christmas will be busy.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from August to September, the observed stability in median price was in contrast to the expected small decrease and the observed large decrease in sales count was fractionally smaller than expected. The current Days to Sell of 35 days is less than the 10-year average for September which is 39 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 9 weeks, the same as in September 2017.

 HB_Sep18

 

Regional Analysis - Taranaki

“While prices and volumes were down in September for the region, the Taranaki market experienced an increase of listings (up 4.6%) following the usual spring trend. First home buyers continue to be active in the market, but the lack of properties means it is difficult for them to compete on conditions and price. Open homes continue to see good attendance numbers, especially for anything new.

Last month’s lift in investor enquiry has dropped again and we are back to the levels we had in early winter. The overall demand is strong, and the lack of listings slows the momentum down but hopefully spring will bring more available properties to the market as there is plenty of interest.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from August to September, the observed increase in median price was smaller than expected and the observed large decrease in sales count was a bit larger than expected. The current Days to Sell of 36 days is less than the 10-year average for September which is 43 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 14 weeks, four weeks less than in September 2017.

 TAR_Sep18

 

Regional Analysis - Manawatu/Whanganui

“The Manawatu/Whanganui region is experiencing a similar pattern to a number of regions across the country whereby prices are increasing from the same time last year, but volumes have fallen as a result of low levels of new properties coming to the market. Listings for the region have been down for a number of months now and total inventory is only 11 weeks – down 16% on the same time last year. Hopefully October will see a lift in listings.

First home buyers make up about half of all buyers in the region, similar to levels seen last September but also more recently. While days to sell increased by 1 day (up from 28 days in September 2017), it is still one of only three regions to have a median number of days to sell of a property of less than 30 days.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from August to September, the observed decrease in median price was greater than expected and the observed increase in sales count was fractionally less than expected. The current Days to Sell of 29 days is much less than the 10-year average for September which is 42 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 11 weeks, two weeks less than in September 2017.

 MAN_Sep18

 

Regional Analysis - Wellington

“The Wellington region still has critically low levels of inventory with only 8 weeks’ worth of property available to the market, but thankfully September has seen a 13.5% lift in new listings which will hopefully bring some relief to the market in the coming months.

Given the strong demand for property in the region, prices have held up in most areas across the region, particularly in Carterton and the South Wairarapa District which saw annual increases of 65.2% and 54.2% respectively. Looking forward, we expect the next few months to be busy in the lead up to the end of the year.“

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from August to September, the observed slight increase in median price was smaller than expected and the observed large decrease in sales count was greater than expected. The current Days to Sell of 30 days is less than the 10-year average for September which is 33 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at eight weeks, half a week more than in September 2017. This is the lowest (in terms of weeks) level of inventory of all the regions.

 WGTN_Sep18

 

Regional Analysis - Nelson/Marlborough

“The Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman market had a mixed start to the spring, with prices up in all three regions and a record median price for Nelson of $592,000. However, volumes of sales were down in Tasman and Nelson. The area continues to face a shortage of stock with Marlborough down -16.3% compared to the same time last year. While Nelson saw a slight increase in new listings (3.2%), it’s still not enough to keep up with demand. Buyers remain positive and there are still multi offers coming through.

There are only a small number of auctions as most agreements come with conditions and varying timelines depending on how many interested buyers there are. Local entry level prices continue to rise, making it more difficult for first home buyers to enter the market. Investors are looking more at returns and other costs while considering if they want to put an offer forward. There are no sentiments to indicate any major changes going forward.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from August to September, the observed increase in median price was smaller than expected and the observed large decrease in sales count was fractionally greater than expected. The current Days to Sell of 34 days is less than the 10-year average for September which is 36 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 13 weeks, one and a half weeks more than in September 2017.

 NEL_Sep18

 

Regional Analysis - West Coast

“The public perception of an improving market on the West Coast continues to grow, resulting in steady activity across the market during September despite a fall in volumes and value during the month. The West Coast remains the most affordable place in New Zealand with 53.3% of properties sold during September for less than $250,000 – the only region to come close to this is Southland with 45.3% of properties sold for less than $250,000.

This affordability is partly the driving force behind a lift in investors’ momentum to purchase in the region, with close to 30% more investor enquiries coming through compared to last September and more improvement on the previous 5 years. New listings were down during September; however, overall inventory levels are up 9.1% on the same time last year. Hopefully October will see more properties for sale as we see the demand is there.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from August to September, the observed decrease in median price was in contrast to the expected small increase and the observed huge decrease in sales count was much larger than expected. The current Days to Sell of 81 days is less than the 10-year average for September which is 99 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 60 weeks, 5 weeks more than in September 2017.

 WC_Sep18

 

Regional Analysis - Canterbury

“The Canterbury market saw a good start to spring with both prices and volumes up. There is a good number of buyers across the region and first home buyer activity has increased, especially in the affordable price ranges compared to 12 months ago. Insurance for older houses continues to remain hard to get with instances of companies getting tougher with their rules. Pending legislation is keeping investor interest at low levels. All the signs are there for a continuing good market up until Christmas.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from August to September, the observed increase in median price was a bit larger than expected and the observed decrease in sales count was smaller than expected. The current Days to Sell of 38 days is higher than the 10-year average for September which is 33 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 20 weeks, two weeks more than in September 2017.

 CANT_Sep18

 

Regional Analysis - Otago

“The Otago market continued on a steady course for the first month of spring with good interest from potential buyers and prices holding steady. However, listings remain at low levels with a slight decrease in new listings in September (-2.4%) compared to last year. We expect a strong run into Christmas with an increase in listing numbers and continuing strong buyer demand.”  Dunedin City.

“The Queenstown Lakes market experienced the usual spring uplift in prices with a 9.6% increase on the same time last year, with most of the growth driven by price increases in Wanaka. Volumes were down 40% on the same time last year, a result of the low level of listings in July which impacted sales in September. However, with a rise in new listings in September and the warmer weather already on the way, we expect activity to lift in the coming months.”  Queenstown.

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from August to September, the observed decrease in median price contrasted with the expected slight increase and the observed large decrease in sales count was much greater than expected. The current Days to Sell of 27 days is less than the 10-year average for September which is 37 days. The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 10 weeks, one week less than in September 2017.

 OTGO_Sep18

 

Regional Analysis - Southland

“The Southland market saw a spring burst of new properties coming to market in September, with 274 new listings, an increase of 21.2% on the same time last year. Additionally, both prices and volumes were up on the same time last year, indicating the continuation of the increased interest and steady market the region is experiencing.

At this point, there are no signs that would indicate that the increase from out of town interest is slowing down. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, Southland is seen as an attractive and affordable option. It will be interesting to see the development as we head towards Christmas.”

The seasonally adjusted results tell us that, compared to what we expect when moving from August to September, the observed increase in median price contrasted with the expected small decrease and the observed decrease in sales count was much smaller than expected. The current Days to Sell of 21 days is much less than the 10-year average for September which is 35 days. This is the region with the lowest median days to sell, 6 days less than the next lowest region (Otago). The level of inventory available for sale currently sits at 11 weeks, five and half weeks less than in September 2017.

 STHLD_Sep18