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Weaker Sales Numbers, Stronger Prices in November Market

News Release 12 December 2013

Weaker Sales Numbers, Stronger Prices in November Market


• 6,961 houses sold in November 2013, down 6.6% on November 2012

• New median high price for New Zealand at $425,000, $17,475 (+4.3%) above the previous record high

• Auckland, Canterbury/Westland, Wellington and Waikato/Bay of Plenty all reach new high median price; Taranaki just $500 below highest median price

• National Stratified House Price Index also reaches new high

• 1,718 houses sold by auction, representing almost one quarter of all sales in November; a new record

REINZ, the most up to date source of real estate data in New Zealand, announced today that there were 6,691 dwelling sales in the month of November, down 6.6% on November last year and up 2.7% compared to October. The national median price increased $17,475 compared to October to $425,000, a new record median high. Auckland, Canterbury/Westland, Wellington and Waikato/Bay of Plenty also reached new record median highs in November.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Chief Executive Helen O’Sullivan says, “The increase in real estate sales for November was weaker than expected, with November sales up only 2.7% over October 2013. As the average increase between October and November over the last ten years has been more than 10%, this indicates a further softening in sales volumes. The restrictions on high LVR lending may well be a driver of the softer sales figures, with sales below $400,000 falling almost 20% compared to November last year.”

“Analysis of the underlying sales data suggests that changes in the median price this month may be influenced by changes in the sales mix – if sales in the lower pricing bands are taking longer to complete, or not occurring, this would impact on the median house price.  However further data is required before we can determine if this is the beginning of a trend, a short term effect from a change in the pace of sales at certain price points, or a seasonal effect arising from an increase in the number of higher value properties brought to market at this time of year.”

Sales Volumes

REINZ data shows there were 6,961 unconditional residential sales in November, a 6.6% fall on November 2012, and an increase of 2.7% compared to October. The increase of 2.7% between October and November compares to an average 11.1% increase between these two months over the past 10 years, indicating that sales in November were not as high as would be normally expected at this time of year.

All regions recorded decreases in sales volume compared to November last year. Canterbury/Westland recorded the smallest decrease of 1.4%, followed by Hawkes Bay with 2.3% and Waikato/Bay of Plenty 3.4%. Eight regions showed decreases of more than 5%, including Otago at 26.8%, Taranaki at 25.2% and Nelson/Marlborough at 17.6%. Seven regions recorded an increase in sales volume in November compared to October, with Wellington recording an increase of 15.4%, followed by Southland with an increase of 8.1% and Hawkes Bay with an increase of 6.6%.


The national median house price rose by $17,475 (+4.3%), from $407,525 in October, to $425,000 in November to reach a new median high. Compared to November 2012 the national median house price increased by $41,750 (+10.9%), with eight regions recording an increase in the median price. 72% of the increase in the national median price compared to November last year occurred in Auckland and 13% occurred in Canterbury/Westland. Together these two regions accounted for 85% of the increase in the median price between November 2012 and November 2013.

Auckland, Canterbury/Westland, Wellington and Waikato/Bay of Plenty all recorded new median highs in November, with Auckland reaching $620,000, Canterbury/Westland $389,750, Wellington $420,000 and Waikato/Bay of Plenty $340,000. Compared to November 2012 Taranaki recorded the largest increase in median price, up 16.3%, followed by Central Otago Lakes with 15.3% and Auckland with 14.8%.

The REINZ Stratified Housing Price Index, which adjusts for some of the variations in the mix that can impact on the median price, reached a new high in November and is 9.6% higher than November 2012. The Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Other South Island Indices all recorded new highs in November as well. The Auckland Index has risen 14.9% compared to November 2012, with the Christchurch Index up 12.2% and the Wellington Index up 6.2%.

Days To Sell

Houses took the same number of days to sell in November compared to October at 31 days. Compared to November 2012, the number of days to sell improved by two days. Six regions saw an improvement in the number of days to sell between November 2012 and November 2013, with Northland recording the largest improvement of 15 days, Taranaki saw an improvement of four days and Waikato/Bay of Plenty saw an improvement of three days.

For the month of November, Canterbury/Westland recorded the shortest days to sell at 27 days, followed by Wellington at 29 days, and Auckland at 30 days. Central Otago Lakes recorded the longest number of days to sell at 49 days, followed by Manawatu/Wanganui with 44 days and Northland and Hawkes Bay with 43 days. Over the past 10 years the median days to sell for the month of November has averaged 34 days across New Zealand.


Nationally there were 1,718 dwellings sold by auction in November representing 24.7% of all sales and an increase of 11.6% on the number of dwellings sold by auction in November 2012. Auctions are increasingly favoured as a sales method in certain centres; for the 12 months to November 2013 the total number of sales by auction reached 16,421 or 20.5% of all sales, compared to 11,580 or 15.7% of all sales for the 12 months to November 2012.

Transactions in Auckland again dominated the auction market in November, representing 72.4% of the national total of auction sales. Almost 45% of all dwelling sales in Auckland were by auction in November; up from the 38.8% of sales by auction in November 2012, a new record for the region. Canterbury/Westland and Wellington also reached new records for auction sales in November. Sales by auction in Waikato/Bay Of Plenty accounted for 7.9% of the national total, Canterbury/Westland accounted for 11.7% of the national total, and all other regions combined accounted for the remaining 5.7% of auction sales in November 2013.

Click for big version.

Further Data

Across New Zealand the total value of residential sales, including sections was $3.74 billion in November, compared to $3.45 billion in October, and $3.62 billion in November 2012. For the 12 months ended November 2013 the total value of residential sales was $39.77 billion.

The breakdown of the value of properties sold in November 2013 is:

$1 million plus 541 7.8%

$600,000 to $999,999 1,435 20.6%

$400,000 to $599,999 1,832 26.3%

Under $400,000 3,153 45.3%

All Properties Sold 6,961 100.0%

REINZ Stratified Median Housing Price Index

The REINZ Housing Price Index increased 1.2% compared with October to sit at 3,885.5 to reach a new high. Auckland increased by 2.9% in November, Christchurch rose 3.4%, and Wellington rose 4.4%. All three major cities plus Other South Island reached new highs in November. For the 12 months to November, the Auckland Index rose 14.9, the Christchurch Index rose 12.2% and the Wellington Index increased 6.2%. The National Index increased 9.6% compared to November last year.

Click for big version.

* CAGR is Compound Annual Growth Rate

The Christchurch data needs to be treated with some caution due to compositional changes in the suburb mix caused by the earthquakes in the city




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