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Solid Start for Real Estate Market In 2013

News Release 12 February 2013

Solid Start for Real Estate Market In 2013


4,933 houses sold in January 2013, an increase of 21% on January 2012
National median house price up 4.2% compared to January 2012, but eases 4.9% from December 2012
New record median house price for Taranaki
Sales by auction in January 2013 almost double those of January 2012

Robust demand drove sales volume growth in the residential property market during January to the highest level for the month in five years with the number of sales up 21 per cent on January 2012.

The national median price rose 4.2% compared to January 2012 to $370,000 but eased from the record $389,000 established in December 2012.

The Chief Executive of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), Helen O’Sullivan, says that the residential real estate market has begun 2013 well, continuing the trend that developed during 2012.

“The residential real estate market has begun 2013 in good shape with a more than 20% increase in sales volume on this time last year. The national median price eased from its December level, although it remained 4.2% above the level reported at the same time last year. Given the highly seasonal nature of the housing market, prices and volumes tend to ease from their year end levels in January, as marketing campaigns for many properties in the upper price bracket don’t begin until the latter half of the month.”

“Agents across the country are reporting continuing shortages of listings and positive buyer enquiry, even after taking into account the normal slowdown in activity over the Christmas/New Year break. The six day improvement in the number of days to sell between January 2013 and January 2012 is indicative of high levels of buyer activity in markets across the country.”

Sales Volumes
REINZ data shows there were 4,933 unconditional residential sales in January, an increase of 860 sales (+21.1%) compared with the same time last year and a fall of 14.3% compared to December 2012. This is in line with the normal seasonal trends at this time of the year, as the shorter trading month (due to the Christmas/New Year break) always results in a lower sales tally in January compared to December. On a seasonally adjusted basis January’s sales were in line with what would be expected at this time of the year.

All but one region recorded increases in sales volume compared to January last year, with Southland recording an increase of 40.4%, followed by Northland with 38.5% and Auckland with 26.7%. Only Southland recorded an increase in sales volume in January compared to December, with a 2.5% increase, while Taranaki recorded the same number of sales as December.

The national median house price fell by $19,000, from $389,000 in December, to $370,000 in January; a drop of 4.9%. Taranaki recorded a new record high median of $310,500 in January with a 10.5% increase compared to December. Hawkes Bay was the only other region to record an increase in the median price in January. The national median house price is up 4.2% compared to January 2012, while the Auckland median price is up 8.1% compared to January 2012. The Canterbury/ Westland median rose 5.8% and Nelson/Marlborough 4.6%.

The REINZ Stratified Housing Price Index, which adjusts for some of the variations in mix that can impact on the median price, is 7.2% higher than January 2012 and eased 1.0% compared to December. The Auckland Stratified Housing Price Index is up almost 12% compared to January 2012.

Days To Sell
Houses took nine days longer to sell in January 2013, following the usual seasonal pattern, compared to December 2012, easing from 32 days in December to 41 days in January. Compared to January 2012, the number of days to sell improved by six days. All regions, with the exception of Hawkes Bay and Taranaki, saw an improvement in the number of days to sell between January 2012 and January 2013.

For the month of January, Canterbury/Westland recorded the shortest days to sell at 31 days, followed by Auckland with 33 days and Nelson/Marlborough with 40 days. Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay both recorded the longest number of days to sell at 60 days, followed by Northland with 59 days and Taranaki with 55 days. Over the past 10 years the median days to sell for the month of January has averaged 44 days across New Zealand.

Nationally there were 449 dwellings sold by auction in January representing 9.1% of all sales, almost double the number of sales by auction compared to January 2012. For the 12 months to January the total number of auctions reached 12,168 or 16.3% of all sales, compared to 7,195 or 11.6% of all sales for the 12 months to January 2012.

Transactions in Auckland again dominated the auction market in January, representing 73.5% of the national total of auction sales. 18.3% of all dwelling sales in Auckland were by this method in January; this was up strongly from the 11.2% of sales by auction in January 2012. Sales by auction in Waikato/Bay Of Plenty accounted for 10.9% of the national total, Canterbury/Westland accounted for 6.7% of the national total, and all other regions combined accounted for the remaining 8.9% of auction sales in January 2013.

Click for big version.

Further Data
Across New Zealand the total value of residential sales, including sections was $2.24 billion in January, compared to $2.73 billion in December, and $1.72 billion in January 2012. For the 12 months ended January 2013 the total value of residential sales was $34.47 billion.

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

$1 million plus 167 3.4%
$600,000 to$999,999 711 14.4%
$400,000 to $599,999 1,299 26.3%
Under $400,000 2,756 55.9%
All Properties Sold 4,933 100.0%

REINZ Stratified Median Housing Price Index
The REINZ Housing Price Index eased 1.0% in January compared with December to sit at 3,488.1. Wellington rose 1.1% in January, while Auckland fell 2.1% and Christchurch 4.4%. For the 12 months to January, the Auckland Index rose 11.8% and the Christchurch Index rose 9.9% compared to the National Index increase of 7.2%. Outside of the main centres, the Other South Island Index was the next strongest with an increase of 3.9% for the 12 months to January 2013.

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

REINZ Stratified Median Housing Price Index Chart

Click for big version.




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