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Regional NZ flourishes in current property market

Regional New Zealand flourishes in current property market
– Main centres stall –

Regional New Zealand outshone the main metropolitan centres in March, based on latest statistics released by realestate.co.nz, New Zealand’s largest property listing site.

“The regions are looking lively with asking prices and new listings up in most of the country’s regions, while the main centres paint a different picture,” says Vanessa Taylor, spokesperson for realestate.co.nz.

Real-time statistics from realestate.co.nz show that the top 10 regions with the largest increases in asking prices (compared to the prior month), did not include any of the main centres.

“When we drill down to the top five and bottom five regions, the picture becomes even more interesting.”
Vanessa Taylor says there are opportunities in both sectors.

“In the regions where the market is lively, it represents choice for both buyers and sellers, wherever they are on the property ladder.

“In some regions, such as Auckland, a fall in asking prices could result in renewed opportunities for buyers, including those who want to move up the property ladder.”

The five top “hot regions”

The top five “hot regions” are Gisborne, Northland, Marlborough, Coromandel and Hawke’s Bay (respectively).

All five regions recorded more than a 3.5 per cent increase in asking prices (compared to the previous month) as well as a healthy lift in the number of new listings (compared to March 2017).

Gisborne topped the March table with a 14.5 per cent increase in the average asking price (to $368,395), and a 29.8 per cent lift in new listings (109).

Gisborne was followed by Northland’s 13.7 per cent increase in asking price to $592,091, and a 11.6 per cent increase in new listings (576); Marlborough’s 8.9 per cent asking price increase to $504,476 and a 5.5 per cent increase in new listings (134); Coromandel’s 6.8 per cent increase in asking price to $721,540 and a 4.7 per cent increase in new listings (156); Hawke’s Bay’s 3.8 per cent increase in asking prices to $486,144 and a 19.8 per cent increase in new listings (387).

“It’s interesting to note that these five regions are very much associated with summer, sunshine and the beach and March was a warm month,” says Vanessa.

Nelson & Bays and the Bay of Plenty also known for their “sunshine, beach, and summer lifestyle” recorded the seventh and eighth highest percentage lifts in asking prices (2.9 per cent to $607,182 and 2.6 per cent to $631,652 respectively), as well as increases in new listings. Nelson recorded a 9.5 per cent to 276 new listings and Bay of Plenty 5.2 per cent to 890 new listings.

A review of searches on realestate.co.nz for the month of March also shows “beach” as the top search term for the top five hot regions. The 5 Top Hot Regions table for March also shows for each region;- the demographic (searching property in the region); the average rental asking price; average asking price (homes); and examples of current listings (high, medium, low asking prices).

The bottom five still offer opportunities

At the other end of the spectrum asking prices fell in five regions compared with the previous month. This included three of the country’s main centres.

New listings also fell in all these regions, except for Otago.

“It’s an unusual situation, but it can also provide some good opportunities for prospective buyers and sellers,” says Vanessa Taylor.

“For buyers, the fall in asking prices is worth checking out and for sellers it’s a tight market, so listing now may bring in the results they are after.”

While asking prices have fallen in Auckland, market activity has actually lifted. In the past two months (February/March) the LTA (Long Terms Average*) has fallen to 18 weeks. This means if every home currently on the Auckland market was sold and no new listings added, there would be no properties for sale in the region in 18 weeks.
Over the past year, the LTA in Auckland has fallen to 18 weeks in only one other month (September 2017), says Vanessa Taylor.

“This shows that new listings are down, the Auckland market is active,” she says.
“It’s an opportune time to check out what’s on offer and that goes for the other four regions.”
The Auckland region’s average asking price fell 1.3 per cent to $949,538 (compared with February 2018), and new listings fell to 4,171 (-11.3 per cent) compared to March 2017.

In the same comparative periods, Central Otago/Lakes experienced the largest drop in average asking price, falling 5.2 per cent to $879,325, coupled with a 1.5 per cent fall in new listings (257).

This was followed by Southland with a 4.1 per cent fall in average asking price to $289,796 and an 18.4 per cent fall in new listings (239); Canterbury’s average asking price was down 2.8 per cent to $488,157 and new listings down 2.0 per cent (1,727); Otago’s average asking price was down 1.3 per cent to $386,793 but new listings rose by 3.7 per cent (452).

“It’s quite unusual to see these main regions grouped together like this at the same time,” says Vanessa.

“It also obviously impacts on the national numbers particularly when Auckland, the largest market in the country, is involved,” she says.

Asking price highs for four regions
Wellington, Waikato, Taranaki and Manawatu/Wanganui hit record asking price highs in March.

“While they were relatively modest highs, it’s still significant, particularly for the Wellington region which is very tightly held and the only main region to not experience a fall in asking price,” says Vanessa Taylor.

Wellington’s average asking price was up 1.6 per cent from the previous month, reaching a record high of $612,697.

Other regions recording all-time asking highs are the Waikato (up 0.9 per cent to $570,013); Taranaki (up 1.7 per cent to $407,313); and Manawatu/Wanganui (up 3.2 per cent to $339,932).

ENDS

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