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A Strong Pre-Winter Surge

A Strong Pre-Winter Surge

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 182 more lifestyle property sales (+10.4%) for the three months ended May 2019 than for the three months ended April 2019. Overall, there were 1,934 lifestyle property sales in the three months ended May 2019, compared to 2,131 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended May 2018 (-9.2%), and 1,752 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended April 2019.

6,870 lifestyle properties were sold in the year to May 2019, 424 (-5.8%) fewer than were sold in the year to May 2018. The value of lifestyle properties sold was $5.47 billion for the year to May 2019.

The median price for all lifestyle properties sold in the three months to May 2019 was $690,000 and was $15,000 higher compared to the three months ended May 2018 (+2.2%).

Brian Peacocke, Rural Spokesman, at REINZ says: “As evidenced by the sales data for the 3-month period ending May 2019, the lifestyle sector experienced a solid lift in sales volumes around the country with all regions bar one experiencing an upturn in sales for the month of May 2019.

“Whilst the above referred to volumes are lower than the equivalent periods in 2017 and 2018, they are nevertheless a healthy reversal of the trend emerging during the month of April 2019.

“Of continual reassurance is the consistent strength of the median price, which at $690,000 is equal to the existing record,” he concludes.
Points of Interest around New Zealand include:
Upper North Island - consistent increases in sales volumes across all regions, with particular surges within the Auckland and Waikato markets whereby the month of May has reflected the highest number of sales for over 12 months.
Reports of a re-emergence of Auckland buyers in the Waikato market, depending particularly upon the quality of the properties available
Lower North Island - steady to strong in most regions apart from an easing experienced in Hawke’s Bay; Wellington purchasers continue to provide strength in the Wairarapa and Horowhenua localities
Upper to Central South Island - consistent volumes and activity throughout Nelson/Marlborough and the West Coast, but a substantial lift in activity and sales in Canterbury compared to the previous month
Lower South Island - a solid albeit more considered market throughout Otago and Southland where reasonable gains have been achieved compared to recent months; of note are the regions of Central Otago, Queenstown-Lakes and the environs of Dunedin City which have been equally strong during late autumn.
A consistent theme emerging throughout the country is that whilst the numbers are good and the market is reasonably busy, it is not as easy as has been the case over the last year or so.
Some participants report that the increased volumes may be attributable in part to two factors: -
• vendors are adjusting to the prevailing market conditions and are therefore responding to prices that reflect the current market
• agents are appraising properties more closely in line with the market, and accordingly vendors are accepting advice and pricing their properties at a level that sensibly reflects the current conditions when those properties come to the market.

Four regions recorded an increase in sales compared to May 2018. Southland recorded the most substantial increase in sales (+21 sales) in the three months to May 2019 compared to May 2018. Compared to April 2019, eleven regions recorded an increase in sales.

Nine regions saw the median price of lifestyle blocks increase between the three months ending May 2018 and the three months ending May 2019. The most notable examples were in West Coast (+49%), Northland (+28%) and Southland (+19%) and the most notable exceptions were Auckland (-13%) and Taranaki (-9%).

The median number of days to sell for lifestyle properties was one day longer in the three months to May 2019 as in the three months to May 2018, sitting at 61 days. Compared to the three months ended April 2019 the median number of days to sell was five days shorter. Southland recorded the shortest number of days to sell in May 2019 at 34 days, followed by Waikato (47 days) and Bay of Plenty and Manawatu/Wanganui (53 days). West Coast recorded the longest number of days to sell at 221 days, followed by Northland at 79 days, Taranaki at 78 days and Canterbury at 71 days.


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