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Strong End To Winter Sales Period Nationwide

News Release 10 September 2015

Strong End To Winter Sales Period Nationwide

All regions report increased sales volumes compared same period in 2014
Summary

7,766 dwellings sold in New Zealand in August 2015, up 41.7% on August 2014 and down 4.4% on July
National median price of $465,000, up $45,000 (10.7%) on August 2014 but steady on previous month, July
The national median price excluding Auckland up $8,500 (2.5%) to $348,500 compared to August 2014 and down $3,500 (1.0%) on July
Year-to-year a 20.5% rise of in Auckland’s median price, from August 2014 to August 2015 – from $614,050 to $740,000; and a $5,000 rise compared to July
The highest volume of sales for Auckland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty for August since 2003
A 130% rise in the number of sales over $1 million between August 2014 and August 2015 – from 368 to 848
Highest number of auctions for any August at 1,916 compared to previous August peak of 1,416 in 2013, and the second highest volume of auctions recorded for any month

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), the most up to-date and comprehensive source of real estate data in New Zealand, stated today that there were 7,766 dwelling sales in August 2015, up 41.7% on August 2014 but down 4.4% compared to July.

The national median price was $465,000 for August, an increase of $45,000 or 10.7% on August 2014 and steady compared to July. Excluding the impact of the Auckland region, the national median price rose $8,500 to $348,500 compared to August 2014 but fell $3,500 (1.0%) compared to July.

REINZ Chief Executive Colleen Milne says, “Activity right across New Zealand continued to be very strong through August, with wintry conditions apparently no deterrent to sales being concluded. A rise in the number of new listings matched by the number of sales, showing that with more properties available for sale buyers have emerged to take up the additional supply. However, most regions still face a shortage of listings going into spring.

The presence of Auckland buyers in other regions is also becoming more noticeable with a surge in Auckland investors buying in Dunedin and continued strong demand for properties in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty from Auckland buyers. REINZ members report the pending Reserve Bank LVR restrictions in Auckland are driving some of this demand, as are low (and falling) interest rates. While there may be some stability coming into prices in the Auckland market, there is no shortage of demand from either first home buyers or investors across the region.”

“The cut in the Official Cash Rate by the Reserve Bank this week by a further quarter percent is good news for borrowers, although there has been minimal increase in house prices outside of Auckland despite the recent cuts in interest rates. The impact of interest rate reductions within Auckland is hard to measure given the overriding supply and demand factors across the city,” says Milne.

Sales Volumes
There were 7,766 unconditional residential sales across New Zealand in August, 41.7% up on August 2014 but 4.4% down on the previous month, July. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of sales rose 4.6% from July to August, indicating August sales were stronger than what would normally be expected at this time of year.

Sales volumes, excluding Auckland, were down 4.0% from July, and up 42.4% on August 2014. On a seasonally adjusted basis, Auckland’s sales volumes were up 3.5% compared to July, indicating that sales volumes were stronger in Auckland than normally expected for this time of year, although sales on a seasonally adjusted basis were also stronger across the rest of the country.

Two regions recorded increased sales volumes compared to July, with Otago volumes growing 24%, followed by Manawatu/Wanganui at 10%. Compared to August 2014, all regions recorded increases in sales volume, with Northland recording the largest increase of 97%, followed by Waikato/Bay of Plenty with 77% and Otago with 52%.

Prices
The national median house price was steady at $465,000 from July to August. In comparison with August 2014 the national median house price increased by $45,000 (10.7%), with eight regions recording increases. Excluding the Auckland region, the national median price rose $8,500 (2.5%) compared to August 2014. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the national median house price fell 0.9% compared to the actual rise of 0.0% in July indicating that prices normally rise around 1% in August.

Auckland recorded the largest percentage increase in median price compared to August 2014, at 21%, followed by Northland at 10% and Central Otago at 9%. Nelson/Marlborough recorded the largest percentage increase in median price compared to July, with 3%, followed by Otago with 2% and Wellington, also with 2%.

Auctions
There were 1,916 dwellings sold by auction nationally in August, representing 24.7% of all sales and an increase of 985 (+106%) on the number for August 2014. The number of auctions in August is the second highest volume of ever recorded. The 18,219 sales by auction in the 12 months to August 2015 represented 21.2% of all dwelling sales, compared to 19.5% (14,346) for the year ending August 2014.

Transactions in Auckland again dominated the auction market in August, representing 72% of the national total of auction sales. 46% of all dwelling sales in Auckland were by auction, compared to 30% in August 2014. Sales by auction in Waikato/Bay Of Plenty accounted for 14% of the national total, Canterbury/Westland accounted for 8% and all other regions combined accounted for the remaining 6%.

Further Data
Across New Zealand the total value of residential sales, including sections, was $4.650 billion in August, compared to $4.852 billion in July and $2,939 billion in August 2014. For the 12 months ended August 2015 the total value of residential sales was $49.845 billion. The breakdown of the value of properties sold in August 2015 compared to August 2014 is:

August 2015August 2014
$1 million plus84810.9%3686.7%
$600,000 to $999,9991,83423.6%1,12320.5%
$400,000 to $599,9991,93424.9%1,46726.8%
Under $400,0003,15040.6%2,52346.0%
All Properties Sold7,766100.0%5,481100.0%

----- ENDS -----


For more real estate information and market trends data, visit www.reinz.co.nz. For New Zealand's most comprehensive range of listings for residential, lifestyle, rural, commercial, investment and rental properties, visit www.realestate.co.nz - REINZ's official property directory website.

Editor’s Note:
The monthly REINZ residential sales reports remain the most comprehensive and up-to-date statistics on house prices and sales in New Zealand. They are based on actual sales reported by real estate agents. These sales are taken as of the date that a transaction becomes unconditional, up to 5:00pm on the last business day of the month. On a national basis this data is as close to real-time as practicable, which why it continues to valued and used by key Government Departments. Other surveys of the residential property market are based on information from Territorial Authorities regarding settlement and the receipt of documents by the relevant Territorial Authority from a solicitor. As such, this information involves a lag of four to six weeks before the sale is recorded.

REINZ_Residential_Regional_Commentary__August_2015.pdf

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