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Market Responds to the Freshness of Spring

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 61 more lifestyle property sales (+3.8%) for the three months ended October 2018 than for the three months ended September 2018. Overall, there were 1,665 lifestyle property sales in the three months ended October 2018, compared to 1,725 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended October 2017 (-3.5%), and 1,604 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended September 2018.

7,190 lifestyle properties were sold in the year to October 2018, 624 (-8.0%) fewer than were sold in the year to October 2017. The value of lifestyle properties sold was $5.82 billion for the year to October 2018.

The median price for all lifestyle properties sold in the three months to October 2018 was $650,500 and was $34,500 higher compared to the three months ended October 2017 (+5.6%).

Brian Peacocke, Rural Spokesman, at REINZ says: “As indicated by the sales statistics for the period ending October 2018, spring conditions have stimulated the lifestyle market, and in most regions, has halted the decline in sales volumes reported last month.

“All districts, apart from Manawatu/Wanganui, Nelson and the West Coast, have experienced an upturn in volumes, which when coupled with the solid median price of $650,500 is reflective of a market in good health,” he concludes.

A snapshot of several regions throughout New Zealand includes the following: -

• strong activity around Auckland City, particularly on the northern fringe with some strong prices influencing the increase in the median price of $1,250,000 for the 3-month period

• a solid level of sales in the Waikato with the districts between Hamilton and Cambridge dominating the price list; reports of spring 2018 being slower compared to 2017 albeit the good properties in the good areas continue to attract activity ahead of $1.5m; in the mid-range from $900,000 to $1.1m, purchasers appear to be more considered; the recent softening of the Auckland market and the restrictions imposed on non-resident purchasers has had an impact; offerings of bare land continue to attract strong enquiry where the shortage of supply has pushed prices upwards from $500,000 and beyond in the high-demand areas; steady throughout the balance of the North Island

• as mentioned, quieter in the top of the South Island but a good lift in volumes in all areas located within easy reach of Christchurch City. This trend has continued into the Ashburton district with the top end lifestyle blocks benefitting from quality improvements quickly stretching from $750,000 to $1.5m

• improving volumes in the Otago region highlighted by the strength of the Central and Queenstown-Lakes districts which continue to dominate

• steady activity in Southland where a minor increase in sales volumes has been noted.
Five regions recorded an increase in sales compared to October 2017. Canterbury recorded the most substantial increase in sales (+47 sales) in the three months to October 2018 compared to October 2017. Compared to September 2018, eight regions recorded an increase in sales.

All but two of the regions saw the median price of lifestyle blocks increase between the three months ending October 2017 and the three months ending October 2018. The most notable examples were in Gisborne (+57%), Taranaki (+35%) and Southland (+23%) and the exceptions were West Coast (-38%) and Canterbury (-13%).

The median number of days to sell for lifestyle properties was three days longer in the three months to October 2018 than in the three months to October 2017, sitting at 67 days. Compared to the three months ended September 2018 the median number of days to sell was four days shorter. Bay of Plenty recorded the shortest number of days to sell in October 2018 at 50 days, followed by Gisborne (51 days) and Wellington and Southland (56 days). West Coast recorded the longest number of days to sell at 157 days, followed by Northland at 86 days and Taranaki at 77 days.

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