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Real estate market springs into life in September

15th October 2019
For immediate release

*For Regional Information and Commentary please click here

Median house prices across New Zealand increased by 6.6% in September to a record high of $597,000, up from $560,000 in September 2018. These results are in line with the REINZ House Price Index (HPI) which saw property values increase 3.6% annually, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), source of the most complete and accurate real estate data in New Zealand.

Median price increases for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased by 6.8% to new record high of $500,000, up from $468,000 in September last year.

Median house prices in Auckland increased by 0.2% to $848,000 – up from $846,000 at the same time last year.
Record median prices were recorded in:
• Manawatu/Wanganui with a 24.1% increase to $397,000 up from $320,000 at the same time last year
• Southland with a 22.1% increase to $315,000 up from $258,000 at the same time last year
• Taranaki with a 15.9% increase to $400,000 up from $345,000 at the same time last year
• Hawke’s Bay with a 13.4% increase to $500,000 up from $441,000 at the same time last year.
Additionally, a record equal median high was recorded in Waikato of $550,000 up from $521,000 at the same time last year.

Regions to experience a decrease in median price annually were:

• West Coast: -7.5% to $185,000 down from $200,000
• Northland: -5.5% to $477,000 down from $505,000
• Nelson: -5.4% to $560,000 down from $592,000.
Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “September was a strong month price wise, with record median prices recorded in four regions – Manawatu/Wanganui, Southland, Taranaki and Hawke’s Bay. Additionally, the Waikato saw a record equal median price achieved during September of $550,000 and New Zealand as a whole saw a record median price of $597,000. Overall, median prices rose in 13 out of 16 regions.

“Median prices are lifting as a result of a number of influences such as the OCR drop back in August which is slowly injecting more confidence into the market and the continued lack of supply across many parts of the country,” continues Norwell.

“Auckland saw the first annual increase in median prices for the region in 11 months. This rise was the result of an uplift in the percentage of properties sold between the $750,000-$999,999 mark and the 6.3% rise in median prices in Waitakere City – the only territorial authority in Auckland to see a median price increase during September,” she continues.

“Whilst the Auckland region saw an increase, it’s too early to call this a trend – especially as the median price has returned to around the $850,000 mark where we’ve seen median prices sit for a few years now,” point out Norwell.

Sales volumes strong as spring arrives

The number of residential properties sold across New Zealand in September increased by 3.3% from the same time last year to 5,896 (up from 5,708), only the second annual increase in sales volumes we’ve seen this year and the highest number of properties we’ve seen sold for the month of September in 3 years.

For New Zealand excluding Auckland, the number of properties sold increased by 2.0% when compared to the same time last year (to 4,073 up from 3,993).

In Auckland, the number of properties sold in September increased by 6.3% year-on-year (to 1,823 up from 1,715) the second annual increase so far this year.

Regions with the greatest increase in annual sales volumes during September were:

• Tasman: +45.8% (from 48 to 70 – 22 more houses) – the highest for the month of September in 3 years
• Otago: +12.0% (from 324 to 363 – 39 more houses) – the highest for the month of September in 3 years
• West Coast: +11.4% (from 35 to 39 – 4 more houses) – the highest for the month of September in 3 years.
Regions with the greatest decrease in annual sales volumes during September were:

• Southland: -27.0% (from 178 to 130 – 48 fewer houses) - the lowest non-January figure since December 2014
• Gisborne: -20.4% (from 49 to 39 – 10 fewer houses) – the lowest September in 7 years
• Marlborough: -13.9% (from 72 to 62 – 10 fewer houses) - the lowest since September 2017.
“After a quiet few months over the winter, the number of properties sold across the country increased by 3.3% in September, the highest number of properties we’ve seen sold for the month of September in 3 years. This suggests that we’re starting to see the usual spring uplift and also that more confidence is starting to creep back into the market,” says Norwell.

“Looking around the country, the Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Tasman, Canterbury, West Coast and Otago all saw the highest sales volumes for the month of September in three years. However, on the flip side, Northland, Taranaki, Nelson and Southland all had the lowest sales volumes for the month of September in five years and Gisborne had the lowest sales volumes for the month of September in four years – so results have been quite varied depending on where you look around the country,” continues Norwell.

“The Auckland region had a strong September with a 6.3% increase in the number of properties sold when compared to the same time last year. Papakura District saw the largest uplift with 58.0% more properties sold, followed by Franklin District (+18.8%), Rodney District (+16.0%), Manukau City (+15.1%) and Auckland City (+10.5%),” continues Norwell.

REINZ House Price Index (HPI) reaches new record high

The REINZ House Price Index for New Zealand, which measures the changing value of property in the market, increased 3.6% year-on-year to 2,837 – a new record high.

The HPI for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased 7.6% from September 2018 to 2,813 another new record high. The Auckland HPI decreased -0.8% year-on-year to 2,865, however, it was up 1.6% on August 2019 - the third consecutive monthly increase and the highest HPI result for 6 months.

In September, Southland had the highest annual growth rate with a 18.2% increase to 3,144, a new record high. In second place was Manawatu/Wanganui with an annual growth of 15.9% and in third place was Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay with a 13.0% annual increase to a new record high of 2,926.

In September, 9 out of 12 regions reached record high HPI levels. The only exceptions were Northland (down -1.2% from its peak), Auckland (down -1.5% from its peak) and Canterbury (down -0.2% from its peak). These record levels show the strength of the property market.

In September, the REINZ HPI saw 11 out of 12 regions experience an annual increase in their index level, Auckland was the only region to experience a decrease.

Days to Sell falls both YOY and MOM

In September the median number of days to sell a property nationally decreased by 1 day from 36 to 35 when compared to September last year. However, this was down 4 days on last month’s figure of 39 days.

For New Zealand excluding Auckland, the median days to sell decreased by 1 day from 35 to 34. Auckland saw the median number of days to sell a property stay the same at 39 days.

Manawatu/Wanganui had the lowest days to sell of all the regions at 25 days, down 5 days from the same time last year, and 2 days below last month’s figure and is the lowest median days to sell for nearly 14 years (since December 2005). September saw 6 regions with the median number of days to sell below the 30 mark – this is the highest number of regions below this mark in 9 months.

The West Coast again had the highest days to sell of any region at 102 days, up 21 days on September last year – the highest for 19 months. Northland again had the second highest median days to sell across the country at 65 days – up 16 days on the same time last year but down 11 days from last month.

Auctions

Auctions were used in 13.5% of all sales across the country in September, with 796 properties selling under the hammer – this is down from the same time last year, when 14.2% of properties (809) were sold via auction, but up on August 2019 when 10.6% (650) of all sales were via auction. This was the highest percentage of auctions in 10 months.

Gisborne again had the highest percentage of sales by auction across the country with 30.8% (or 12 properties) in the region sold under the hammer – down from 40.8% (20 properties) in September 2018.

Auckland saw the second largest percentage of sales by auction on 26.3% (479 properties) up from 25.2% in September 2018 (433 properties) and the highest percentage of auctions in 19 months (since March 2018). For the first time in many months, Otago was in third place in September with 12.4% (45 properties) sold under the hammer, up from 11.1% (36 properties) in September 2018.

Inventory

The total number of properties available for sale nationally decreased by -7.3% in September 2019 to 21,174 down from 22,847 to – a decrease of 1,673 properties compared to 12 months ago.

11 out of 15 regions saw an annual decrease in total inventory levels, with the largest percentage decreases in:

• Gisborne: -38.3% from 120 to 74 – 46 fewer properties
• West Coast: -34.0% from 470 to 310 – 160 fewer properties
• Southland: -22.9% from 445 to 343 – 102 fewer properties.
September saw 4 of 15 regions with an annual increase in inventory levels. Regions with increases were:

• Nelson: +6.4% from 358 to 381 – an additional 23 properties
• Northland: +4.9% from 1,255 to 1,316 – an additional 61 properties
• Marlborough: +4.0% from 247 to 257 – an additional 10 properties
• Taranaki: +2.5% from 525 to 538 – an additional 13 properties
Gisborne had the lowest number of weeks’ inventory with 6 weeks’ inventory available to prospective purchasers. This was closely followed by Wellington on 8 weeks’ inventory available.
The West Coast had the highest number of week’s inventory with 37 weeks’ inventory available to prospective purchasers.

Price Bands

The number of homes sold for less than $500,000 across New Zealand fell from 40.9% of the market (2,337 properties) in September 2018 to 36.4% of the market (2,144 properties) in September 2019.
The number of properties sold in the $500,000 to $750,000 bracket increased from 31.3% in September 2018 (1,785 properties) to 32.4% in September 2019 (1,912 properties).

At the top end of the market, the percentage of properties sold for $1 million or more increased slightly from 13.9% with 791 houses sold for $1 million or more in September 2018 compared 14.0% with 824 houses in September 2019.


ends

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