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Lifestyle Market Remains Steady

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 31 less lifestyle property sales (-1.7%) for the three months ended February 2020 than for the three months ended January 2020. Overall, there were 1,769 lifestyle property sales in the three months ended February 2020, compared to 1,468 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended February 2019 (+20.5%), and 1,800 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended January 2020.

7,254 lifestyle properties were sold in the year to February 2020, 189 (+2.7%) more than were sold in the year to February 2019. The value of lifestyle properties sold was $5.90 billion for the year to February 2020.

The median price for all lifestyle properties sold in the three months to February 2020 was $710,000 and was $20,000 higher compared to the three months ended February 2019 (+2.9%).

Brian Peacocke, Rural Spokesman, at REINZ says: “Sales data for the 3-month period ending February 2020 shows a recovery in volumes from the drop experienced in the previous month of January, with the bottom line holding steadily to volumes recorded in the spring of 2019.

“All regions apart from Taranaki and the West Coast recorded an improvement in sales numbers, with the above referred to areas showing a noticeable easing.

“Prices in the main also held well, albeit a slight easing in the median price from a record $755,000 to the current level of $710,000 for the 3-month period,” he concludes.

Points of interest include:

  • Upper North Island - a steady increase in volumes in all districts throughout Northland, albeit an easing in values; a better result in the Auckland district where Rodney continues to dominate the numbers game; solid results south of the city with good sales volumes in the $1m - $1.7m range but a struggle at the higher to top end, particularly in the $3m - $4m range; an increase in sales of bare land blocks where “new builds” are active; increasing interest again in land suitable for subdivision
  • Central North Island - a big lift in volumes from the previous month in the Waikato where sales numbers exceed those for Auckland, albeit an easing in the median price; activity was strong in the Hamilton and Waipa regions, with Taupo performing solidly to the south; a slight improvement in activity in the Bay of Plenty where the Western Bay of Plenty and Rotorua performed well; reasonable activity but a lower median price throughout Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, where Central Hawke’s Bay held its own against the Hastings district; Taranaki experienced a slight dip in volumes but gained in their median price.
  • Lower North Island – Manawatu/Wanganui performed steadily with Horowhenua competing equally with the Manawatu district; median price held on par; Wairarapa/Wellington were again steady with honours being shared between the Kapiti Coast and each of the Wairarapa districts, albeit prices eased marginally
  • Upper to Central South Island - Tasman easily dominated the numbers game in the Nelson/Marlborough region where a gentle easing in the median price was experienced; West Coast dropped back to the lower level experienced in December with a corresponding decrease in the median price to the lowest level for several years; Canterbury enjoyed a significant lift in volumes from the previous month as well as a strengthening in the median price; accolades were evenly spread between the Waimakariri and Selwyn districts, with both Waimata and MacKenzie districts performing with credit
  • Lower South Island - Otago experienced a lift in sales in excess of 10% from the month of January but copped a big drop in the median price as it went; Central Districts and Dunedin dominated the numbers but Queenstown Lakes dominated the top-end prices with $2.1m being the bottom end; Southland improved their sales numbers with an even spread of activity across the province, albeit their median price eased by a little over 9.0%

Eleven regions recorded an increase in sales compared to February 2019. Auckland recorded the most substantial increase in sales (+80 sales) in the three months to February 2020 compared to February 2019. Compared to January 2020, five regions recorded an increase in sales.

Eight regions saw the median price of lifestyle blocks increase between the three months ending February 2019 and the three months ending February 2020. The most notable examples were in Gisborne (+26%), Northland (17%) and Taranaki (+13%) and the most notable exceptions were Otago (-20%) and West Coast (-17%).

The median number of days to sell for lifestyle properties was one day longer in the three months to February 2020 than in the three months to February 2019, sitting at 65 days. Compared to the three months ended January 2020 the median number of days to sell was seven days longer. Gisborne recorded the shortest number of days to sell in February 2020 at 36 days, followed by Wellington (46 days) and Manawatu/Wanganui (56 days). West Coast recorded the longest number of days to sell at 118 days, followed by Northland at 74 days and Taranaki at 73 days.

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