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A Month To Be Remembered

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 4 less lifestyle property sales (-0.2%) for the three months ended March 2020 than for the three months ended February 2020. Overall, there were 1,765 lifestyle property sales in the three months ended March 2020, compared to 1,612 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended March 2019 (+9.5%), and 1,769 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended February 2020.

7,213 lifestyle properties were sold in the year to March 2020, 228 (+3.3%) more than were sold in the year to March 2019. The value of lifestyle properties sold was $5.99 billion for the year to March 2020.

The median price for all lifestyle properties sold in the three months to March 2020 was $715,000 and was $35,000 higher compared to the three months ended March 2019 (+5.1%).

Brian Peacocke, Rural Spokesman, at REINZ says: “Acknowledging the events relating to the month of March, and the lockdown currently being experienced, it is reassuring the lifestyle market has retained such resilience.

“Sales figures just released for the 3 month period ending March 2020 show a remarkable degree of consistency which at 1,765 sales compares favourably with 1,769 last month and 1,717 for the equivalent period two years ago.

“Equally encouraging is the strength of the median price for the most recent period which at $715,000 is comfortably ahead of the $680,000 figure for last year and considerably stronger than the $647,500 figure for the equivalent period in 2018.

“Whilst those values do not compete with the NZ record of $770,000 or thereabouts, they are confirmation of a property sector reflecting consistent good health,” he concludes.

Points of Interest around New Zealand include:

  • Upper North Island - A strengthening of sales volumes in Northland, Auckland and Waikato, with Bay of Plenty experiencing a drop in activity to a lower level than achieved in both 2018 and 2019. On the plus side, whilst values in the Waikato only eased from the previous month, all regions reflected healthy increases in their median prices from previous periods over the last 2 years
  • Central North Island - Sales volumes in the Gisborne district have eased marginally from those recorded over the last 2 years, Hawke’s Bay figures remain consistent and the Taranaki market is reflecting ongoing regional strength. Gisborne and Taranaki median values continue to consolidate but values in Hawke’s Bay have plummeted to the lowest level recorded for the current period for several years
  • Lower North Island - Volatility prevails in the lower North Island with Manawatu/Wanganui experiencing a healthy lift in volumes, but whilst values are ahead of the last 2 years, have eased compared to last month. Wairarapa/Wellington sales volumes have dropped considerably from those pertaining to the last 2 years, but values have maintained par to sit at a good strong level
  • Upper to Mid South Island - Lifestyle activity in the Nelson/Marlborough region has eased marginally from the performance recorded in 2018 and 2019 but the median price of $847,500 has experienced a dramatic lift of 30% from 2018 and 28% from 2019. This strongly reflects the popularity of the region amongst the lifestyle/retirement fraternity; West Coast has enjoyed its best 3 month period in recent times, particularly the month of March which looks like a sales record for a single month with prices maintaining par quite comfortably; Canterbury, being the major player in the South Island, remains reasonably consistent in volume and increasingly solid in median price, reinforced by well dispersed activity across the province
  • Lower South Island - Otago has again maintained consistency in sales volumes compared to the most recent period and that of 2 years ago, and well ahead of equivalent period in 2019 when there was a significant drop. However, the easing in sales shown in March from the recent high in the month of February could be a sign of leaner months ahead; prices nevertheless have shown a recovery of 6/7 % from the February 2020 quarter but are still running approximately 8% behind the equivalent period in 2019; Southland activity is back from the last 3 month period but at 66 sales for the quarter, is maintaining a solid degree of consistency compared to the same periods in 2018 and 2019; the median price of $423,500 reflects the durability expected from southernmost province in the country.

Seven regions recorded an increase in sales compared to March 2019. Auckland recorded the most substantial increase in sales (+67 sales) in the three months to March 2020 compared to March 2019. Compared to February 2020, seven regions recorded an increase in sales.

Ten regions saw the median price of lifestyle blocks increase between the three months ending March 2019 and the three months ending March 2020. The most notable examples were in Nelson (+28%), Auckland (+18%) and Taranaki (+17%) and the most notable exceptions were Hawke’s Bay (-33%) and Southland (-12%).

The median number of days to sell for lifestyle properties was three days longer in the three months to March 2020 than in the three months to March 2019, sitting at 72 days. Compared to the three months ended February 2020 the median number of days to sell was seven days longer. Gisborne recorded the shortest number of days to sell in March 2020 at 36 days, followed by Wellington (47 days) and Manawatu/Wanganui (52 days). West Coast recorded the longest number of days to sell at 124 days, followed by Auckland at 88 days and Northland at 79 days.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand

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

Editors Note:

The information provided by REINZ in relation to the lifestyle real estate market covers the most recently completed three-month period; thus, references to March 2020 refer to the period from 1 January 2020 to 31 March 2020.

© Scoop Media

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