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Lifestyle Volumes Decimated

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 294 less lifestyle property sales (-16.7%) for the three months ended April 2020 than for the three months ended March 2020. Overall, there were 1,471 lifestyle property sales in the three months ended April 2020, compared to 1,752 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended April 2019 (-16.0%), and 1,765 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended March 2020.

6,867 lifestyle properties were sold in the year to April 2020, 15 (-0.2%) less than were sold in the year to April 2019. The value of lifestyle properties sold was $5.68 billion for the year to April 2020.

The median price for all lifestyle properties sold in the three months to April 2020 was $709,000 and was $29,000 higher compared to the three months ended April 2019 (+4.3%).

Brian Peacocke, Rural Spokesman, at REINZ says: “Sales figures for the 3-month period ending April 2020 portray a significant easing in the market, which is not unexpected given the Covid-19 Lockdown experienced by the wider population throughout New Zealand.

“Those figures, however, do not portray the real impact on the marketplace as a result of the Lockdown.

“Sales volumes plummeted in the month of April 2020, with 6 regions recording single digit figures, Otago being the only region coming close to maintaining par.

“The actual number of sales for April 2020 was 197, which can be compared to 542 for April 2019 and 644 sales for April 2018, a dramatic reduction on those previous periods referred to.

“Acknowledging the other barometer for measuring market health and resilience, the median price, it is worth noting that Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Manawatu/Wanganui, West Coast and Southland, were the only regions to record an increase in the median price.

“All other regions experienced a drop in the median price apart from Wellington which maintained par. Of interest is that Otago, the only area to achieve an increase in sales volumes also experienced the biggest reduction in values.

“Overall, given the prevailing circumstances, the national median price at $709,000 fared reasonably well, this figure being slightly below the most recent quarter but still ahead of the levels for the comparable periods in 2018 and 2019,” he concludes.

Four regions recorded an increase in sales compared to April 2019. Northland recorded the most substantial increase in sales (+28 sales) in the three months to April 2020 compared to April 2019. Compared to March 2020, two regions recorded an increase in sales.

Eight regions saw the median price of lifestyle blocks increase between the three months ending April 2019 and the three months ending April 2020. The most notable examples were in Taranaki (+42%), West Coast (+40%) and Nelson (+24%) and the most notable exceptions were Hawke’s Bay (-27%) and Otago (-22%).

The median number of days to sell for lifestyle properties was eight days longer in the three months to April 2020 than in the three months to April 2019, sitting at 74 days. Compared to the three months ended March 2020 the median number of days to sell was two days longer. Gisborne recorded the shortest number of days to sell in April 2020 at 35 days, followed by Wellington (44 days) and Manawatu/Wanganui (55 days). West Coast recorded the longest number of days to sell at 90 days, followed by Northland at 88 days and Auckland at 87 days.

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