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Where Is The Lifestyle Market Heading

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 27 more lifestyle property sales (+1.0%) for the three months ended October 2020 than for the three months ended September 2020. Overall, there were 2,839 lifestyle property sales in the three months ended October 2020, compared to 1,664 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended October 2019 (+70.6%), and 2,812 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended September 2020.

8,071 lifestyle properties were sold in the year to October 2020, 1,139 (16.4%) more than were sold in the year to October 2019. The value of lifestyle properties sold was $7.15 billion for the year to October 2020.

The median price for all lifestyle properties sold in the three months to October 2020 was $775,000 and was $80,000 higher compared to the three months ended October 2019 (+11.5%).

Brian Peacocke, Rural Spokesman, at REINZ says: “Sales statistics for the lifestyle category for the 3-month period ending October 2020 again nudge their way into the record book with sales volumes extending the envelope beyond expectation.

“Of note is that whilst sales figures for the month of October are slightly behind the previous month of September, the combined outcome from the last 3 months has resulted in a figure that defies explanation, this in spite of several major regions recording a reduction from the previous month.

“Time will tell whether such results are sustainable, and if they are to continue, whether there is sufficient stock available to cater for the demand,” he concludes.

Points of Interest around New Zealand include:

  • Northland to Taupo - in terms of volumes, the gain in Northland was the loss in Auckland, much the same as the loss in Waikato was the gain in Bay of Plenty. Nevertheless, all regions performed creditably. Median prices fluctuated throughout but the general trend reflected a slight consolidation in values overall
  • Taupo to Wellington - Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay both experienced significant reductions in activity, yet their median prices remained constant. Taranaki had the best month in sales for more than two years, but prices eased marginally. Manawatu/Wanganui maintained par in terms of volume and gained in price whereas Wairarapa/Wellington experienced a 20% slump in volumes but gained 19% in price. Volatility is an evident reality in the marketplace
  • Tasman to Canterbury - Nelson/Marlborough clawed their way back to equal their good result in June, which was their best for 2 years, yet their median price eased 4.5%. West Coast volumes dropped dramatically from the peaks experienced over the previous 3 months’ but had an 11% lift in value. Canterbury had a strong month, albeit not quite to the levels experienced in July and August of this year, but their median price held reasonably well.
  • Waitaki to Invercargill - Otago had a good solid month with Central Otago leading Queenstown/Lakes for volume, with an overall benefit of a 9% lift in the median price. Not to be outdone, Southland maintained par with a solid performance equal to the previous month, and like their northern neighbour, experienced a small increase in the median price.

In addition to the ongoing resilience being shown in sales figures throughout the country, the strength of the market has again been confirmed with a solid increase in the national median price to $775,000.

All 14 regions recorded an increase in sales compared to October 2019 with Auckland (+310 sales) and Waikato (+237 sales) observing the biggest increases. Gisborne recorded the smallest increase in sales (+4 sales) in the three months to October 2020 compared to the three months to October 2019. Compared to the three months to September 2020, six regions recorded an increase in sales.

Ten regions saw the median price of lifestyle blocks increase between the three months ending October 2019 and the three months ending October 2020. The most notable examples were in Wellington (+29%), Manawatu-Wanganui (+22%) and Northland (+19%) and the most notable exceptions were Southland (-17%) and Hawke’s Bay and Otago (-9%).

The median number of days to sell for lifestyle properties was five days less in the three months to October 2020 than in the three months to October 2019, sitting at 65 days. Compared to the three months ended September 2020 the median number of days to sell was 11 days shorter. Gisborne recorded the shortest number of days to sell in October 2020 at 37 days, followed by Manawatu/Wanganui (44 days) and Wellington (52 days). West Coast recorded the longest number of days to sell at 183 days, followed by Otago at 103 days and Northland at 93 days.

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