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REINZ November Data Shows Highest Number Of Properties Sold In NZ In 13 Years

The number of residential properties sold in November across New Zealand increased by 29.6% from the same time last year (from 7,627 to 9,885) – the highest number of properties sold in 164 months (March 2007) and the highest November sales count since November 2006 (14 years), 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.

For New Zealand excluding Auckland, the number of properties sold increased by 18.3% when compared to the same time last year (from 5,205 to 6,157) – the highest number of properties sold since March 2016 (56 months) and the highest November sales volumes since November 2006 (14 years).

In Auckland, the number of properties sold in November increased by 53.9% year-on-year (from 2,422 to 3,728) – the highest since March 2007 (164 months) and the highest November sales volume since records began.

In addition to Auckland, regions with the largest increase in annual sales volumes during November were:

  • West Coast: +74.4% (from 43 to 75 – 32 more houses) – the highest since March 2004
  • Northland: +36.1% (from 219 to 298 – 79 more houses) – the highest since June 2016
  • Canterbury: +31.7% (from 1,012 to 1,333 – 321 more houses) – the highest since March 2007
  • Bay of Plenty: +29.5% (from 498 to 645 – 147 more houses) – the highest since May 2016
  • Nelson: +25.8% (from 93 to 117 – 24 more houses) – the highest for the month of November in 18 years
  • Waikato: +21.9% (from 828 to 1,009 – 181 more houses) – the highest since September 2015.

Regions with annual decreases in sales volumes were:

  • Marlborough: -5.3% (from 95 to 90 – 5 fewer houses) – the lowest for the month of November in 3 years
  • Gisborne: -4.3% (from 70 to 67 – 3 fewer houses) – the lowest for the month of November in 3 years
  • Hawke’s Bay: -1.8% (from 275 to 270 – 5 fewer houses) – the lowest for the month of November in 3 years.

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “November was an incredible month in terms of the number of properties sold, with just shy of 10,000 properties sold over 30 days (9,885). The last time we saw a similar level of sales volumes was back in March 2007 – 164 months ago – before the national recession and Global Financial Crisis started impacting New Zealand’s property market.

“November saw more than half (10 out of 16) of the regions across the country with double-digit percentage increases in annual sales volumes showing how buoyant the market is. Part of this is likely to be attributed to people wanting to purchase property ahead of Christmas, partly due to the Reserve Bank announcing in early November that it would undertake a consultation in December to re-introduce LVRs earlier than planned, but also due to this underlying fear that prices might increase even further in the coming months,” continues Norwell.

“For three months in a row now, Auckland sales volumes have been up more than 50% when compared to the same time last year, and with a 45.8% increase in new listings in November, there are few signs of the usual Christmas slow down. It will be interesting to see how long these high sales volumes can be sustained for,” says Norwell.

11 regions see record median house prices in November & national median hits new record

Median house prices across New Zealand increased by 18.5% from $632,000 in November 2019 to a new record median high of $749,000 in November 2020; and up from $725,000 in October this year – a $24,000 increase.

Median house prices for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased by 15.0% from $535,000 in November last year to a new record median price of $615,100, and up from $600,001 in October (a 2.5% increase).

Additionally, Auckland’s median house price increased by 16.4% from $885,000 at the same time last year to $1,030,000 a new record high, and up $30,000 from $1,000,000 in October this year (a 3.0% increase).

In total 11 regions saw record median prices during November. Regions in addition to Auckland with record median prices were:

  • Tasman with a 28.0% increase from $605,000 in November last year to $774,400 this November
  • Manawatu/Wanganui with a 25.8% increase from $399,750 in November last year to $503,000 this November – the first time the median price has gone over the $500,000 mark and the fifth record median price in a row
  • Southland with a 23.6% increase from $320,000 in November last year to $395,500 this November
  • Taranaki with a 21.7% increase from $407,500 in November last year to $496,000 this November
  • Marlborough with a 19.4% increase from $490,000 in November last year to $585,250 this November
  • Bay of Plenty with a 18.4% increase from $636,000 in November last year to $753,000 this November
  • Wellington with a 14.5% increase from $690,000 in November last year to $790,000 this November
  • Waikato with a 13.2% increase from $592,000 in November last year to $670,000 this November – the seventh month in a row of record high medians
  • Canterbury with a 13.1% increase from $465,000 in November last year to $526,000 this November
  • Nelson with a 9.8% increase from $610,000 in November last year to $670,000 in November this year.

“November saw the new national median house price nearly hit the three-quarter of a million mark at $749,000 and 11 regions around the country hit new record median highs, showing just how confident the market is at the moment. The last time we saw these sorts of records was back in October 2003 when the market was seeing significant increases in house prices,” says Norwell.

“We also saw 30 Districts around the country with record median prices - 4 of them in Waikato, 4 in Wellington and 3 in Auckland, Manawatu-Wanganui, Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki. This is the highest number of records we’ve seen at a District level since February 1992 – just one month after REINZ started collecting monthly data from across the country,” she continues.

“Since October 2011, we’ve seen successive annual increases in median house prices (110 months in a row) and the last 5 months have been double-digit increases. This just isn’t sustainable and with data out earlier this week showing that home ownership is at its lowest level in 70 years, the gap between those that own and those that rent is just going to keep growing unless we can do something to start addressing the supply issue the country has,” points out Norwell.

“Hopefully we’ll hear more news from the Government in the coming months around their plans to reform the RMA and address some of the speed and cost issues developers and builders face when it comes to building residential property. Unless we can build at scale and in an affordable manner, unaffordability is going to be something that remains a significant issue for Kiwis looking to get into the property market,” continues Norwell.

REINZ House Price Index (HPI) reaches another new high

The REINZ House Price Index for New Zealand, which measures the changing value of property in the market, increased 15.3% year-on-year to 3,343 a new high on the index and the first time the index for the country has gone over the 3,300 level.

The HPI for New Zealand excluding Auckland showed house price values increased 14.5% from November 2019 to 3,303 a new high in November 2020.

Auckland’s house price values increased 16.2% year-on-year to 3,393 also a new high on the index and the largest annual percentage increase we’ve seen for the region in 54 months.

In November, Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay again had the highest annual growth rate in house prices values with a 22.3% increase to a new record index level of 3,688. Again, in second place was Wellington with an annual growth rate of 18.7% to a new record index level of 3,423 and in third place was Manawatu/Wanganui with a 16.7% annual increase in house price values.

For three months in a row now, the REINZ HPI has had no negative movements in any region’s house price value, showing the underlying strength of the property market in all parts of the country.

Median days to sell lowest in 164 months

In November, the median number of days to sell a property nationally decreased 4 days from 33 to 29 when compared to November 2019, the lowest in 164 months (since March 2007). Across the country, 11 regions had a median number of days to sell of less than 30 days – the last time we had at least 11 regions at less than 30 days, was in December 2003.

For New Zealand excluding Auckland, the median days to sell decreased by 4 days from 32 to 28, the lowest for 180 months (November 2005).

Auckland saw the median number of days to sell a property decrease by 6 days from 36 to 30 year-on-year, the lowest for 62 months.

Taranaki and Southland had the lowest days to sell of all regions at 21 days – down 7 days and up 3 days respectively from the same time last year. This was the lowest equal days to sell for Taranaki since records began.

More than a quarter of all properties sold by auction in November

November saw 26.9% of all properties sold by auction, with 2,661 properties selling under the hammer – up from 16.8% at the same time last year, when 1,279 properties were sold via auction and up from 22.8% in October this year. This was the highest percentage of auctions the country has seen in 62 months (September 2015).

Gisborne had the highest percentage of auctions across the country with 74.6% (50 properties) sold under the hammer, up from 54.3% (38 properties) in November 2019.

Auckland had the second highest percentage of auctions in New Zealand with 43.6% of properties (1,626 properties) sold under the hammer up from 31.8% at the same time last year (769 properties). This was the highest percentage of properties sold by auction in Auckland in 51 months (August 2016).

In third place was Bay of Plenty with 37.8% (244 properties) sold under the hammer up from 21.1% in November 2019 (105 properties). This was the highest percentage of auctions in 51 months.

Inventory levels at lowest point ever for 8 regions

The total number of properties available for sale nationally decreased by -16.9% in November to 18,319 down from 22,049 in November 2019 – a decrease of 3,730 properties compared to 12 months ago. Additionally, 8 regions (Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu/Wanganui, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Waikato and West Coast) had their lowest levels of inventory ever.

Regions with the largest percentage decrease in total inventory levels were:

  • Nelson: -44.7% from 421 to 233 – 188 fewer properties
  • Marlborough: -42.9% from 266 to 152 – 114 fewer properties
  • Manawatu/Wanganui: -38.4% from 698 to 430 – 268 fewer properties.

Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu/Wanganui, Wellington and Nelson all had the lowest number of weeks’ inventory with only six weeks inventory available to prospective purchasers highlighting how we desperately need new listings to come onto the market in some parts of the country.

West Coast had the highest number of week’s inventory with 36 weeks’ inventory available to prospective purchasers down from 43 weeks at the same time last year. Northland was the next highest with 24 weeks’ inventory available, down from 31 weeks last year.

Price Bands

The number of homes sold for less than $500,000 across New Zealand fell from 31.5% of the market (2,401 properties) in November 2019 to 19.5% of the market (1,932 properties) in November 2020 – this is the first time we’ve seen the percentage of sub $500,000 properties fall below the 20% threshold.

The number of properties sold in the $500,000 to $750,000 bracket fell from 32.6% (2,484 properties) to 30.5% (3,014 properties).

At the top end of the market, the percentage of properties sold for $1 million or more increased from 17.0% (1,295 properties) in November 2019 to 28.0% (2,766 properties) in November 2020 the highest percentage since records began.

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