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Is The Current Market Sustainable?

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 17 more lifestyle property sales (+0.6%) for the three months ended December 2020 than for the three months ended November 2020. Overall, there were 3,071 lifestyle property sales in the three months ended December 2020, compared to 1,922 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended December 2019 (+59.8%), and 3,054 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended November 2020.

8,887 lifestyle properties were sold in the year to December 2020, 1,828 (25.9%) more than were sold in the year to December 2019. The value of lifestyle properties sold was $8.15 billion for the year to December 2020.

The median price for all lifestyle properties sold in the three months to December 2020 was $835,000 and was $110,000 higher compared to the three months ended December 2019 (+15.2%).

Brian Peacocke, Rural Spokesman, at REINZ says: “Sales volumes for the 3-month period ending December reflect the following: -

  • a continuation of the extraordinary run of sales over recent months
  • an easing in total sales but taking into account the Christmas break, still ahead of the record month of November in terms of sales per day – November = 37 sales per day; December = 42.5 sales per day – across the country
  • an increase in the median price in every district across the country giving a record national median price of $835,000
  • a record 3071 sales for the 3-month period ending December 2020

The above points underpin the heading – is the current market sustainable.”

Points of interest include: -

  • Upper North
  • Volumes throughout Northland were close to maintaining par with strong sales across the total province, median price being $642,500
  • volumes throughout the Auckland region eased 21.7% with Rodney district (top price $6m) dominating Franklin (top price $5.2m), median price being $1,310,000
  • Central Region
  • Waikato held par reasonably well with the southern edge of Hamilton being dominant (top price $3.075m) followed by Waipa, Matamata, Piako and Taupo, median price being $890,000
  • Bay of Plenty experienced a substantial 39% decrease in volume from the previous month but improved in median price to $1,082,000
  • Gisborne peeled off the pace dramatically but sales still reflected a strong median price of $1,082,500
  • Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki performed creditably with median prices of $710,000 and $605,000 respectively
  • Lower North Island
  • Manawatu/Wanganui held volumes well with Horowhenua being the leader followed closely by Manawatu district with the top price of $1.595m; the median price for the region lifted to $651,000
  • Wairarapa/Wellington lost 31% in volume from the previous month with the Wairarapa districts faring best; top price was $2.175m in South Wairarapa and the median price for the region increased to $880,000
  • Upper South Island
  • Nelson/Marlborough volumes eased by 26% but the median price increased slightly to $867,000
  • West Coast was one of only 2 regions to increase sales volumes with a 12.5% gain with a good recovery in the median price after an easing last month
  • Canterbury performed solidly with a slight easing in volumes with Waimakariri and Selwyn competing evenly in sales, $2.93m being the top price for the province which recorded an increased median price of $753,500
  • Lower South Island
  • Otago almost held par in sales volumes with numbers well spread throughout the province; $5.7m in the Queenstown/Lakes District was the top price recorded for the month with the median price experiencing a substantial lift to $805,000
  • Southland was the only other region to record an improvement in sales volumes, albeit slight but nevertheless healthy; median price was equally healthy at $537,500,” he concludes.

All 14 regions recorded an increase in sales compared to December 2019 with Auckland (+261 sales) and Waikato (+191 sales) observing the biggest increases. Gisborne recorded the smallest increase in sales (+4 sales) in the three months to December 2020 compared to the three months to December 2019. Compared to the three months to November 2020, 7 regions recorded an increase in sales.

Thirteen regions saw the median price of lifestyle blocks increase between the three months ending December 2019 and the three months ending December 2020. The most notable examples were in Gisborne (+79%), Bay of Plenty (+32%) and Manawatu-Wanganui (+26%) and only exception was Hawke’s Bay (-2%).

The median number of days to sell for lifestyle properties was six days less in the three months to December 2020 than in the three months to December 2019, sitting at 50 days. Compared to the three months ended November 2020 the median number of days to sell was six days shorter. Manawatu/Wanganui and Wellington recorded the shortest number of days to sell in December 2020 at 38 days, followed by Gisborne and Southland (42 days). West Coast recorded the longest number of days to sell at 133 days, followed by Northland at 72 days.

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