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Real Estate Institute Of New Zealand (REINZ) January Data: Year Starts Slowly But More Activity Being Reported

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand’s (REINZ) January 2023 figures show house prices have declined but at a slower rate than seen previously.

REINZ Chief Executive, Jen Baird says prices continue to ease but the pace of the decline is steadying, and the market has glimpses of a new life as January’s seasonally adjusted data shows.

“January is traditionally a slower month as sellers and buyers are on holiday. This month is no exception, although intensified in Auckland by relatively poor weather, with the least number of sales since records began (excluding April 2020 during the country’s lockdown) at 943 sales. The rest of the country has also seen a record low for the month with less than 3,000 sales (2,759) nationally.”

High interest rates, the ability to secure finance, commentary around a looming recession and this being election year can be added to factors for slow decision making from buyers. As a result, properties are spending longer on the market with 53 being the median days to sell for January 2023, 16 days longer compared to January 2022.”

The median sale price has decreased nationally by 13.3% overall to $762,500 and decreased 9.3% for New Zealand excluding Auckland to $679,000. The REINZ House Price Index (HPI) showed an annual decrease of 13.9% in the value of residential property nationwide which is in line with the sale price changes seen.

Regional median house prices continue to decrease across the board, with Auckland dropping under $1,000,000 (to $940,000) in January 2023 for the first time in two years. The exception is three regions which saw marginal increases: Gisborne (+3.8%), Taranaki (+0.8%) and the West Coast (+5.3%). These were the only regions to see a rise in median price compared to January last year.

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Nationally new residential listings decreased 16.0% year-on-year from 7,912 in January 2022 to 6,646 in January 2023 and increase of 28.9 month on month from December 2022. New Zealand excluding Auckland saw a decrease of 10.4% year on year from 5,512 in January 2022 to 4,635 new listings in January 2023 and a 29.4% decrease from 3,381 listings month on month from December 2022.

“The flip side to this is the seasonal effect of January. In seasonally adjusted terms, this month’s numbers show a January that performed better than expected. The sales counts are down for January 2023 compared to December 2022 for Auckland by 31.5%. When the seasonality is removed, the sales count numbers show Auckland performed 19.4% better than expected when compared to December.”

“Reports of more activity in the market are growing “Agents in many areas are reporting more attendance at open homes, more interest online and even more multi-offer situations. Inventory has increased 39.4% year-on year, now sitting at 27,732 properties which provides plenty of choice for buyers. Add to that prices that have eased over the last 12 months, and some less bad economic news coming out recently, it seems there are more buyers active in the market. February and March data will tell us if they choose to act” adds Baird.

“This is interesting data and does indicate a slowing of the decline. The coming months will be telling as the country braces for more activity both in the weather and the property market.

“Salespeople around the country say owner occupiers remain active, and that there has been increased interest in out-of-town buyers looking in different regions. Sellers are tending to be more realistic and will usually meet the market through negotiation — however, many remain cautious with properties taking longer to sell, and investors sparse.”

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) has the latest and most accurate real estate data in New Zealand.

For more information and data on national and regional activity visit the REINZ’s refreshed website.

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