New Zealand prices rise as sales cool

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Property prices in New Zealand continued to climb at the end of 2016.

Median house price rose in December, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, by 11 per cent year-on-year to $516,000 – just $4,000 from its record high of $520,000 in November.

Wellington led five of the 12 regions to record high median sale prices in December. In the last year, prices in region of Wellington have risen by almost $100,000, or 22 per cent, to a new record of $530,175.

Indeed, almost all regions have hit new record median prices in the past three months. Outside Auckland, December saw a new record median price of $420,000. In Auckland, meanwhile, the median sale price rose 9.1 per cent year-on-year to $840,000.

Sales activity, though, is easing in many parts of the country, with the overall volume of transactions declining 11 per cent year-on-year to 6,533. On a seasonally adjusted basis sales for December fell less than 1 per cent month-on-month, in line with expectations for this time of year, although sales volumes across the region of Auckland were 2 per cent lower than November.

“In Auckland, the long-term median price trend has been consistently rising, despite a slight easing compared to November 2016,” REINZ Chief Executive Bindi Norwell says. “The combination of fundamental factors, such as strong underlying population growth and a lack of supply in the market to meet Auckland’s growing population, suggests that we may be unlikely to see much change to the upward trend in prices unless these fundamentals change.”

Auckland house prices fall for second month in a row

10th January 2017

House prices in Auckland have fallen for the second month in a row, after years of rising to record heights. Property values in the city first showed signs of falling in November, according to estate agents Barfoot & Thompson, a trend that continued at the end of 2016.

December’s average sales price dipped to $913,709, while the median price slipped to $840,000. Overall, the average price declined by 2 per cent when compared to the average price for the previous three months.

“It was a typical December trading period with sales numbers and new listings in line with those for the previous year, and prices being not far off the record prices of October and November,” comments Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson. “Signs that the rate at which prices were increasing was declining has been there since mid-year, and that decline showed in the prices achieved at year end.”

Thompson suggests that while prices are easing, there is “no suggestion that current prices are under any great downward pressure”.

“December’s modest price retreat is similar to that which occurred last December and it took until March for the upward price trend to re-appear,” he adds.

Auckland house prices stop rising

6th December 2016

Auckland property values have been racing higher and higher since 2009, but in November, for the first time in years, house prices stopped climbing.

“Signs the rate of price increase has been slowing have been there for some months but November’s sales data confirms that for the time being at least, Auckland prices have stopped rising,” says Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.

The average sales price in November fell 1.1 per cent to $933,130, according to the estate agent’s latest market report. The median price was $850,000, down 1.7 per cent on October’s and down 0.6 per cent on the median price for the previous three months.

“What puts November’s lower prices into context is that November and December are traditionally when prices peak for the year, and this is the first time in eight years that November’s average and median sales prices have been below those for the previous October,” says Thompson.

“Encouragingly new listings at 1879 have been strong and sales numbers at 947, while down marginally on the same month last year, were sound and up 21.7 percent on those in October. The market is not over reacting to the changes occurring.”

The agency’s sales data, though, suggests the market is steady enough for a soft landing. Indeed, sales values and volumes have remained stable throughout 2016, and have held on to the percentage gains of last year. The agency now has 3,881 properties on its books, its highest number since February 2013. Sales of properties in excess of $1 million, meanwhile, remain strong.

“Those sellers who were realistic and prepared to trim their reserve price achieved sales and buyers were confident in meeting near record prices,” adds Thompson.

 

Auckland property prices soar as sales slow

18th November 2016

Auckland’s housing market is losing momentum, as sales saw their slowest October in five years. Prices, though, continue to soar.

“The last time sales numbers fell this low in an October was in 2011, when the market was still not fully recovered from the 2007 Global Financial Crisis,” says Peter Thompson, of estate agency Barfoot & Thompson.

The result is a combination of factors that hasn’t been seen in “many years,” he says, with buyers becoming more selective and investors in lower brackets being unable to meet the new loan-to-value criteria.

“High end buyers were not put off by prices if the property represented value for money, and 39.2 percent of the homes sold were for in excess of $1 million,” adds Thopmson. “This is the first time this year properties selling for more than $1 million have represented close to 40 percent of sales. Normally the number is in the mid-30s.”

That above-average portion of sales has driven up the average sales price by 2.6 per cent month-on-month and 12.3 per cent year-on-year, to reach a record high of $943,801.

 

NZ property sales drop, but Auckland prices climb

14th November 2016

Despite a nationwide drop in sales volumes, Auckland was one of four regions in New Zealand to hit record high median sale prices in October.

The national median price eased by $5,000 to $510,000 last month, according to the latest figures released today by REINZ. Nonetheless, Auckland’s median house price has risen 16 per cent year-on-year to $868,000 – a jump of $119,750.

Three other regions posted record median sale prices in October with Northland reaching $399,000, Waikato/Bay of Plenty lifting to $460,750 and Southland equalling its record high of $225,000 reached in January 2008.

At the same time, the national median price was $510,000, up 10.9 per cent year-on-year, although down slightly (1 per cent) on the record $515,000 in September 2016.

All of this occurred in spite of a nationwide drop in sales volumes. The number of sales for October 2016 was 6,727, a fall of 9 per cent on September. Compared to October 2015, sales volumes nationally fell 14 per cent with Auckland experiencing a 16 per cent drop and Waikato/Bay of Plenty seeing a 25 per cent decrease

The number of properties available for sale across all regions in New Zealand fell 7,391 (24 per cent) between October 2015 and October 2016. Wellington has the fewest properties for sale with six weeks of supply, closely followed by Hawke’s Bay with under 10 weeks supply, Otago and Nelson/Marlborough with 11 weeks of supply.

 

Auckland takes a breath as New Zealand house prices break records

18th October 2016

Auckland’s housing market paused for breath this autumn, as New Zealand house prices broke records once again.

The city was previously racing ahead of the rest of the market, due to limited supply and strong demand, prompting calls for a tax on foreign investors. While those calls were ultimately rejected, the country has capped lending on residential property investors, in an attempt to cool the market.

Now, new figures from REINZ suggest that the cap has had an effect: Auckland is “taking a wet winter breather”, says REINZ, with the median price dipping 2 per cent in August 2016 and rising 7 per cent year-on-year to $825,000.

“We are seeing anecdotal evidence that first home buyers in Auckland are
now favouring new builds as a way of getting finance in the light of the new LVR restrictions and the ‘carve out’ for new home construction,” comments Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) spokesperson Bryan Thomson.

Across the rest of the country, though, prices continue to rise. The national median price has risen to a new record of $515,000, while prices outside Auckland have hit a record median high of $400,000. Six areas also broke individual records, with median sale prices peaking in Northland ($390,000), Waikato/Bay of Plenty ($458,500), Taranaki ($350,000), Wellington ($480,000), Nelson/Marlborough ($450,000) and Otago ($296,000).

The number of sales nationwide for September 2016 was 7,397, a fall of 2 per cent on August and 10 per cent compared to September 2015. Sales of Auckland property fell 23 per cent year-on-year.

New Zealand house sales slip, as prices climb and stock falls

19th September 2016

The supply of homes for sale is falling in New Zealand, causing transactions to slide and prices to keep rising.

New figures from the Real Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) show that housing inventory available for sale is continuing to “rapidly fall” nationwide, with an 18 per cent decline in August year-on-year, leaving five regions with fewer than 12 weeks’ worth of supply, representing about 70 per cent of sales volumes.

““We have been highlighting the lack of inventory for some time, and it continues to be a major contributing factor in the volume of sales across all regions. This is particularly so in Auckland, where inventory levels are at historic lows,” says REINZ spokesperson Bryan Thomson.

Indeed, sales in Auckland were down 20 per cent in August compared to the same month last year. The number of unconditional residential sales nationwide in August was 7,527, up 3 per cent on July this year but down 3 per cent year-on-year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of sales fell 0.2 per cent from July to August.

With supply low, prices continue to be driven higher, with the national median price rising 5.8 per cent year-on-year to $492,000, albeit 3 per cent below its record high of $505,000 last month. Two regions hit new record high median sale prices in August, including Nelson/Marlborough, which hit $430,000 (up 12 per cent year-on-year), and the increasingly hot market of Auckland, which prices rose 14 per cent (or $102,500) to reach $842,500.

The continuing climb in prices follows the decision by several lenders to introduce limits for overseas buyers, in a bid to cool the market. The country’s Reserve Bank, meanwhile, has since introduced a mortgage cap for all residential proeprty buyers to discourage investors from buying multiple properties to rent out.
 

Auckland house prices near $1m

6th September 2016

The average Auckland house price is nearing $1 million, according to new research, as the New Zealand region continues to heat up.

According to QV’s latest quarterly report, the average value is $992,207, with values in the city up 15 per cent year-on-year. In 2007, 80 suburbs had an average value of under $500,000. Now, there are just five, with two of those (Grafton and Manukau) a few hundred dollars away from the half a million barrier.

90 out of 210 suburbs, on the other hand, have an average price of more than $1m. Indeed, St Mary’s Bay has become the second suburb (after Herne Bay) to pass the $2 million mark, with average house prices rising $14,850 to hit $2,070,200.

“Like Herne Bay, it features not only spectacular harbour views but some large historic homes,” Andrea Rush of QV told . “It is less than a 10-minute drive to the city centre, is serviced by very good public transport and it’s an easy walk to the Ponsonby shopping and café precinct.”

The $500,000 barrier is considered the threshold for affordability, with Prime Minister John Key recently saying that there are “quite a few” homes available in the region for under that level, advising first-time buyers to look at apartments instead of houses. Indeed, Auckland Central’s average price of $472,500 is “only low because of the high level of apartment stock”, notes the Herald.

 

Auckland property market shows “unmistakable” signs of stabilising

8th August 2016

The Auckland housing market is finally showing signs of stabilising, after five years of strong price growth.

Estate agents Barfoot & Thompson say that the signs of the housing market cooling down are “unmistakeable”.

The average price in July 2016 was $867,681, a fall of 4.5 per cent year-on-year and 2 per cent below the average price for the previous three months.

“The trend is not as evident in the median price, which at $840,000 was the same as in June, and 2.1 per cent higher than the median price for the previous 3 months,” comments Wendy Alexander, Chief Executive Officer of Barfoot & Thompson, who adds that there has “been a definite change in the market in the last month.”

The winter months, school holidays and a slowing in the number of new listings all contributed to the slow-down in July, Alexander notes, although buyer determination to pay whatever is necessary to achieve a property was also tempered.

“Buyers remain prepared to pay a fair price, and under the hammer sales at auctions of 70 per cent were still high, but sales activity is slower than it was at the same time last year,” she continues.

“In the 3 months May to July this year we sold 3508 properties. In the same period last year we sold 3780, a 7.8 per cent difference.”

As a result, annual house price growth is still occurring, but at a much slower pace than over the past four years.

“The average price has increased by 5.3 percent over the past 7 months compared to 2015’s full year average price increase of 14 percent,” comments Alexander. “The median price increase over the past 7 months has been 6 per cent compared to 17.4 percent for 2015.”

Whether price increases will continue in the remaining months of the year is unclear, says the agent. Indeed, while prices traditionally climb during the upcoming spring and summer months, new regulations affecting investors will take effect from August onwards.

 

Five regions of New Zealand see house prices hit record highs

18th July 2016

Five regions hit new record high median sale prices in June 2016. The Waikato/Bay of Plenty region recorded its fifth record median sale price for 2016 ($438,000), with the median price in Auckland reaching $821,000. Northland recorded a new record median of $360,000, while Otago reached $295,000 and Central Otago Lakes hit $730,050.

The national median price eased slightly (1 per cent) to $500,000 from $506,000 last month, but rose $50,000 (11 per cent) compared to June a year ago.

House prices in the regions continue to grow faster than in Auckland at the same time as the number of properties available for sale across New Zealand drops fast.

The number of sales for June 2016 was 7,864, a drop of 13 per cent on May, in line with the general trend at this time of the year, although an increase of 6 per cent on June 2015.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) spokesperson Bryan Thomson says: “Although the onset of winter means that June is generally a quieter month for the real estate market, there has been no let-up in the rate of price increases across the country, with five regions recording new record median prices. The ‘usual suspects’ of Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Central Otago Lakes and
Northland once again saw new prices reached, and Auckland and Otago chimed in with their own record highs.

“Although there is much discussion about the housing market and increasing new build supply, the fact remains that the vast majority of the supply comes from the sale of existing properties. The inventory data continues to show rapid declines in the volume of properties available for sale right across the country, with a number of regions, such as Wellington and Hawke’s Bay, recording very low levels of properties for sale.

“While Auckland continues to be the largest single region, its influence on the national picture is waning due to its own weaker sales and strong growth in sales in other regions, particularly Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Northland. Auckland’s peak share of national sales was 39.7 per cent in January 2014, however, its share is now just over 33.8 per cent. Over the same period Waikato/Bay of Plenty’s share of national sales has increased from 14.3 per cent to 19 per cent.”

New Zealand property prices hit record high as Auckland cools

21st January 2016

Property prices in New Zealand have hit a record high outside of Auckland, as sales rise and supply tightens.

Auckland, not unlike London, has raced ahead of the pack in recent years, with house prices in the area repeatedly posting record prices. Now, though, the country’s regions have overtaken Auckland, as the market adjusts to the lending limits introduced by officials last year. The loan-to-value cap implemented by officials applies to Auckland investment properties, a measure that was designed to curb investment purchases, thereby cooling price growth.

The national median price was $465,000 in December 2015, according to new figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand – an increase of $15,000 or 3.3 per cent on December 2014.

Excluding the impact of the Auckland region, though, the national median price rose $28,000 to $379,000  to reach the fourth record high in a row.

New record median prices were also reached in Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough and Otago.

7,313 sales were recorded across the country in December 2015, up 3.5 per cent year-on-year but down 9.1 per cent from November 2015. Excluding Auckland, the number of sales compared to December 2014 increased by 17.5 per cent, but fell
8.1 per cent compared to November.

REINZ Chief Executive Colleen Milne comments: “Regional markets, particularly Northland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and Central Otago Lakes are now setting the pace for the New Zealand real estate market, with Auckland, in a relative sense, now in the middle of the pack. The decline in sales volume in Auckland, while noticeable, is likely transitory as the region gets to grips
with the new LVR rules for investors, although the median price continues to firm.”

In the second half of 2015, the regional markets saw supply decline significantly, as  well as the number days the average property takes to sell, both of which have helped to drive up median prices.

“This breadth of the improvement across New Zealand suggests that there is more is at play than just an Auckland ‘halo effect’, although that has contributed in the northern regions,” adds Milne.

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