New Zealand Property Market Starts 2013 Strong

Statistics provided by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand indicate that the country’s residential real estate market saw its highest monthly rate of transactional volume in January …

Statistics provided by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand indicate that the country’s residential real estate market saw its highest monthly rate of transactional volume in January than it’s seen in the past five years. Sales were up 21% for January compared to the same period last year and increased 4.2% for the year-on-year average. Agents are reporting shortages in inventory and nearly every region of the country has seen improvement in sales volume and the number of days to sale. Even so, the REINZ Stratified Housing Price Index still dropped 1% for the month. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

The residential real estate market in New Zealand has seen a solid start to the year with sales up 21% last month compared with the previous year and median prices up 4.2% year on year.

There was a new record median house price for Taranaki last month and sales by auction in January 2013 almost double those of January 2012, the figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand show.

The organisation says that robust demand drove sales volume growth in the residential property market during January to the highest level for the month in five years.

‘The residential real estate market has begun 2013 in good shape with a more than 20% increase in sales volume on this time last year,’ said Helen O’Sullivan, chief executive of REINZ.

Although the national median price eased from its December level it remained 4.2% above the level reported at the  same time last year and O’Sullivan said that given the highly seasonal nature of the housing market, prices and volumes tend to ease from their year end levels in January as marketing campaigns for many properties in the upper price bracket don’t begin until the latter half of the month.

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‘Agents across the country are reporting continuing shortages of listings and positive buyer enquiry, even after taking into account the normal slowdown in activity over the Christmas and New Year break,’ she explained.

There has also been a six day improvement in the number of days  to sell between January 2013 and January 2012 and this is indicative of high levels of buyer activity in markets across the country.

All but one region recorded increases in sales volume compared to January last year, with Southland recording an increase of 40.4%, followed by Northland with 38.5% and Auckland with 26.7%. Only Southland recorded an increase in sales volume in January compared to December, with a 2.5% increase, while Taranaki recorded the same number of sales as December.
The national median house price fell by $19,000, from $389,000 in December, to $370,000 in January, a drop of 4.9%. Taranaki recorded a new record high median of $310,500 in January with a 10.5% increase compared to December. Hawkes Bay was the only other region to record an increase in the median price in January.

The national median house price is up 4.2% compared to January 2012, while the Auckland median price is up 8.1% compared to January 2012.  The Canterbury/ Westland median rose 5.8% and Nelson/Marlborough 4.6%.
The REINZ Stratified Housing Price Index, which adjusts for some of the variations in mix that can impact on the median price, is 7.2% higher than January 2012 and eased 1% compared to December. The Auckland Stratified Housing Price Index is up almost 12% compared to January 2012.
All regions, with the exception of Hawkes Bay and Taranaki, saw an improvement in the number of days to sell between January 2012 and January 2013. In January Canterbury/Westland recorded the shortest days to sell at 31 days, followed by Auckland with 33 days and Nelson/Marlborough with 40 days. Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay both recorded the longest number of days to sell at 60 days, followed by Northland with 59 days and Taranaki with 55 days.  Over the past 10 years the median days to sell for the month of January has averaged 44 days across New Zealand.


Nationally there were 449 dwellings sold by auction in January representing 9.1% of all sales, almost double the number of sales by auction compared to January 2012. For the 12 months to January the total number of auctions reached 12,168 or 16.3% of all sales, compared to 7,195 or 11.6% of all sales for the 12 months to January 2012.

Transactions in Auckland again dominated the auction market in January, representing 73.5% of the national total of auction sales. Some 18.3% of all dwelling sales in Auckland were by this method in January, up from the 11.2% of sales by auction in January 2012. Sales by auction in Waikato/Bay Of Plenty accounted for 10.9% of the national total, Canterbury/Westland accounted for 6.7% of the national total, and all other regions combined accounted for the remaining 8.9% of auction sales in January 2013.

Across New Zealand the total value of residential sales, including sections was $2.24 billion in January, compared to $2.73 billion in December, and $1.72 billion in January 2012. For the 12 months ending in January 2013 the total value of residential sales was $34.47 billion.

The REINZ Housing Price Index eased 1% in January compared with December to sit at 3,488.1. Wellington rose 1.1% in January, while Auckland fell 2.1% and Christchurch 4.4%.  For the 12 months to January, the Auckland Index rose 11.8% and the Christchurch Index rose 9.9% compared to the National Index increase of 7.2%.

Outside of the main centres, the Other South Island Index was the next strongest with an increase of 3.9% for the 12 months to January 2013.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.


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