September property sales at a record low - REINZ

by Ksenia Stepanova15 Oct 2018

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) has recorded the lowest number of houses sold since January, with the total number seeing 3% year-on-year decrease.

The number of properties sold across New Zealand fell to 5,506 this September – 168 fewer than September of last year, and the lowest for the same month since 2011. Properties sold nationwide excluding Auckland also dropped by 3.3%.

House prices nonetheless continued to grow, with the four regions of Gisborne, Nelson, Northland and Manawatu/Wanganui achieving record prices. New Zealand’s median price excluding Auckland also rose by 8.5%, achieving a new record high, while Auckland’s housing market has remained steady with the a median price of $850,000 – exactly the same as last year.

According to REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell, the low number of sales was to be expected following the low number of new listings in July, and Auckland’s stable market will mean good news for both buyers and investors.

“Traditionally there is a lag of about 6 weeks between significant movements in listings and sales results,” Norwell said. “With July’s listings down by 5.4% year-on-year and an all-time low level of listings in seven regions, it’s little wonder that September’s sales volumes were so low. There simply weren’t as many properties for sale resulting in a very quiet start to spring.”

“There are now seven regions across New Zealand that have median prices in the excess of the half a million-dollar mark, with Northland being the newest region to go over this level,” she continued. “Additionally, there are already three regions that have exceeded the $600,000 median mark, and with Nelson’s median sitting at $592,000, it may not be too far away until we have a fourth region edging over the $600,000 mark.”

According to Norwell, prices are likely to continue to rise as population growth and property demand continues to exceed supply. She says price pressure will likely continue to be an issue ‘for some time’, especially in the country’s most populated cities.

When it comes to Auckland, its relatively stable market will be a positive for players across the board.

“We’ve seen Auckland’s median house price hover around the $850,000 mark for 18 months now – this incredibly stable market is positive for first time buyers who are desperately saving to get a foot on the property ladder,” Norwell said. “However, it’s also good for investors, buyers and sellers too, as it means that everyone knows what the market is doing – there don’t tend to be too many happy people when the market is particularly volatile.”


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