The latest sales results released today by the Real Estate Institute bear witness to the fact that the real estate market across the Canterbury region is struggling. A total of 359 properties were sold in September down from the 884 sold in the same month last year and also down from the 647 in September 2008 – up until August, the 2010 year was tracking pretty close to the same levels as 2008 as seen from the chart below.
The results for the Canterbury region are not unexpected given the catastrophic impact that the earthquake had on the built environment, not just in terms of actual structural damage, but more importantly in verification of structural integrity. The early signs of the impact of the earthquake were seen in terms of website visitors as seen in the days after the impact. That situation was showing signs of improving. However as can be seen from the chart below now that four weeks have passed the overall level of visitor traffic is down around 23% from where it would have been expected to be at this time of the year.
The other early sign of the impact of the earthquake on the region was reported within the monthly NZ Property Report which was published on the 1st October and covered the month of September in terms of new listings. In September a total 1,211 new properties were listed in the Canterbury region which was down 19% on a seasonally adjusted basis from August. This compared to a total for all other regions of the country excluding Canterbury showing a small 1% increase from August on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Half way through October the picture is looking very similar with new listings still down, this is best shown from the chart below which tracks the % representation of the Canterbury region listings each month. The October data is for the first 14 days of the month so far.