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Archive for the ‘Buying / Selling a home’ Category

4

The property market’s tightness of new listings may soon be over

Posted on: February 19th, 2012 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured

The consistent message through the past 6 months for the supply side of the property market has been a shortage of listings. That shortage is likely to ease in the coming months.

This forecast is based on extensive analysis of the property market cycles of sales and new listings – the two key metrics which reflect the demand and supply side of the market.

The property market as with most markets moves in cycles. The recent 5 years has seen a significant re-adjustment, as the heady days of the early part of the last decade when property sales topped 120,000 in a year, have been replaced by the more sobering reality of a market seeing in the past 12 months sales of just 60,000 properties.

The property market as reported in the monthly NZ Property Report is very much influenced by the levers of supply and demand. Through the comprehensive data from the Realestate.co.nz website we have been able over the past 5 years to track the supply side of the market – the number of new listings that come onto the market each month. Matched to this, is the demand side which is reflected by the number of property sales per month as reported by the Real Estate Institute (REINZ).

Looking back over the past 5 years, in an average month around 11,500 new property listings come onto the market whilst around 5,200 properties sales are transacted on average per month. The balance of new listings either remain on the market thereby adding to the existing inventory as property takes longer to sell, or in the majority of cases properties are withdrawn to perhaps be relisted later.

Recent analysis we have undertaken shows that the cycles of property supply and demand does not follow in perfect alignment. The chart below has been developed by tracking the 12 month moving average of new listings and sales from the start of 2000 to the end of 2011 in the case of sales (blue line) and the past 5 years since 2006 in the case of listings (red line). It clearly shows the similarity of cycles, but equally shows a timing delay as the listing’s market lags the sales’ market.

(Note: the chart has different vertical axises – in the case of sales: 3,000 to 11,000; whereas for from 8,000 to 18,000. This presentation has been chosen to provide an alignment of the data points to better highlight the correlation between sales and listings)

Looking at this most recent 5 year period, the supply side cycle tends to lag the demand side cycle by around 6 months. That is to say that the actions of sellers seeking to list their property tends to lag the ups and downs of property sales. This is highlighted by the horizontal arrows tracking each of the peaks and troughs of this 5 year period.

This would infer that sellers judge their intent to list a house by a view of the level of recent sales – probably witnessed by “Sold” signs and media commentary. This lag is likely to explain why the market often gets over supplied even after sales have slowed; and as we have seen recently, sales are picking up whilst new listings remain low.

This current situation where property sales are rising faster than new listing is shown on this chart by the blue line intersecting and rising ahead of the red line of listings has occurred once before,albeit for a short time in 2009. That occurrence as a fall out from the global financial crisis lead to a significant build up of inventory as sales fell sharply through 2010.

So having undertaken this analysis I expect that the next question on everyone’s lips will be “Given that the analysis shows a correlation and a distinct cycle – what can this tell us about the expectations for 2012?”

The chart below takes a view based on some core assumptions as to how the next 12 months may look.

The first assumption is that the trend of property sales is likely to continue, albeit at a modest pace. In 2011 just over 60,000 properties were sold, for 2012 a 12% increase would see sales of 69,000 – a level that based on the historical long term average would not be too optimistic. With this slow rise in sales the likelihood is that the current rate of new listings will rise to a higher level as has been shown to happen in the past reflecting that 6 months lag effect. This extrapolation as shown in the chart would see around 142,000 new listings in 2012, up 15% from the 2011 all-time-low of 124,000.

 

 

 

2

Property sales have clearly turned a corner

Posted on: January 26th, 2012 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured, REINZ Monthly data

The property market in NZ starts 2012 in better shape than it has for the past 5 years. It would not be too optimistic to say that the industry, certainly in terms of volume sales has turned a corner. Some parts turned that corner 6 months ago (notably Auckland) whilst some will take a few more months before witnessing this change.

In the 12 months of 2011 a total of 61, 269 properties were sold across the country as reported by the Real Estate Institute. This represented a modest 9% growth as compared to 2010. The word modest is most appropriate when the volume of sales is viewed against the perspective of the past 20 years.

20011 was much improved from both 2008 and 2010 which represented the lowest sales volumes of the past 20 years, barely struggling to reach half the sales volumes of the peak years of 2002 to 2007.

 

As ever 20/20 hindsight is a powerful tool and applying it now applies a clearer view on those heady days and reflect that this period was a bubble – one unlikely to be repeated for many years, if ever again.

What drove that bubble and created that frenetic pace of market activity?

A number of factors were conspicuous: the rise in investor market activity as the NZ economy grew through global growth and strong immigration, the banks were certainly relaxed about deposit requirements and other investment options showed far less appeal or tax or leverage advantage. That convergence of events lead to a virtuous cycle (depending on your perspective as many would argue a fateful and perilous cycle), whereby those on the treadmill of property ownership felt richer as asset values as a surrogate of property prices grew at a heady 10+% a year rate.

The important thing to see is that if this heady period is ignored as an aberration, the current sales levels still sits well below the levels of the market through the 1990’s. This is the validation to the proposition that the industry has turned a corner. Average annual sales through 1993 to 2001 was 78,000 a year – that means the current year up 9% vs 2010 is still down 22% from the average of the 90’s.

This perspective is seen even clearer when property sales are matched to the growing population of NZ and the number of houses. It makes logical sense that as the population grows, the housing stock must grow and thereby so must sales as people always need to relocate for the logical need of jobs, lifestyle, financial, schools, family etc.

Over the period from 1993 to 2001 the number of houses in NZ grew from just under 1.2 million to 1.37 million and has continued to grow (even allowing for the depressed construction market of the last 4 years) to around 1.55 million today – that is around 350,000 more houses in NZ today than there were at the beginning of the 90’s. Yet the volume of property sales are 22% less!

This conundrum is best visualised in the chart below which tracks the % of property sales on a moving annual total basis against the total number of properties in NZ.

The chart provides a further validation to the belief that property sales are likely to see growth in the coming years. The current rate of sale is 4% of all properties sold per year. The long term average for the past 20 years is 6%, during the 90’s the rate was 6.2%.

If the rate of sale were to return to the 90’s levels we would see a 56% rise in sales to 95,000. If we only saw a rise to the lowest point of the 90’s at 4.7% we would still see a rise in sales of 73,000 a rise of 19%.

 

 

1

Auctions provide a bellwether for the the property market (Updated)

Posted on: December 22nd, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured

This article has been updated to reflect the further development of the market through to March 2012.

The state of the property market can be assessed by keeping a close eye on the number of properties being marketed for Auction. When you spot more and more of the For Sale street signs emblazened with “Auction” you can safely bet that the property market is heating up.

This view is certainly articulated in the article today titled “Auckland house auctions hit high“. Based on sales data supplied by the Real Estate Institute (REINZ) the number of properties sold in November across the country as Auctions was the highest ever at more than 25%. Looking specifically at the Auckland market Barfoot & Thompson November reported that around 40% of it’s current listings are being for sale by auction.

These reported statistics got me interested as we have in the past reported on the number of listings coming onto the market and specifically on the market across our comprehensive database. Back in August we reported that Auctions across the whole country had risen to a peak in June as representing 13% of all new listings, in Auckland that figure was even higher with over 20% of all new listings being for Auction properties for sale. These figures though are lower than the respective REINZ or Barfoot & Thompson figures.

Looking at the latest data for the month of November we saw 1,206 new listings of Auctions of properties come onto the market across NZ, this represented 9% of all new listings. In Auckland the number was 790 which represented over 17% – a new record, so the data is consistent.

In tracking the data over the past 4 years what is very interesting is that Auctions as a form of marketing rises as available inventory falls (as it does when the market picks up) and similarly falls as inventory rises. This is represented in the chart below, tracking new listings of Auctions per month as a % of all listings (blue bars) against the available stock on the market as measured as equivalent weeks sales as we track for the NZ Property Report.

In Auckland the same trend is evident, and more pronounced.

So it is clear that Auction marketing is a bellwether of the state of the market, which is not that surprising as vendors are more keen to pitch their property to a more active market when there is more demand from active buyers and see the open auction environment ensure that transparency works for them to maximise property demand lead pricing.

Updated

The first 3 months of 2012 has seen further significant growth in property sales matched to  further tightening in the property market as new listings have failed to keep pace with the growing demand – the latest NZ Property Report provides detailed analysis of this. A consequence of this is that auctions have further increased as a chosen route to selling a home.

As cited above record levels of new listings coming onto the market as auctions were witnessed pre-Christmas, those record levels have been exceeded in the past few months. March reached a new high with 13% of all property listings across the country being auctions and in Auckland a record 24% of all new listings being auctions.

Auckland though is not alone, the chart below shows the comparison across the 19 regions of the country between March 2011 and March 2012 or auction listings as representative of all new listings. Almost all regions saw a massive increase in representation of auctions within the new listings with the Central North Island and Gisborne sharing the Auckland record representation with nearly a quarter of all new listings as auctions.

 

Point of Note

The realestate.co.nz website has a very useful feature which allows you search by pricing type (Auction / Negotiation / Tender / POA / Offers / Display Price). As at this time there are 1,875 properties being marketed on the website as Auctions,  406 properties being marketed on the website as Tenders, and  36,906 properties being marketed with a price on the website 

2

Floorplans add a true sense of a virtual open home to the website

Posted on: December 7th, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured, Website news

The presentation of property online has radically transformed over the past 5 years.

Back in 2006 when the new website of Realestate.co.nz emerged to provide a much improved user experience, the content provided on the site was by today’s standards pitiful. On average a listing had only 3 photos. The property seldom had an address, and the description was often copied from the newspaper advert. At the time the real estate industry in general judged the web as an after-thought, with the central focus being on print advertising in newspapers and magazines.

Skip forward 5 years to today and so much has changed. Today the first destination for almost all property seekers is online, on average property seekers spend over 3 hours a week on property websites. Their intent is to spend even more time in the future with more than a third of them say they will check out property online more frequently. (This data comes from the recent Nielsen online intercept survey carried out in July this year).

As this exponential growth of viewing property online has transformed the real estate industry; so at the same time the industry has adapted and recognised the need to provide more information with each listing. The average number of photos per listing has shot up to 16. The photos have got bigger, and to accommodate these we have added full screen viewing. Today more than 65% of all listings now have an address which allows property maps to be included on the website providing great context to the property location.

These improvements fit perfectly into the wish list of users of real estate websites as identified in the Nielsen survey – the table below tracks the most requested information presented on a real estate website:

Nestled firmly below the expected critical information on property listings – the address, the large portfolio of high quality images and maps is the desire for floor plans. 89% of those surveyed stated that they would like to see floorplans for properties on the market.

That request has now been answered on the realestate.co.nz website. Working with partners such as MyAgent and Open2view we have enabled the integration of interactive floor plans for properties on the market today on the website. These solutions which go further than just static image based floor plans adding in the context of the location for each images matched to the part of the house really add engagement to these listings which is so important for getting the maximum impact for the vendor’s property.

At this time this service of interactive floorplans on the realestate.co.nz is the unique in NZ and with several hundred listings already on the site featuring these floorplans, and more to come in the near future, we certainly see this as a compelling appeal of the website. Check out the example of a few current listing:

Click here to see the full listing on realestate.co.nz

 

Click here to see the full listing on realestate.co.nz

 

 

Click here to see the full listing on realestate.co.nz

6

Talking with our customers – interesting insights from recent survey

Posted on: September 2nd, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured, Property Investing, Renting, Website searching

We recently undertook a survey amongst our email subscriber database. What prompted this was a desire to learn more about the make up of this group of avid users of the site to see how we might improve the service we offer on Realestate.co.nz to buyers, sellers, investors, tenants and any other form of property hunting fanatic!

What we have discovered is very interesting and certainly worthy of sharing. If you participated in the survey; we really appreciate you taking the time to complete the survey and we hope with your help to repeat it again on maybe a quarterly basis as the data is valuable, and to see trends over time for some of the finding will be useful.

To start with we had 398 people complete the survey – a significant number and certainly large enough for the data to be representative of people in the market for property (we are not statisticians nor a research company so we are not trying to make any comment as to statistical margin of error etc).

The first question we asked was as to the status of the respondents.

The largest group (40%) are looking to buy property – this made up of 7% as first time buyers and 32% as general buyers. A fifth of respondents describe themselves as a landlord, with a further 7% saying that they are (or are looking to be) an investor.

Buyers

We then went on to ask the prospective buyers amongst the respondents when specifically they were looking to buy?

Not surprising was the fact that just under a third were looking to buy (we assume this is intent to be buying / searching actively as opposed to completing the purchase) in the next month. In total it would appear that over 60% of buyers are looking to be buying in the next 6 months in total, this would be expected as subscribers to the email are actively keeping tabs on the property market and receiving daily email alerts of new properties. We will be keen to ask this question again in the future to see how trends change over time by factor of market conditions and seasonality.

Additionally of interest is the fact that 11% are showing a reluctance to buy as they are waiting until the market improves.

Tenants – looking to buy

We also asked the same question of current tenants who expressed an intent to buy a property in the future. Their response was somewhat difference due to their circumstances.

Clearly the key issue for this group of respondents is the need to save for a deposit; a third of the respondents saw this as the key step to buying. Of the remainder 18% said they were looking to buy in the next 6 month, far less than active buyers, but interestingly a lower percentage (8%) felt that they would leave it until the market improves.

Type of property to buy

Going back to the group who are thinking of buying a property we asked them what type of property they were considering buying.

The majority of people (53%) looking to buy were interested in a property that would need a bit of work to be done – clearly the kiwi DIY mindset is still alive and well as people as still keen to add value to properties. This compared to just under a third who really wanted somewhere where the renovations had been completed and the property was ready to move in straight away.

Sellers

Moving from buyers to sellers we wanted to find out when those people who considered themselves sellers were looking to sell. The vast majority (83%) were looking to sell in the next 6 month, with 4 out of 10 thinking of selling in the next month, or at least putting their property on the market.

How would you sell?

We then posed an interesting question to those looking to sell. We asked them how they were looking to sell their property. Would they use a licensed agent, try and sell it themselves or might they give private selling a go, but more than likely end up using a licensed real estate agent. Having collated the results of this question we compared these with the recent Nielsen online real estate market survey asking the same question.

These results are very interesting. From both surveys the majority of respondents were likely to use a licensed agents, the sample respondents from the Realestate.co.nz email group were slightly more likely than the broader Nielsen market survey.

When it comes to selling privately the difference were significantly different, just 5% of the respondents to the Realestate.co.nz survey indicated that they would try and sell privately as against 11% for the broader Nielsen survey. Of note is the fact that the Nielsen survey was based on questionaires posted on both Trade Me and Realestate.co.nz and this is clearly showing that greater interest in private sales from Trade Me respondents to the Nielsen survey.

Investment Properties

The final set of questions we asked related to investment property. We asked those who described themselves as a landlord or investor how many properties they owned.

70% of those respondents who identified themselves as a landlord or investor had more than 2 properties with 14% having more than 5 properties. Clearly the Realestate.co.nz website is a core resource for investors looking to enhance their property portfolio.

Of these landlord we then asked if they used a Property Manager to manage their property / properties – or if they did themselves. Fully two thirds said that they managed their investment properties themselves with just one third using a professional property manager.

Probing a bit deeper we then asked them why they chose not to use a Property Manager.

Some useful insight here to assist the Property Management companies in providing support for this important sector of the property market.

 

 

2

Sharp rise in auction properties foreshadows tightness in the market

Posted on: August 4th, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured

In a typical month, around 600 properties come onto the market advertised as auction sales. In the months of June and July this number has spiked to 1,168 and 1,132 respectively – in absolute terms these months have seen the highest recorded looking levels going back over the past 4 years.

This spike is even more significant when viewed against the decline in new listings witnessed this year. As a percentage the number of properties brought to the market in June, it was the highest ever seen at 13% – far outstripping the prior high of 9% back in September / October 2009. July has continued this trend with another month with 13% of new listings being marketed as auctions.

The vast majority of properties marketed as auctions are in the Auckland region – in July, Auckland accounted for 56% of all of the 1,132 auction properties marketed across the country in the month.

In general across all property listing categories, Auckland represents around 24% of the total – it would therefore seem that Auckland is the epicenter of NZ property auctions and in June and July over 1 in 5 of all new listings brought to the market across the Auckland market were auctions, far above any prior period.

Whilst this spike in auction listings is significant; it is important to ground the stats by stating that currently on realestate.co.nz there are 1,378 properties on the market as auctions this compares to just over 48,500 properties for sale across NZ in total on the market – that amounts to less than 3% of all properties currently on the website.

Having made that statement; there is no doubt that there is a very clear correlation between the state of the market in terms of inventory of unsold properties and the proportion of new listings being marketed as auctions. When listings are in short supply, as we are seeing at this time we tend to see a rise in the proportion of properties being marketed as auctions. The last time this happened was in 2009 as seen in the chart below:

The message is clear – the level of new listings coming onto the market over the past 3 to 4 months continues to be lean, this is matched to a steady but significant rise in property sales. Such a situation when combined with falling stock of property for sale places the “power” in the hands of sellers. In these circumstances the real estate agent acting on behalf of the seller is clearly recommending taking the property to auction to encourage those motivated buyers to battle it out in the auction rooms and front lawns to grab their chosen home.

For prospective sellers looking to put their property on the market in the coming couple of months, now would seem to be as good a time as any to get ahead of the game and list that property.

5

Shortage of listings is key to the state of the property market

The monthly sales report from the Real Estate Institute (REINZ) states clearly that “Listings tight in June housing market” – this assessment comes from “strong indications from agents in many regions that the supply of properties is really tightening“.

This perception is reality; the data in the monthly NZ Property Report underpins this with the numbers to show the decline in new listings as detailed in the chart below.

Listing numbers have been falling steadily for over a year, and matched to a slowly rising rate of sales, is beginning to show in the declining stock of homes on the market. This could potentially lead to a demand heavy market which could see price pressure in the medium term.

To better highlight the listings to sales ratios; I have developed these charts to show the picture nationally and regionally. I have assessed the property market based on the first 6 months of 2011 vs the first 6 months of 2010. Nationally this year is showing sales down 1% – however if you remove the Canterbury region the national picture shows a 4% growth in sales. Matched to this is a 14% decline in new listings (17% decline if you include Canterbury).

The chart ably demonstrates why Auckland is most definitely feeling the effect of a tighter property market – sales up 10% and listings down 13%. Wellington sales are sluggish but again listings are down 12% whilst Canterbury is experiencing the unique aspects of the earthquake of February.

Looking around the country the regions that are showing growth in sales year-on-year are grouped in the chart below. Eight of the 19 regions show year-on-year growth in sales – the West Coast of the south island topping out with a sales rise of 14%. All regions though show declines in listings.

The remaining 11 regions of the country presented in the chart below are witnessing year-on-year sales declines, some double digit declines. Equally they all (with the exception of Nelson) are seeing declining listings, largely in line or greater than the decline in sales.

1

Energy efficiency – something worth celebrating

Posted on: July 20th, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Green, Online marketing, Website searching

You cannot have ignored the extensive TV campaign for “The Energy Spot” by EECA Energywise. This government agency has shared with us some of the myriad of ways in which we as a country can do a little bit to make ourselves more energy efficient. To all save a little, so we can all save a lot.

When it comes to your home the benefits of energy efficiency run deeper than cost savings. It can go as deep as your health and well-being. It is well know and often reported that the housing stock of NZ could be improved – making our homes more comfortable, warmer in winter, cooler in summer and healthier, while using less energy and water.

This focus on the overall performance of your home is the principle behind a parallel initiative: Homestar which is a Joint Venture partnership between BRANZ and the New Zealand Green Building Council. Through an assessment process homeowners can better appreciate the differences that can be made to the performance of their home. Armed with such information appropriate decisions can be made as to improve the living environment of your home.

The Homestar initiative was launched at the end of last year and involves a free online self assessment as well as a far more comprehensive and professional certified onsite assessment. As a result of the latter certified assessment; properties can be rated on a 10 point scale – the first of these properties having been assessed, are now on the market with the assessment rating providing a real point of difference in the marketing of the property.

At Realestate.co.nz we are totally committed to this initiative on behalf of the industry and also as a service we can provide to buyers, sellers and agents by profiling these properties on our website differentiated by this certified assessment. Have a look at these recent listings of properties rated by assessors.

It is important to point out that whilst the rating scale is 1 to 10 the vast majority of NZ properties are rated 2 or below, rating a 4 is a reflection of a reasonable amount of attention to efficiency. Rating a 10 is all but impossible without being able to generate your own power and recycle your water. A new house built to the current Building Act would likely score a 4.

As stated we want to support the Homestar rating process and we are putting our money right on the line. We have made a commitment to the real estate industry to say for every property listed on our site between now and the year end with a certified Homestar assessment we will provide the vendors of that property through the listing agent a marketing package worth $359 – comprising a feature listing and 2 weeks of showcase listing.

Just to be clear this is not for an online self assessment- it does require a certified assessor to visit the home to undertake the assessment. The costs for this assessment are not fixed, but indications are that it would cost around $500. So we are prepared to give back to vendors who want to demonstrate the performance of their property a large portion of their costs in the form of premium advertising their property on realestate.co.nz – a powerful means to promote their property online.

 

 

0

100+ property questions in an hour!

Posted on: July 15th, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Technology

Yesterday the challenge was offered to me by the NZ Herald – to participate in a live chat on the wide ranging subject of property.

Sixty three minutes later I had managed to answer 28 of the 114 questions that were posed by the online contributors. I hope the answers I gave were helpful, relevant and legible (I once got a spelling shield at school when I was 6, since then I have have long relied on spell-checker).

If you are interested you are most welcome to review the questions that I answered as the NZ Herald are still hosting the content of the live chat using a great software tool Cover It Live.

The experience was rewarding, but at times daunting, I was sat in front of a laptop with a steady stream of questions being posted. The challenge was which one to answer and how to provide answers that are not too long to type, yet provide some meaningful answer. I like the technology and can see the appeal. We might do one on this site or on Realestate.co.nz in the future.

As I stated I only got to answer 28 of the questions that were asked – barely a quarter of those posted. I may well take a few and answer those in a future post. In the meantime I thought I would  share a small survey I have done on the topics of the questions posed, so here are the top 10 questions by topic:

1. Investment – 20 questions were asked about investment property – yield, market etc

2. Timing – is this right to buy, right time to sell

3. Apartments – this was surprising just how many people were asking about buying apartments

4. Mortgage rates – likely future trend, plus a number asking is fixed or floating best

5. General health of the property market – is it going to be good for future purchase

6. New builds – is there a shortage of new builds and what impact this may have on the supply side of the market

7. Capital Gains Tax – given the timing I thought this would be the most active topic

8. Overseas market comparisons – clearly there is a sense of concern that NZ will shadow the US and UK property markets

9. Will prices rise? – expected question but not as much as I would have thought

10. First time home buyers – looking for advice including questions on investment property rather than buying to live in

The overwhelming majority of questions seem to come from Auckland with a lot wanting to know which suburb was best to buy in! I was also pleased to get questions from the Hutt Valley and the Waikato.

 

2

Have Auckland property prices reached a new peak?

Posted on: July 12th, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home

The latest data released by QV show that property values in the Auckland central area have surpassed the peak of 2007. The NZ Herald features this as a front page headline “City house values hit new heights“.

Does this mean that property prices are now on a resurgent rise and we are heading into another property bubble?

The answer to that question is not something I am going to answer directly. I hold the view that rather than speculate it is better to inform. The key piece of information I think is important to share is comprehension of statistics.

The NZ Herald are absolutely correct in their headline – property values have hit new heights. The data of property values is what QV specialise in. They are a state owned enterprise that carry out assessments for local authorities into the value of property for rating assessment. They are currently employed to assist the new Auckland Council to provide a new rating assessment of all properties in the region. This will be complete in September.

QV asses the value of a property based on recent sales in the vicinity of a property. That sales data comes from the register of title changes which come from LINZ. Sales are registered at LINZ by conveyancing solicitors after settlement of sale. It is quite likely that this process can reflect sales that were “transacted” some 4 to 6 months earlier. QV use a proprietary algorithm to compute valuations, they do not undertake physical inspections on properties.

The current national picture of property values provided by QV show property values 5.2% below the peak.

In the case of the wider Auckland region the data show property values are still around 2% below the peak of 2007.

These reports by QV on property values certainly provide an excellent guide to the trends in the market. QV in their summary do state that “QV’s Residential Price Index is calculated using sales data from the three months leading up to month being reported. It is not the same as the average sales price, which fluctuates in line with the mix of properties selling in upper and lower price brackets.”

QV are correct in their comment regarding fluctuations due to sales mix; that is why the REINZ Stratified Price Index was created in conjunction with the Reserve Bank. This price index uses the most recent sales price data collated from unconditional sales reported by licensed real estate agents from across the country in the recent month (in this case May).

The Stratified price index uses statistical modeling of proven and respected form as supported by the Reserve Bank to ensure that the fluctuations in line with the mix of properties selling in the upper and lower price brackets are removed to provide a truer picture of property selling prices.

The respective charts for the Stratified price index shows a similar trend as QV. The current stratified price nationally is 5.8% below the peak.

Viewing the stratified price across the Auckland region though shows a very different view to QV.

Whilst the stratified price edged upward over the first months of 2011 towards that 2007 peak, the May figure brought it down to 4.3% below the peak. The stratified price is based on actual unconditional sales in May, whereas QV is based on registered sales post settlement from April / May / June which potentially cover unconditional sales from Feb through to May. This may explain and assist in seeing that the future trend of property prices (particularly in Auckland) may not be about to rocket away.

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