Since the budget announcements in May as to the treatment of investment properties there has been extensive speculation as to the likely reaction of the investor segment of the property market.
The market both prior to May and subsequent to the announcement has shown virtually no movement (certainly no positive movement). The seasonally adjusted volumes for this year as represented in the chart (blue bars) track a very static level of around 4,500 per month well down on 2009 (green) and ominously close to 2008 (red).
This sales data from the Real Estate Institute unfortunately provides no insight into the type of property purchased. However a recently released survey can now provide some valuable insight.
The annual Nielsen Real Estate Market Report 2010 now in its fifth year for which Realestate.co.nz is the primary sponsor has in the latest release highlighted a major flight of investors from the market comparing 2010 with prior years.
The survey, which is undertaken through an online intercept questionnaire, measures many aspects of the property buying and selling process. When it came to asking about buying intentions of the 1,225 survey respondents, it showed that their intention to buy an investment property had slumped by 40% in a year. Last year 1 in 4 of all those surveyed said that their intention was to buy an investment property. Just 12 months later when this survey was undertaken in May/June of this year that intention had slumped to just 1 in 7 – just 15%; the lowest level seen in the past 4 years of this annual survey.
Matched to this very clear intention of investment buyers was the fact that those who owned investment property were now far more likely to hold rather than sell – this is likely to be a clear factor in the slowing of the property market. Holders of investment property in the survey showed a 42% decline in intention to sell.
Another aspect to the investor profile in the market is the likelihood that investors will target private sellers who they perceive as offering great deals in this “buyer’s market” – in the space of the last year there has been a 24% increase of intention by property investors to seek out private sellers as a source of property investment – 41% of investment buyers stated that they would prefer to buy privately.Note: The Nielsen Real Estate Market Report is based on a website-intercept survey on New Zealand real estate websites conducted during May and June 2010 with a sample size of 1,225 respondents and a margin of error of 2.86%.