The April 2011 NZ Property Report published by Realestate.co.nz provides an insight into the state of the New Zealand property market as measured by the supply side of the property market over the month of April. The key measures of the market analysed in the report are the number of new listings, the asking price expectation for those new listings and the level of inventory of unsold houses on the market at this time. The report is compiled from data captured by the website and represents close to 95% of all property movements in the NZ market as managed by licensed real estate agents.
A full print version of the NZ Property Report – April 2011 is published below and is available for download (1.3MB) and distribution.
Summary of the market – April 2011
The NZ Property market certainly is showing signs of renewed activity, far from the levels of the mid 2000’s the current activity is measured and very much centered on the Auckland region. Whilst in overall terms the level of inventory weighs heavy on all regions the levels of sales reported in March show that buyers are certainly back in the market and beginning to clear some of this high inventory.
By the nature of the way inventory is reported (actual stock divided by 3 month average sales) the very low levels of sales in January and February is in some way holding back the reporting of this trend of greater activity. It is likely that with the reporting of the April sales that the next inventory report for May will show a significant fall in inventory levels of unsold houses.
The market amongst sellers is certainly not showing any impact of inventory levels, as a function of such seller confidence the national truncated mean asking price has risen in April to a new record high of recorded stats going back to the start of 2007.
As a further lead indicator to the market, the levels of new listings continue to track well below prior year. In fact we have seen 10 consecutive months of falls in listings numbers year-on-year.
The truncated mean asking price for all new listings in April rose to establish a new peak at $429,249 up from $421,940 in March. On a seasonally adjusted basis the asking price rose 2% in the month indicating a continued confidence amongst sellers.
The trend of the past 2 years shows continued strength in asking price expectation.
The level of new listings coming onto the market in April fell to 10,181 in April. This represented a 17% year on year decline and an 8% seasonally adjusted decline from March.
On a 12 month moving basis the number of new listings in the past year totals 129,678 as compared 142,635 for the same period a year ago – a fall of 9%.
The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of April continued to fall from prior months. April reported 50,398 down from 51,980 in March and 52,672 in February.
This steady decline in the physical number of new listings is not being reflected in the representation of inventory as measured in rate of sales as the recent 3 month period (Jan – March 2011) contained two of the lowest sales months recorded.
Regional Summary – Asking price expectations
The national asking price rising to a new peak at $429,249 was mirrored across the country as can be seen from the chart with a significant growth in all but 2 regions. The highest rising region was Otago which with a 12.5% increase to $298,817 has itself hit a new peak of asking price.
The Auckland market at $555,572 whilst not quite hitting the peak, continues to track at all time highs close to the peak set in December 2010 at $564,853. The April asking price was up 5% on April last year and showed a 1% seasonally adjusted rise from March.
Those regions that showed falls, Bay of Plenty with a 3% fall and the Central North Island with a 7% fall, both had seen strong asking prices through the latter part of 2010 and into early 2011.
Regional Summary – Listings
The picture for new listings across the country continues to show that there is weakness in bringing new properties to the market. There were 13 of the 19 regions that reported new listing down on prior year with 6 reporting falls of over 20%; both Coromandel and Southland over 40%. The former region has been suffering under a significant weight of inventory of unsold houses for many months.
In the main metro areas listings are low with the impact of the earthquake restricting new listings in Canterbury (down 32%), Wellington was weak with just 741 new listings, down 29% and Auckland down 17% with 3,325 new listings.
Two regions did see very strong growth in listings; of particular note was the Queenstown Lakes area which saw a raft of new listings including a large collection of apartments.
Regional Summary – Inventory
The regional map of inventory of unsold houses shows a very consistent picture of high inventory in all but the one region that of Auckland. This scale of inventory at levels well above long term average is very much a function of very low sales at the start of the year which despite the actual fall in properties on the market is making the evaluation of the market point to very high inventory based on rate of sale.
The Auckland market is very much on the boundary of moving from a buyer’s market to one favouring sellers. The Auckland market has seen a reduction of properties on the market from around 14,100 just before Christmas to currently 12,376.
Around the rest of the country the inventory levels reached new peaks in the Hawkes Bay, Manawatu/Wanganui, Northland, Otago and Southland.
The level of new listings of lifestyle property coming onto the market in April fell just 1% on a seasonally adjusted basis from March. A total of 1,032 new properties were listed with a truncated mean asking price of $571,611. The asking price was up 5% as compared to the recent 3 month average, but up just 1% as compared to prior year.
On a rolling 12 month average basis new listings are down 4.5% with 11,764 listed in the past 12 months compared to 12,314 last year.
Listings of apartments showed a 9% rise on a seasonally adjusted basis as compared to March with 452 new apartments coming onto the market. The truncated mean asking price for these new listings was $399,927 which was up 8.5% on the recent 3 month average, but down 4.1% as compared to April 2010.
In the Auckland apartment market which represents over 60% of the market there were 285 new listings with an asking price of $350,306. The new listings shows a rise of 24% on a seasonally adjusted basis, although when judged on a year-on-year basis they are down 22%.
Property Price Index
Comparing the sale price of properties across the country to the asking price expectation is not a perfect comparison; however the trends tend to align. The benefit is that the data for asking price is of the market today, whilst the selling price is reflective of the market active between 4 and 6 weeks ago. The latest comparison is highlighted below:
Realestate.co.nz data is compiled from asking prices of new residential listings as they come onto the market via subscribers to the realestate.co.nz website. The Realestate.co.nz website currently has over 95% of all licensed real estate offices subscribing and providing all of their listings onto the website. The asking price is presented as a truncated mean price at a 10% interval.
REINZ: data is compiled from reported unconditional residential sales from all members of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand representing all licensed real estate offices. The sale price is published as a stratified median house price and is developed in association with the Reserve Bank of NZ.
The monthly asking price for new listings presented in this report utilises the measure of ‘truncated mean’. This measure is judged to be a more accurate measure of the market price than average price as it statistically removes the extremes that exist within any property market that can so easily introduce a skew to traditional average price figures.
The truncated mean used in this report removes the upper 10% and the lower 10% of listings in each data set. An average or mean of the balance of listings is then calculated.
With the largest database of properties for sale in NZ, realestate.co.nz is uniquely placed to immediately identify any changes in the marketplace. The realestate.co.nz NZ Property Report is compiled from new listings coming onto the market from the more than 1,020 licensed real estate offices across NZ, representing more than 95% of all offices.
With an average monthly level of over 10,000 new listings, the realestate.co.nz NZ Property Report provides the largest monthly sample report on the residential property market, as well as a more timely view of the property market than any other property report. The data is collated and analysed at the close of each month, and the Report is compiled for the 1st day of the following month. This provides a feedback mechanism as to the immediate state of the market, well in advance of sales statistics which by the very nature of the selling process can reflect activity with a lag of between 2 and 4 months.
In analysing the details of the 10,181 new listings in the month of April a total of 127 listings have been excluded due to anomalies. The categorisation of Lifestyle property is defined by the land area of the property. The criterion is a property having in excess of 0.3 hectares and being situated outside metropolitan areas.
Background to Realestate.co.nz
Realestate.co.nz is the official website company of the real estate industry of New Zealand, it is an industry owned web business providing online marketing services to the real estate industry. The shareholders in the business comprise the REINZ (50%) and six of the largest real estate companies (50%).
The business operates a portfolio of websites all focused to specialist sectors of the real estate market:
Realestate.co.nz is the heart of the business and is focused to the residential property market. It features the most comprehensive selection of property for sale and rent across NZ. The website attracts a significant monthly audience of over 400,000 unique browsers, with over 110,000 of those visiting from countries outside of NZ.
nzFarms is a specialist website presenting the most comprehensive selection of farms and agricultural businesses on the market across NZ. At this time it features around 5,000 listings for all types of farms and agricultural land as well as over 11,000 lifestyle properties.
Prime Commercial is a specialist website presenting the most comprehensive selection of commercial property for purchase or lease on the market across NZ. At this time it features over 27,000 listings for all types of properties – retail, commercial, industrial and investment properties.
Prime Business is a specialist website presenting the most comprehensive selection of businesses for sale on the market across NZ. At this time it features over 4,300 listings for all types of businesses – retail, tourism, wholesale as well as franchise opportunities.
Zoodle is a specialist property information website providing very detailed data on all residential properties in NZ. The database comprises over 1.6m properties with detailed specifications, map and local amenities. The site provides online reports for free and for purchase covering valuation and legal information to greatly assist the needs of property buyers and sellers.
The web business of Realestate.co.nz site is the most comprehensive real estate web operation in NZ, currently hosting over 120,000 listings, covering this portfolio of residential property for sale and rent, commercial property for sale and lease, rural properties and farms, as well as businesses for sale. With a subscriber base of over 1,020 offices, the company represents over 95% of all listings from licensed real estate agents in NZ.
The full NZ Property Report for April 2011 can be downloaded here (1.3MB pdf document). Additionally the raw data is accessible here as an Excel spreadsheet enabling anyone to analyse the raw data and establish any trends or observations.
Usage rights are governed under attribution to the source of the data being Realestate.co.nz. The next NZ Property Report for May 2011 will be published on this website on Wednesday 1st June 2011 at 10am.