The August 2010 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 August. 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.
The August 2010 report shows a market heavily impacted by low sales volumes. The lack of sales would seem to be impacting the number of new listings which are coming onto the market which are down by more than 10% on a seasonally adjusted basis. This tightening of supply is not sufficient to lessen the burden of inventory already on the market which barely moved in the month. Set against this is the fact that asking price expectation of sellers remains steady following a significant fall last month.
A full print version of the NZ Property Report – August 2010 is published below and is available for download (1.3MB) and distribution.
Summary of the market – August 2010
The month of August tends to show the first signs of the spring pick-up in activity in the property market, although the most significant impact is really felt from September onwards. The month of August this year showed little signs of such a pick-up, with new listings below 10,000 and down nearly 11% on a seasonally adjusted basis.
This decline in listings would ordinarily signal a tightening of the market at this time of year, were it not for the existing high levels of inventory already on the market and the flow-on impact of slow sales. The reported sales for July from REINZ were 4,411 which was the lowest July on record, down 27% from July 2009. These slow sales are resulting in inventory levels of unsold houses remaining above 46 weeks as compared to the long term average of 38 weeks, reinforcing the view that the market still favours buyers over sellers.
Behind the headline national figures lies a continuing sense of a two speed property market. The major metro areas are certainly stronger than provincial NZ.
- Auckland has inventory levels closer to long term average (36 weeks vs. 33 weeks), new listing numbers were trending lower than the national average and the asking price has been edging up for the past couple of months.
- Wellington equally is now at a level of inventory only slightly above long term average, new listings are down and asking price is steady.
- Canterbury at 32 weeks of inventory of unsold houses is sitting right on the long term average, it has steady asking price and new listings volumes down 10% compared to prior year.
Asking price expectations picked up slightly in August having fallen significantly in July. The truncated mean asking price for August was $403,423, down just 0.6% on the prior 3 month average and up 1.6% on August last year. This would indicate stability in price expectation amongst sellers.
The current asking price still lags 6% behind the peak of the market – some 34 months ago now in October 2007.
The volume of new listings coming onto the market fell again in August with under 10,000 for the first time since June last year. As the chart shows this is the 5th consecutive month of decline.
Over the 12 months to August 2010 a total of 144,893 new listings came onto the market. This compared with 134,165 in the prior period – an increase of 8.0%, on the same comparison property sales have not kept pace rising only 2.8%.
The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of July totaled 50,138 down 4.3% from July. This represented the equivalent of 46.1 weeks, as assessed on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The inventory level did not fall as markedly due to slower property sales.
Regional Summary – Asking Price Expectations
Nationally the asking price expectation of the new listings in August showed very little change following the significant fall in July. Measured on a month-on-month basis or versus a 3 month average the variance is small. This would indicate that sellers sense that no further adjustment is required to ‘meet-the-market’ and thereby the expectation of buyers.
Across the country the trends are mixed with just 5 of the 19 regions showing rises in asking price expectations – all of which are below 5%. On the declining side there were some significant shifts with Central North Island down 21.5% and Wairarapa down 15.6%, both of these two regions are now sitting at a low point in asking price stretching back to Jan 2007.
Regional Summary – Listings
The steady decline in new listings seen for 5 straight months is beginning to tell in the market with early signs of what could be a looming shortage, if sales were to take off.
Around the country the predominant trend is fewer listings on a year-on-year basis; 10 of the 19 regions showed falls with a further 4 showing stable listings volumes.
In four of the regions (Northland, Waikato, Coromandel and Wairarapa) the level of new listings in August were the lowest months on record stretching back to January 2007, indicating the state of the market in these provincial areas.
Regional Summary – Inventory
Despite the decline in new listings the inventory of unsold houses remains doggedly high. This is especially true of provincial areas more than metropolitan regions of the country.
Examining the 3 main centres shows that they are close too or actually in line with long term average levels of inventory thereby indicating that in these cities the market is well balanced.
Across the provincial areas of the country though the picture is very different as the swathe of green shows on the map indicating the higher levels of inventory as compared to long term averages.
The only provincial areas bucking this trend are Otago and Nelson. The latter particularly is conspicuous in now having an inventory below long term average and thereby indicating that the market is now edging more to a seller’s market; something not seen in this country for a couple of years.
Lifestyle property listings were subdued in August with 840 new properties coming onto the market, down 5.2% on August last year. Compared to the same period for the past 2 years lifestyle property listings could be seen as a fairly steady market.
In regard to asking price expectation the truncated mean for August was $556,440, this is up 3.8% on July and up 3.4% on the prior 3 months indicating strength in price expectation.
A total of 516 new apartment listings came onto the market in August. This represents a 7.7% decline month-on-month and a 13.3% year-on-year decline. Whilst not the lowest month, new listings in this sector continue to remain flat as they have done for the past 3 years.
The Auckland market saw 336 new apartments listed, down 3.7% month-on-month and 8.9% down year-on-year.
In terms of asking price expectation the truncated mean asking price in August was $358,030 which is identical to the prior month and down 2.6% compared to the prior 3 month period.
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 94% 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 1,160 licensed real estate offices across NZ, representing more than 94% 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 11,106 new listings in the month of July, a total of 165 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 350,000 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,o00 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 1.5m 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 1,140 offices, the company represents over 95% of all listings from licensed real estate agents in NZ.
The full NZ Property Report for August 2010 can be downloaded here (1.4MB 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 September 2010 will be published on this website on Friday 1st October 2010 at 10am.