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NZ Property Report – September 2010

Posted on: October 1st, 2010 | Filed in Featured, NZ Property Report

The New Zeland monthly Property Report from Realestate.co.nzThe September 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 September. 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 September 2010 report tracks a key month as the market heads into spring. Whilst the level of new listings is up, the extent of the rise does not reflect a buoyant enthusiasm by sellers. Equally whilst the volumes may not be massive the expectation of asking price is holding firm, up slightly on the prior month and short term average. The key determinant of the market though remains the levels of unsold houses which at 11 months is high.

Realestate_DownloadNowA full print version of the NZ Property Report – September 2010 is published below and is available for download (1.1MB) and distribution.

Summary of the market – September 2010

Cover page Oct reportThe much anticipated spring surge in new listings appears to have failed to eventuate with the number rising by just 1% on a seasonally adjusted basis from August. The September total of 10,559 new listings is down by 17% as compared to Sep 2009 (12,674) and down 12% as compared to Sep 2008 (11,966).

The Canterbury earthquake did impact the new listings for September. However it was not as significantly as might have been anticipated. The total of 1,211 new listings added in the month across the region was down 26% on the August total of 1,354; but making adjustments for seasonality and evaluating the rest of the country performance on new listings it would appear that the impact is of the order of 20% less listings across the Canterbury region than would have been expected; this would amounting to around 290 listings coming onto the market.

The continued pressure in the market remains the high level of inventory of unsold houses; this rose again in September to 47.5 weeks despite the significant lower absolute level of new listings. Inventory levels as measured in terms of equivalent weeks of sales are up 48% year-on-year and a long way adrift from the long term average of 39 weeks.

The asking price expectation across the country crept up slightly allowing for the seasonal rise which is evident at this time of year as properties are listed to meet the seasonal activity. This 1% rise on a seasonally adjusted basis would seem to signal a confidence amongst sellers, that buyers who have for so long been sitting on the sidelines will become more active.

Asking Price

Asking_price_chart_Sep_2010The asking price expectation of new listings increased again in September up to $411,745 from $403,423 in August. This represents a 2% fall as compared to September last year. Against recent 3 month period the price represented a 2% increase.

The current asking price still lags 4% behind the peak of the market – some 35 months ago now in October 2007.

New Listings

New_listings_chart_Sep_2010The volume of new listings rose between August and September as is expected at this time of year. However the levels failed to spark a recovery to levels seen in prior years at this time.

The trend reflects what has been a subdued year in listings with just 105,022 in the 9 months of the year. This is not significantly above the 2009 total for the same period of 97,660. By comparison over the first 9 months of 2008 126,275 new listings came onto the market.

Inventory

Inventory_chart_Sep_2010The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of September totaled 51,035 up 2% from August. This represented the equivalent of 47.5 weeks, as assessed on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The continued subdued level of sales is holding inventory at such high levels despite this slower level of new listings, thereby adding to pressure on the market.

Regional Summary – Asking price expectations

Asking_price_map_Sep_2010The national asking price expectation showed a 1.8% increase as compared to the recent 3 month average. However underlying this national picture is a wide variation of price movements.

There were more regions showing increases this month (13) than falls (6). The largest rise was in Otago which at $293,362 recorded an all time high in asking price surpassing the prior peak in October 2007. Other large rises were seen in Central North Island, Manawatu and Gisborne although these were far from peak prices.

On the declining side there were some large falls seen in the Coromandel, Hawkes Bay and largest of all at 14% decline in the Queenstown Lakes region. This latter region does see significant volatility with a peak in July 2007 of $668,973 and a low of $479,699 in February 2009. The current level of $536,592 is therefore more reflective of a midpoint.

Regional Summary – Listings

New_listings_map_Sep_2010The predominant colour of the regional map for September would indicate that the future prospects for the property market could lead to a seller’s market. The level of new listings is significantly below last year in all but one region – Southland.

This significant decline in new listings, with fully half of all regions showing greater than 20% year-on-year decline is however being balanced off with lower year-on-year sales and this is where the telling indicator of inventory levels shows a true picture of the market.

Allowing for the specific issues experienced in Canterbury the listings in the two other main metro areas saw less extreme falls in new listings coming onto the market.

Regional Summary – Inventory

Inventory_map_Sep_2010With a national level of 47.5 weeks the regional perspective of inventory of unsold homes remains well above long term average with just 2 regions (Gisborne and West Coast) dipping below long term average.

At the extreme, the Coromandel region would have to take the award. The current stock of property on the market totals 2,002 listings. Set against this stock is a sales volume in August of 18, following a July total of 19 property sales. These extraordinary sales levels mean that the current inventory represents 289 weeks of sales – or over five and a half years.

The Nelson region which has been seeing some shift to a seller’s market in prior months has fallen back as inventory has grown to 32 weeks up from the long term average of 28 weeks.

The main metro regions of Auckland and Wellington whilst not in extreme levels of inventory both show a reasonable level of inventory above the long term average.

Lifestyle Property

Lifestyle_chart_Sep_2010Lifestyle properties certainly picked up in September with 980 new listings. This was up from 840 in August, although as compared to last year the seasonal increase is not as significant. On a rolling 12 month basis lifestyle property listings are up 7.4% with 12,322 listed in the past 12 months.

The asking price expectation of these new listings was $527,170 which was on all comparative metrics was significantly lower. As against the recent 3 month period it was down 5.1%, against September 2009 down 12% and down 5% compared to August 2010.

Apartments

Apartment_chart_Sep_2010There was no appreciable seasonal lift in apartments coming onto the market in September. A total of 506 new apartment listings were added in the month. This was down 2% from the prior month and down 16% on the same month a year ago. The relative perspective for the Auckland market was 345 new listings, down just 1% year-on-year.

The asking price expectation was fairly firm with a truncated mean of $362,427 which is 0.4% up on the recent 3 month period, but down 13.4% on the same month last year. Auckland apartments equally showed recent stability off just 0.5% as against recent 3 months and down 12.6% as against September 2009.

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:

Index comparisonRealestate.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.

Notes:

Truncated mean

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.

Methodology

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 1,130 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 10,559 new listings in the month of July, a total of 177 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 1.5m 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 118,000 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 1,130 offices, the company represents over 95% of all listings from licensed real estate agents in NZ.

The full NZ Property Report for September 2010 can be downloaded here (1.1MB 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 October 2010 will be published on this website on Monday 1st November 2010 at 10am.

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Putting your house on the market this spring? – 5 key tips

Posted on: September 27th, 2010 | Filed in Agent Tips, Buying / Selling a home, Featured

For sale signOver the next 3 months we are likely to see over 35,000 new property listings hit the market. Over the same period the likely number of sales will be around 15,000. That would assume that there is roughly a 50/50 chance of selling your house this spring, that would be right if it were not for the fact that today there is over 56,000 properties on the market. Now you can see the challenge – how to ensure that your house gets bought and becomes one of those sales stats and allows you to move on – as opposed to being part of the high inventory of unsold homes.

Success in real estate in today’s world relied far more on the web. Research from just a couple of months ago reaffirmed this fact.

We decided that we should provide some useful advice around helping sellers get the most out of online marketing and took the opportunity to quiz a leading global expert. Simon Baker was CEO of Realestate.com.au for most of the last 10 years and in that time built it into the leading Australian real estate website. In this video interview I ask him to share his thoughts  as to the best way to market your home.

Simon sums up the tasks in 5 easy tips:

  1. Check out your prospective agent online – do they understand online marketing? – how do they present themselves and their clients listings online? – how effective and efficient are they at responding to enquiries online?
  2. Make sure your listings are featured on a wide range of websites – every website should be available to all agents
  3. Make sure the online presentation is high quality with comprehensive information
  4. Standout from the crowd – take advantage to give yourself and your property an advantage – use premium listing adverts, they are incredibly cost effective
  5. Keep a close with your agent to web performance – viewing, enquiries, responses

Good luck with selling your home this spring – but don’t leave it to luck – give yourself the upper hand!

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Financial pressures still evident as mortgagee listings rise

Posted on: September 25th, 2010 | Filed in Featured, Money Matters

Financial pressureThe latest data of mortgagee sales released last week by Terralink International showed a significant slow down after what has been almost 30 months of unbroken increases month-on-month.

In June a total of 202 transactions were registered as being made by the mortgagor seeking to recover the loan from the mortgagee who had become delinquent on the repayments. (There is no specific details as to the make up of these 202 transactions, ie. how many were of investment properties / developments as opposed to family homes). This total was down from the 289 reported in June 2009 and 24% down on a seasonally adjusted basis from the prior month. The monthly sales chart is shown below:

Mortgagee sales to June 2010

This clear sign of decline may however be a brief rest-bite. The tracking of mortgagee listings which are featured on realestate.co.nz have for a considerable period of time been in decline, however the trend over the past 4 months has shown a U-turn with a steady increase in the number of properties coming onto the market being marketed as mortgagee sales. The total had fallen to just 250 in late May and has risen slowly over the past months to now total 321 as at today.

The chart below tracks the inventory of properties being marketed as mortgagee sales for the past 3 years. It specifically highlights the peak of mortgagee property listings in mid 2008 and subsequent decline and then in the exploded view the rise of recent months.

Mortgagee listings Sep 2010

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Real estate marketing – practical online advice

Posted on: September 20th, 2010 | Filed in Agent Tips, Featured, Online marketing, social media, Website searching

iStock_000000504669XSmallThe recent “Future of Real Estate” conference held in Auckland provided us with the opportunity of sitting down with the keynote speakers and interviewing them to provide some global perspective to the opportunity emerging in online marketing.

Blogging

Joel Burslem is a highly regarded consultant with a background in online real estate marketing which has included stints at Inman News, Prudential as well as 1000 Watt Consulting where he currently works. In this interview I seek to better understand Joel’s perspective, advice and insight into blogging from the standpoint of a real estate agent.

Search Marketing

No successful business these days can ignore the importance of search marketing and search engine optimisation. For real estate this is ever more important as the future of lead generation for agents will likely come from online referrals and evaluations. To achieve standout requires a deep appreciation and understanding of search. For the conference we invited Charles Coxhead to speak on this key topic. Charles has an extensive experience in this area and in this interview I speak to Charles and get him to share some of the critical issues and advice around this subject.

Online Marketing

With such an excellent line up of speakers, we grabbed the opportunity to have a panel discussion with Joel Burslem, Charles Coxhead and Simon Baker. This free flowing discussion starts off looking at the dynamic shift in real estate advertising from print to online as witnessed around the world. It then goes on to talk about the priorities for real estate companies, offices and agents in their online presence and marketing, covering the tools of Facebook and Google Adwords, amongst other things.

We split the session into 2 videos covering the 20 minute discussion:

Part 2

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Property price trends warrant some deeper investigation

Posted on: September 17th, 2010 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured, Money Matters, REINZ Monthly data

REINZ monthly article headerThe latest data for August from the Real Estate Institute showed a continued sluggish market. Sales volumes are tracking at a very similar level to 2008. The month of August 2008 saw 4,220 property sales, whilst August 2010 saw 4,287. Taking the total for the current year to date (Jan – Aug), total sales this year are only 20 more properties than compared to 2008 (current year-to-date 38,542 compared to 2008 at 38,522). The summary of the monthly sales over the past 4 years is shown below with the 3 winter months of June, July and August highlighted in red.

REINZ_sales_vol_2007_to_2010

One of the consequences of a slower property sales is the fact that sales price statistics can be impacted and this might well be the case with the reported median price of property. In August the median price was reported as being $350,000 up from $349,000 in July. For clarification the median price is calculated by taking the mid point of the sequential range of the 4,287 sales – ie ranked from lowest sales price to highest the 2,143th property was sold for $350,000. The chart below shows the data for the median price by month over the past 4 years.

REINZ_median_prices_2007_to_2010

The chart tracks the rise in median price through early 2007 before plateauing and falling in 2008, before again rising again in 2009 with another recent plateau. Medians are a better measure than averages which can be very heavily influenced by extreme sales prices, but still do have inherent weaknesses from a statistics perspective.

A more accurate and nowadays preferred measure of property prices is the Stratified House price measure. This measure developed in conjunction with the Reserve Bank by the Real Estate Institute shows a somewhat different performance of sales price over the last 4 years a shown in the chart below.

NZ Stratified house prices to Aug 10This chart shows the property prices peaking in November of 2007 before falling by 11.4% over the next 14 months. Subsequently the property prices climbed back up during 2009 to within 3% of the peak, however the past 10 months has seen some erosion of price to where the current price in August is still over 5% down on the peak price of nearly 3 years ago.

A further explanation for the significant difference between the median price and the stratified price can be seen by looking at the relative sales volume within distinct price bands. The REINZ statistics measure sales below $400,000; between $400,000 and $600,000; between $600,000 and $1m and property over $1m.

Taking the total sales in the January to August period of 2010 (38,542 properties) compared to January – August 2008 (38,522 properties) and analysing the relative sales by price band is very revealing.

REINZ vol sales by price bands Aug 2010

In this specific period the median price of property has risen from $330,000 to $350,000 a 6.1% increase. The chart though shows very clearly that more higher priced properties are selling this year than two years ago which will effect the median price as it moves the mid point to a higher price point irrespective of the relative sale price of individual properties. The chart specifically shows sales of properties below $400,000 are down 5% – with 1,189 less properties selling in this price band in 2010 as compared to 2008, whereas the sales in higher price band properties are ahead of 2008.

This analysis I believe provides a clear understanding of why we appear to have median price increasing (up 6.1% vs Aug 2008) whilst the stratified price level is actually up only 3.5% (Aug 2010 vs. Aug 2008), therefore property prices in general are still fluctuating and have yet to find a forward momentum.

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Canterbury – how the earthquake is affecting the real estate industry

Posted on: September 13th, 2010 | Filed in Featured, Regional News

Balancing balls croppedA week has now passed since the devastating 7.1 scale quake rocked the Canterbury landscape and brought untold damage to the region and the picturesque city of Christchurch. The saving grace is the fact that there was no loss of life.

As life slowly and hopefully begins to return to some form of normality the question that has been asked is what impact will the earthquake have on the real estate market in the region? An article in the NZ Herald today states that around 150 house sales are in limbo as a direct result of the earthquake as they wait to be able to confirm finance and insurance.

Clearly an event on this scale and with the impact on the built environment will cause uncertainty in the minds of both buyers and sellers. That having been said with a population in the Canterbury region of 518,000 and 202,000 occupied dwellings (Census 2006) business and life will go on and that includes real estate. In July total sales in the region were 651 with 482 in Christchurch city itself. That amounts to close to 16 properties sold per day. Whilst the August sales result due to be published this week will be unaffected there will likely be some impact on September figures as well as subsequent months.

An early indication of the future state of the property market potentially can be gleaned from statistics of the Realestate.co.nz website providing as it does real-time data.

The level of visitor traffic to Canterbury properties took a significant and immediate hit immediately after the quake. This is only to be expected as more urgent matters were top-of-mind. The chart below tracks the daily visitor numbers viewing Canterbury properties for sale (this is the viewing of properties from both within the region as well as nationally and internationally).

CHC_web_traffic

As can be seen the prior 5 weeks saw an average of 3,000 to 4,000 visitors per day – the Saturday of the quake saw visitor numbers drop to below 2,000 with subsequent days climbing back up, closer to 3,000. Whilst still down by a third it is clear that the area is still attracting interest from buyers and sellers.

Another key metric measured by the website is the number of new listings and inventory of unsold properties on the market. The data in the last NZ Property Report and the Canterbury Monthly Property Pulse factsheet both highlighted that the property market in the region as viewed from August data showed a balanced market with an inventory level equivalent to 35 weeks of sales compared to the long term average of 31 weeks.

Since last Saturday, the 4th September, listings are still being added to the website, in Christchurch alone 188 new properties have been listed. Across the region the number of listings are down on a proportional basis, although not that significantly. Based on historical trends the total of new listings coming onto the market across the region look to be down by just 10%.

The media coverage of the events of the past 10 days have provided for us who do not live in the Garden City a sense of what is going on, however we cannot start to imagine what it must have been like to have been there on that fateful morning and for that reason we wish to pass on our good wishes to all the family and friends in this industry in the region. They like all real estate people are very much a part of the local community and I am sure they are doing their utmost to support their communities.

One of the great benefits of social media is hearing from people as they share their perspective and personal experiences. It was a couple of these blogs that caught me eye this weekend; reading the true story of what it has been like down there in the region. Have a read of the personal blog of Phil Hayes and the  Doctor in the House a blog by Steve Taylor.

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Social media is the future of business

Posted on: September 10th, 2010 | Filed in Featured, social media

Social media croppedThis was the somewhat contentious moot of the debate held by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce this week. The moot was at times professionally, and at times somewhat irreverently debated by the two teams of which I confess I was one of the team members (speaking in favour of the moot).

The outcome at the end of the session was found in favour of the opponents of the moot; a result which, whilst disappointing from the standpoint of being on the loosing team was on quiet reflection not surprising.

After all it is not factually correct to say that Social media is the future of business, business is about far more than just social media. It is about products and services, it is about investment and development, it is about customers and marketing. Sure social media is a key component of the future of business – given that, as was stated in the Cluetrain Manifesto “markets are conversations” and there is no doubt that social media is all about conversations.

In providing a summation of the debate I thought that rather than detail the arguments for and against the moot, I would look at the panelists and examine their profiles and their social media interaction or at least the applicability of social media to their business or industry.

Starting with the negative team, suitably titled the “Privateers”. Jeremy Elwood was the team captain and suitably described himself as a biting social commentator and possessor of a devastating delivery style that will leave you in stitches! Jeremy is a comedian, a profession I would judge wholly reliant upon reviews and recommendations, in this context social media with its ability to share “live” experiences and thereby create viral waves of support would be the best medium of business development for any comedian. Clearly living by the sword (and dying by the sword) would be the consequences of the twitterati’s review of content and performance – however this would be no difference to the classic word of mouth of a decade or so ago.

Supporting Jeremy on the Privateers was Hannah Samuel. She describes herself as a Reputation Champion, providing as she does professional speaking and coaching on the subject of reputation. How perfectly topical for the age of social media – an age where your brand is ever more in the hands of your customers who define and communicate your brand message – so far different from the heyday of Madison Avenue driven brand messaging of the 1960′s to the 1980′s. Her business is modeled on her reputation and how people share the experiences she creates through her speaking engagements. Social media amplifies that messaging – she engages with the audience, they evaluate and share their experience and in so doing she grows her business.

The final member of the Privateers team was Mark Blackham. Mark is a specialist in government relations and communications, clearly an area where consultation and collaboration are key. It maybe the case that a lot of these activities wish to be managed within carefully orchestrated siloed and filtered channels (and I make no judgment of this) – however for the long term benefit of democracy the openness and interactivity that fundamentally underpins social media can only be seen as positive and constructive.

As for our team – the Socialites advocating for the moot. Our captain was Paul Brislen who is head of corporate communication at Vodafone. His passionate use and advocacy for social media has really established a deep and passionate relationship between Vodafone and its customers. There are many instances of this – one most actively seen on the night of the event was the deployment by their promotional twitter ambassador Vodafone Treats who simply offered a $150 voucher to retweeters of his offer – simple, effective, spontaneous and engaging. To see the impact just look at the twitter stream for the search term #aklchamber on the night.

Nobody could say our team lacked passion, especially with our second team member – Giapo, or more correctly Gianpaolo Graziolil. Giapo is the living embodiment of social media. His business is a classic SME – a single store in the centre of Auckland selling ice cream – however when judged on the social radar of Aucklanders, New Zealander’s and internationally he is a veritable rock star. He currently has over 4,000 followers on Twitter and over 11,000 on Facebook! – not bad for a sole operator. He recognises that what he does is not sell ice creams. He hosts an event. Every time people come into his shop, the act of coming to his shop is a memorable experience, and his passionate customers and even aspiring customers share their experiences through social media. Giapo has to be seen for being a living embodiment of the power of social media and the core of how social media is and will be a core part of the future of business.

My thanks to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, to Murray Chapman for chairing the debate, to Rebecca Seymore-East who put the whole thing together and to Claire Del the marketing manager for having the courage and team to put this all together.

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NZ Property Report – August 2010

Posted on: September 1st, 2010 | Filed in Featured, NZ Property Report

blue pen and small houseThe 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.

Realestate_DownloadNowA 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

Report_cover_Aug_2010The 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

Asking price cht Aug 2010Asking 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.

New Listings

New listings cht August 2010The 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%.

Inventory

Inventory chart Aug 2010The 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

Asking price map Aug 2010Nationally 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

New listings map Aug 2010The 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

Inventory map Aug 2010Despite 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

Lifetsyle_listungs_chart_Aug_2010Lifestyle 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.

Apartments

Apartment_listings_chart_Aug_2010A 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:

Property_Price_Index_Aug_2010

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.

Notes:

Truncated mean

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.

Methodology

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.

5

The smartest agents recognise the power of technology – how we are helping

fore-logo-homeLater this week Realestate.co.nz will host its first ever conference focused on the role that technology in all its forms is having on the real estate industry. Titled the “Future of Real Estate” the conference to be held on Friday 3rd September at Waipuna conference centre in Auckland and will feature both domestic and international speakers as well as workshop sessions focused to the key business tools of the web – Facebook, blogs and Twitter.

The conference is very much influenced by the experiences I have encountered in attending the Inman Connect conferences in the states each year. Coupled with the style and richness of the Inman conference the NZ conference echos a quotation which I first heard at least 3 years ago and still to this day rings so true:

“Traditional agents will not be replaced by technology.. they will be replaced by agents with technology”

The quote comes from an Australian real estate conference and every time I use it; it reinforces to me the critical requirement of real estate professionals to recognise that technology is not the threat, but rather it is the means to take a giant step forward and surpass all those in the industry who believe technology is the threat. Over these past years I have been keen to get together an event in which we can help those in this industry who want to move ahead and who are keen to meet like minded individuals and listen and collaborate with the best in the business. This conference is the realisation of this ambition.

The event features some great contributors:

From the US we have invited Joel Burslem. Joel is a respected expert within the real estate industry. He is a blogger, real estate marketer and consultant. He founded the Future of Real Estate Marketing blog whilst working at Inman  News and now is a key part of the consultancy firm of 1000 Consulting. Joel will be providing an overview of the trends in digital marketing around the world with detail around the role of social media in this industry.

From closer to home we have Nicholas O’Flaherty who is MD of Bullet PR, a respected specialist media consultancy company whose clients value the skills and innovation Nicholas’ company brings to the implementation of social media. Bullet recently hosted the enormously popular Social Media Junction conference with outline plans for a further event later in the year. Nicholas will be picking up on Joel’s presentation and bringing the local perspective as well as the practical examples of the best in the marketplace today in NZ using all forms of social media.

Addressing the ever present question in relation to the web – that of search we are very pleased to have Charles Coxhead joining the conference. Charles has a long and distinguished career specialising in search. As an online search and marketing consultant he has worked with clients such as Air New Zealand, Expedia as well as Realestate.co.nz. He will bring some focus to the ever evolving search landscape that nowadays transends beyond just Google into real time search as well as hyper local search and in so doing will apply the test as to the relevance for the real estate industry.

Our final keynote speaker is Simon Baker. Simon is well known and highly regarded within the real estate industry primarily in Australia where for 7 years he lead the stellar growth of realestate.com.au into the substantial ASX listed company with revenues exceeding A$160m. Since leaving the REA group, Simon has persued a strategy as an investor and consultant, his focus in online classified businesses with international scale and within that area he has investments in a number of Asian real estate portals. He brings to the conference a reflection on the criticality of the real estate portals and the heart of the business which is exposure to real estate listings through online marketing. He will also provide some interesting insight into the comparison of development between Australasia, Europe, US and Asia when it comes to real estate online.

The event promises to be a fast paced, rich content experience which in addition to the keynote presentations will feature workshop sessions on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and online etiquette. The day culminates with a panel discussion on the topic of the future of real estate and its implications for all involved in the industry.

The event is for the real estate industry and anyone involved in the industry at whatever level or in whatever capacity is welcome to register. There is a limited number of spaces still available so if you are interested please register before the event as registrations need to be made online prior to the event.

2

NZ Property Market Pulse – August 2010

Posted on: August 26th, 2010 | Filed in Featured, Property Pulse - Regional Market Report

Property Pulse Realestate.co.nzThe Property Market Pulse report provides a set of factsheets for each of the 19 regions of the country consolidating the latest data from key sources in the real restate market. From the Real Estate Institute (REINZ) comes the latest sales numbers for June as well as the median sales price for key regions and the stratified sales price for key centers. From the Realestate.co.nz comprehensive database of listings comes the key measure of inventory of unsold properties on the market.

Property Sales

The number of property sales is a key measure of buyer activity. The Real Estate Institute release this data on a monthly basis from the sales made by all licensed agents in the prior month making this data the most timely and comprehensive. Actual monthly sales data is effected by seasonal factors, for this reason seasonally adjusted data is presented which clearly shows one month to the next if the sales are going up or down.

NZ_property_sales_July_2010

Commentary:

Sales in July fell by 2.9% from June on a seasonally adjusted basis. A total of 4,411 property sales were recorded by licensed real estate agents in the month of July. Back in July 2009 the total sales was 6,014. On a moving annual basis sales are up 2.8% with 63,701 sales in the past 12 months as compares to 61,952 in the prior 12 months.

Property Price

The selling price of properties measures that critical balance between what a buyer is prepared to pay and what a seller is prepared to accept. The Real Estate Institute data of prior month sales produces a median price. This raw number is then re-calculated through a model developed in partnership with the Reserve Bank of NZ to create a Stratified Price, which ensures that volume changes in key price segments do not skew the figures.

NZ_Stratified_house_price_July_2010

Commentary:

The stratified price fell in July to $359,525 from $363,925 in June. The June price is up just 1.8% as compared to July 2009. As highlighted in the chart above the sale price across the country has remained fairly stable over the past 9 month with some small ups and downs. The current price is still 3.1% below the peak price in the market back in November 2007.

Stock of Property

The number of properties on the month is provided from Realestate.co.nz data and measures the level of seller activity in the market. The data represents the total number of new listings coming onto the market each month and is compiled at the start of each month for the prior month and is published in the NZ Property Report. The measure of properties on the market is represented by the number of weeks of equivalent sales, and judged on a comparative basis with prior months more accurately reflects the state of the market.

NZ_Inventory_of_unsold_houses_July_2010

Commentary:

The level of inventory of properties on the market measured in equivalent weeks of sale picked up again in July. It now stands at 47 weeks as compared to 47 weeks in June and compares to 33 weeks in July last year. The long term average is around 38 weeks which would indicate that the market is still very much in favour of buyers rather than sellers.

These statistics are the aggregation of all the statistics from across the country. As is well know by those in the industry, real estate is a local business and in an attempt to provide greater insight into the local market the same set of key data – sales, selling price and inventory has been calculated for each of the 19 regions of the country. Check out the factsheet for your local region to see what is happening in your neck of the woods.

North Island

Northland

Auckland

Coromandel

Waikato

Central North Island

Bay of Plenty

Gisborne

Hawkes Bay

Taranaki

Manawatu / Wanganui

Wairarapa

Wellington

South Island

Nelson

Marlborough

Canterbury

West Coast

Otago

Queenstown Lakes

Southland

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