The December 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 December. 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 – December 2011 is published below and is available for download (1.5MB) and distribution.
Summary of the market – December 2011
The property market saw a further tightening of supply in December, more especially in the 3 major cities where the market remains very firmly as a sellers market. In overall terms the number of new listings coming onto the market in December was considerably lower than expected given the surge in November. This lower level means that inventory levels of property on the market slipped again to remain below the long term average. In December with 47,557 properties on the market the current rate of sale would see these all sell in just over 36 weeks as against the long term average of 41 weeks. This national level has remained below the average for 6 months in a row and with strong sales in November and early December it is anticipated that this will continue into the new year.
The country overall is still balanced between a buyers and a sellers market with the provincial areas seeing less tightness in new listings and available inventory of property on the market.
The truncated mean asking price of $420,109 for all new listings in December eased slightly again from the peak in October of $434,161. On a seasonally adjusted basis the asking price actually rose 0.4%.
The long term trend as seen in the chart has been a steady increase in asking price over the past 3 years – the seasonal trend each year tends to see asking prices rise through from mid winter to October before falling back.
For the calendar year of 2011 a total of 124,748 new listings came onto the market as compared to 138,789 for calendar year 2010 – a fall of 10%. By comparison the prior years stats were 2007: 177,529; 2008: 163,488; 2009: 135,416. So as compared to the peak of the market on 2007 listings are down 30%.
The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of December slipped lower in somewhat of an unexpected trend. At the end of the month there were 47,557 houses, apartments and lifestyle properties on the market down from the 48,647 in November and down significantly from 53,077 a year ago. This current level of inventory represents 36.7 weeks of equivalent sales.
Regional Summary – Asking price expectations
The national truncated mean asking price expectation among sellers eased again in November to $420,109. This price trend has been seen for each of the past 4 years as rising asking prices begin to ease as the summer approaches.
Across the 19 regions the view is mixed with 10 regions showing an increase in asking prices as measured against the recent 3 month average. There were 4 regions showing significant rises n asking prices of over 5% – Central North Island, Nelson, Central Otago / Queenstown Lakes and West Coast.
Amongst the 9 regions showing a fall in asking price there were 6 regions where the falls were modest (between 1% and 5%) – Coromandel, Hawkes Bay, Wellington, Canterbury, Otago and Southland. The largest fall in asking price in the month was in the Wairarapa which saw asking price fall by 11% vs. December last year.
Regional Summary – Listings
New listings fell across most of the country in December with just 6 of the 19 regions seeing any increase on a year-on-year basis. The biggest falls was seen in the Wairarapa and the Coromandel which was down 26% with just 204 new listings, this follows a 29% year-on-year decline in November.
Contrasting these regions were the Central North Island reporting 35% increase, The other regions reporting increases all were below 20% increase indicating the low levels of new listings coming onto the market over recent months as compared to prior years.
The remainder of the country seems to reflect a balance with 3 regions reporting barely changed levels of new listings which would indicate a balance between buyers and sellers.
Regional Summary – Inventory
The inventory of unsold homes on the market eased slightly this month following a fall first seen last month. The expectations from October was to have seen some rise over the summer but with keen buying activity to the rise in new listings in November did not result in building inventory – quite the reverse.
Across the country there were a total of 9 regions where the advantage is to sellers. Of these the 7 regions of Auckland, Manawatu/Wanganui, Canterbury, West Coast, Central North Island and the Waikato remain very much in strong sellers markets.
There are however still 5 regions (Central Otago / Queenstown Lakes, Wairarapa, Southland, Taranaki and Gisborne) were the market is certainly favouring buyers with high levels of inventory set against long term average.
The market is now firmly in the peak summer season and with the more balanced market in terms of inventory of unsold properties on the market the options seem more open for both active buyers and sellers.
Lifestyle property listings fell back in December with 845 listings in the month, this represented a 1.5% seasonally adjusted fall and was down 9% on the same month last year. The truncated mean asking price at $550,245 was up 2% from last year but down 8% down on the recent 3 month average.
Across the country strength in new listings was seen in Otago (33, up 120% Yr. on Yr.) and the West Coast (25, up 108% Yr. on Yr.). Whilst the Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne all saw year on year falls of over 30%.
New listings for apartments fell to their lowest level in the past 4 years in December with just 346 apartments coming onto the market, this reflected a 35% from November and a 23% fall on last year. The truncated mean asking price of $396,501 was up 7% from prior month, but down 14% as compared to last year.
The Auckland market which dominates the apartment market saw a record low level of new apartment listings with just 196 new listings in December which was down 44% on prior month and down 27% down on last year. The asking price was $360,522 which was down 25% on last year but 2% up from November.
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 1,000 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 8,732 new listings in the month of November, a total of 84 listings have been excluded due to anomalies. The land area of the property defines the categorisation of Lifestyle 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 110,000 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 1,000 offices, the company represents over 95% of all listings from licensed real estate agents in NZ.
The full NZ Property Report for December 2011 can be downloaded here (1.5MB 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 January 2012 will be published on this website on Wednesday 1st February 2012 at 10am.