The April 2012 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 96% 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 2012 is published below and is available for download (1.2MB) and distribution.
Summary of the market – April 2012
April did not witness a flood of listings as might have been expected given the signals which have been flashing for some months now in the media that the property market is alert and very much alive; more so in the main centers of the country. Instead levels of listings were nearly identical to April last year.
This however, did not have the expected downward pressure on inventory of unsold houses on the market; this was due to the fact that whilst property sales are strong the latest month’s data for March did not show a seasonally adjusted increase.
This indicates that the market would appear not to be diving headlong into a property bubble, but rather is seeing steady turnover and pragmatic buying and selling in the main.
This behavoural change is supported by the asking price trend which in both seasonally adjusted and normal data eased slightly from recent consecutive new highs. This would support the view that the market is balancing buyers demand with sellers expectation well. Clearly there are pockets of the market where there is not quite this degree of balance, Auckland for example continues to feel the impact of listings in short supply with a new record high asking price, the 3rd in the past 8 months.
The next 3 months are traditionally a quieter time for the market with lower listings ahead of the spring pick up in August, if property sales continue strongly it is likely that asking prices may well creep up further as demand flows through to vendor expectations.
The seasonally adjusted truncated mean asking price for listings in April eased slightly to $423,832 from the high in March of $429,865. This easing in the month was not universally representative of all regions with Auckland again pushing a new higher peak of asking price.
The trend as seen in the chart covering the last 3 years very clearly shows a continuing growth in asking price over the recent 12 months as compared to 2010/2011.
The level of new listings coming onto the market in April fell with a total of 10,174. This represents a seasonally adjusted 10% fall from March and is nearly identical to April last year.
On a 12 month moving average basis a total of 128,065 new listings have come onto the market since May 2011 as compared to 129,678 in the prior 12 month period, a fall of just 1.2%. This compares to sales which are up 18% on the same 12 month comparable basis
The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of April (46,948) was up as compared to March (46,462) as measured on a seasonally adjusted basis. This total includes houses, apartments and lifestyle properties on the market. With the rising rate of property sales the inventory on the market has seen a significant drop off over the past 6 months pushing it well below the long term average of 41 weeks of equivalent sales.
Regional Summary – Asking price expectations
The national (seasonally adjusted) truncated mean asking price expectation among sellers eased slightly in April to $423,832.
Around the country the dominant trend was an easing of asking prices with 11 of the 19 regions reporting falls, ranging from just 0.2% in Gisborne to a massive 12.8% in Wiararapa. There were 5 regions where the asking price showed a fall of greater than 5% – Waikato, Nelson, Southland, Marlborough as well as Wairarapa.
In contrast there were some strong growth in asking price with Hawkes Bay and West Coast reporting prices up 14.1% and 5.1% respectively.
Two regions – Auckland and Hawkes Bay reported new record levels of asking prices, in the case of the Hawkes Bay the prior high was last seen way back in 2007 whereas Auckland’s prior high was only 2 months ago.
Regional Summary – Listings
Listings volumes coming onto the market in April matched last April with 10 of the 19 regions seeing less than the same volumes in April last year. Significantly lower volumes were seen in Gisborne (-63%) and Central Otago / Queenstown (-48%), with Coromandel, Central North Island and Nelson all seeing volumes of greater than 20% below last April.
In contrast new listings flowed onto the market across Marlborough, Northland, Hawkes Bay, West Coast and Taranaki with volumes of new listings in all of these regions over 25% up on prior year.
The overall picture from this regional view of listings certainly backs up the position of the market rebalancing in terms of listings.
Regional Summary – Inventory
The inventory of unsold homes on the market eased slightly in April having reached a 4 year low in March.
Across the country the regions showed some rebalancing with the overall trend to a sellers’ market dominating the majority of regions.
There are still 6 regions highlighted in dark blue on the adjacent chart where the market is firmly in the sellers’ domain, this is one less than last month with Marlborough easing the pressure with a stronger flow of new listings.
In contrast there are this month 5 regions where buyers have the upper hand (dark green in the adjacent chart) – 2 more than last month. These additions are Coromandel and Taranaki, this again is the result of stronger flow of new listings.
Lifestyle property listings fell significantly in April after witnessing strong rises in February and March. A total of 835 listings came onto the market, down 20% year-on-year and down 28% as compared to March. The truncated mean asking price for these listings rose 3% as compared to the recent 3 month average to $655,009 – taking the level to another record high in asking price, surpassing the peak attained over the last 2 months. Across the regions, four reached new asking price highs – West Coast, Canterbury, Southland and Marlborough.
Across the country, listings were weak with just 6 regions reporting year-on-year growth in listings. In contrast lifestyle listings in the Hawkes Bay hit a new record high with 100 listings coming onto the market in April.
Listings for apartments fell in April with just 398 being brought to the market, on a year-on-year basis listings were down 12%. The truncated mean asking price of new listings rose to $384,861 in April from $366,288 in March, representing a 4% year-on-year decrease but up 3% on the recent 3 month average.
The Auckland apartment market followed the national trend with 252 new listings coming onto the market, down 20% from March and also down 12% from April last year. The truncated mean asking price of new listings rose to $359,196 from $338,046 in March representing a 3% rise on the prior 3 months.
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 from licensed real estate agents, 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 10,174 new listings in the month of April, a total of 145 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.
The core data for the NZ Property Report is seasonally adjusted to better represent the core underlying trend of the property market in NZ. In preparing this seasonally adjusted data Realestate.co.nz is grateful for the assistance of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) who use an X12 ARIMA methodology to calculate seasonally adjusted data.
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 April 2011 can be downloaded here (1.2MB pdf document). Additionally the raw data tables with full data back to 2007 in both actual and seasonally adjusted form is accessible on this freely available spreadsheet hosted on Google Docs 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 2012 will be published on this website on Friday 1st June 2012 at 10am.