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Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

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Specialised real estate search – Farms / Business / Commercial

Posted on: July 21st, 2011 | Filed in Businesses for Sale, Commercial, Featured, Online marketing, social media

Real estate as an industry is a large and diverse business employing over 15,000 people and transacting over 60,000 residential properties per year. As well as the residential sector the industry undertakes extensive activity in the transaction of commercial properties for lease or as investment, the negotiation of business sales and also the transaction of farms and other agricultural businesses.

Such diversity and specialization requires a different approach to web marketing, than a simple one-size-fits-all solution. That is why last year Realestate.co.nz took the decision to establish separate websites for each specialist category of the industry. These websites – the farming site of nzFarms, the business broking site of Prime Business and the commercial property site of Prime Commercial have ably and professionally represented the interests of the specialist agents in each category and their respective clients.

These websites have just gone through a major redesign – a design which reflects the successful re-design of the main realestate.co.nz website which was released in May.

nzFarms.co.nz provides the most comprehensive selection of listings by licensed rural agents for all types of farms and agricultural businesses as well as lifestyle properties around NZ.

The site currently displays 4,621 farms and agricultural business, with a further 11,807 lifestyle properties and lifestyle sections.

There are 9 categories of farms covering dairy farms, specialist livestock farms, grazing land, bare land, horticulture and viticulture as well as forestry.

 

Prime Commercial provides the most comprehensive selection of listings from licensed commercial real estate agents for all types of commercial property around NZ. The selection includes both property for sale as well as for lease.

The site currently displays 7,663 commercial properties and land for sale, with 18,613 commercial premises for lease.

There are 4 property types for leasehold premises covering office leased space, retail premises, industrial premises as well as hotels and motels for lease. The selection of properties and land for investment covers office buildings, retail property, commercial land and well as industrial land and buildings.

 

Prime Business provides the most comprehensive selection of listings from licensed business brokers for all types of businesses for sale across the whole of NZ.

The site currently displays 4,033 listings of businesses for sale from over 1,500 licensed agents providing services to business owners looking to sell and investors and business managers looking to take that first step on the ladder to owning their own business.

There are 12 specialist categories of businesses to search for on the site, from retail businesses to tourism, from age care facilities to hotels, motels and lodges. Whatever the type of business from just $5,000 to over $16 million!

 

The re-design of these sites is however not just cosmetic. We have added features and enhanced the presentation to make these sites even more effective as a business tool to these key audience groups.

More extensive search filters

There’s a property finder tool bar now located at the top of every page, which allows you to define your criteria. The selection is targeted to recognise the unique and specific types that exist within the farming sector, the business sector and the commercial sector. We’ve also extended the price range options and the ability to select surrounding suburbs by ticking a box.

Advanced search

This is an enhanced capability found on the Prime Commercial and nzFarms sites. Whilst it has always been a part of these sites it has now been upgraded to include much more advanced search criteria. You can now select multiple districts and regions. For example, searching for within the Canterbury region for Ashburton district, as well as Waikato region for the Matamata district, together in one search.

Other very useful new advanced search options are the ability to type in an exact price range (i.e. $740,900) and search by pricing method (i.e. Auction, Display price, etc.), as well as search by properties with a displayed address.

Larger images

The new sites display larger property photos on both search results and listing page. You can also view the properties in a full screen overlay, which shows off the listings to the maximum. You may notice that some listings have very different image sizes to others. We are constantly working with our customers to secure from them the largest available image which we process to give you the biggest and best impression of the farm, commercial premises or business you are interested in.

List view or gallery view

In addition to the standard list view of search results we also now provide a gallery view, which presents property purely by first image. You will also notice that all listings now have the ability to view all the photos from within the search results, making for a far more efficient process for browsing the property or business on the market.

Social share your listing

Located on the listing page, there is now the option of socially sharing your listing on Twitter, Facebook and Google+1. This feature enables any user to these websites to recommend a property to their peers and the rest of the world.

We plan on adding more enhancements throughout this year and next to these websites and will keep you updated. We hope you are as excited about these new redesigned websites as we are!

 

 

 

 

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Shortage of listings is key to the state of the property market

The monthly sales report from the Real Estate Institute (REINZ) states clearly that “Listings tight in June housing market” – this assessment comes from “strong indications from agents in many regions that the supply of properties is really tightening“.

This perception is reality; the data in the monthly NZ Property Report underpins this with the numbers to show the decline in new listings as detailed in the chart below.

Listing numbers have been falling steadily for over a year, and matched to a slowly rising rate of sales, is beginning to show in the declining stock of homes on the market. This could potentially lead to a demand heavy market which could see price pressure in the medium term.

To better highlight the listings to sales ratios; I have developed these charts to show the picture nationally and regionally. I have assessed the property market based on the first 6 months of 2011 vs the first 6 months of 2010. Nationally this year is showing sales down 1% – however if you remove the Canterbury region the national picture shows a 4% growth in sales. Matched to this is a 14% decline in new listings (17% decline if you include Canterbury).

The chart ably demonstrates why Auckland is most definitely feeling the effect of a tighter property market – sales up 10% and listings down 13%. Wellington sales are sluggish but again listings are down 12% whilst Canterbury is experiencing the unique aspects of the earthquake of February.

Looking around the country the regions that are showing growth in sales year-on-year are grouped in the chart below. Eight of the 19 regions show year-on-year growth in sales – the West Coast of the south island topping out with a sales rise of 14%. All regions though show declines in listings.

The remaining 11 regions of the country presented in the chart below are witnessing year-on-year sales declines, some double digit declines. Equally they all (with the exception of Nelson) are seeing declining listings, largely in line or greater than the decline in sales.

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No mysterious spike in mortgagee sales

Posted on: July 5th, 2011 | Filed in Featured, Media commmentary

Mortgagee sales are still a part of the NZ property market. Currently there are 333 properties being marketed in NZ as mortgagee sales. These properties are being marketed by real estate agents on behalf of the mortgagor (in most cases the bank that loaded the money on the house in the first place).

This total though needs to be placed in perspective. There are today 49,782 properties for sale being marketed by real estate agents (excluding sections) across NZ; that means that a mortgagee listed properties represents just 1 in every 150 properties on the market.

The level of mortgagee sales as measured by the number of mortgagee listings on realestate.co.nz has been declining in the long term trend since the peak in early 2009. There has been some small ups and downs, however the chart below certainly highlights the trend over the past 4 years since the data has been collected.

In respect of this trend this chart which tracks year-on-year comparison of listings on a 3 month moving average basis shows when the emergence of mortgagee sales occurred; when the fall off from the peak occurred; and then just how steady this category has become over the past 6 to 9 months with a steady flow of new mortgagee listings coming onto the market matched to ones that have been sold.

It should be noted that the listings data only relates to properties for sale that are marketed as mortgagee sales and excludes sections. At this time there are some 113 sections which are mortgage sales.

This separation of mortgagee property from mortgagee sections in the presented data could be the reason behind the confusion of data presented in the Sunday paper article titled “Mystery spike in mortgagee sales“.

The article cited the number of mortgagee sales listed on realestate.co.nz as of last week at 435. This total would be for both properties and sections. This was then compared to a figure from October of last year of 321 listings; this lead to a supposition that listings were up 37%. (Our office was not unfortunately contacted to share the mortgagee data we track and thereby a misinterpretation occurred).

I believe that the article writer or researcher may have reviewed the article written on this blog back in October last year which detailed the then latest data of 321 listings for mortgagee properties on the market. The comparison is that the number of mortgagee properties on the market today is very nearly identical to that number on the market last October.

The data shows that there in no mysterious spike in mortgagee properties; they are still a part of the property market and from historical review tend to be a lagging indicator of the economic recessionary times that catch out home owners as unemployment and financial hardship hits home.

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NZ Property Report – June 2011

Posted on: July 1st, 2011 | Filed in Featured, NZ Property Report

The June 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 May. 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 – June 2011 is published below and is available for download (1.0MB) and distribution.

Summary of the market – June 2011

What began last month as an early trend towards a sellers market has taken on a faster pace through June. Nationally whilst the inventory levels hover just above the long-term average of 41 weeks, key regions of the country are now firmly set in a sellers market. This situation has the potential to be exacerbated by the traditional reluctance of property owners to list their homes through the winter period. During the winter, sales per month tend to drop by around 5% as against a normal month, however new listings tend to fall more significantly by up to 15% as compared to a normal month.

Heading into the winter period with a growing number of regions seeing inventory levels below long term average could well result in elevated buyer demand with a potential to see property price appreciation. Those regions are Auckland, Queenstown, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Otago.

Countering this potential for price appreciation is the fact that in June the asking price expectation of those new listings coming onto the market at $415,053 showed no change as compared to May and in fact represented a 2% fall in price as compared to the recent 3-month period.

Asking Price

The truncated mean asking price for all new listings in June rose very slightly from $414,308 in May to $415,053. On a seasonally adjusted basis the asking price rose just 0.8% in the month indicating a degree of caution amongst sellers.

The overall trend of the past 2 years continues to show a slow but steady strength in asking price expectation.

New Listings

The level of new listings coming onto the market in June fell again to 9,111. This represented a 18% year on year decline but a 2% seasonally adjusted rise from May.

On a 12 month moving basis the number of new listings in the past year totals 125,848 as compared 145,920 for the same period a year ago – a fall of 14%.

Inventory

The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of June continued to fall from prior months. June reported 47,738 down from 48,352 in May and 50,398 in April.

The recent relative strength of sales as seen in March through to May has now stared to see a clearing of what has been a high level of unsold houses on the market over the past 18 months. Heading into Winter, a time of traditionally weaker listing will likely see this inventory level fall further in coming months.

Regional Summary – Asking price expectations

The asking price, having fallen in May barely changed in June. Across the regions there is certainly some variances. A total of just 6 regions saw an increase in asking price expectations as compared to 13 showing falls.

The scale of some of these movements was significant, even outside of the smaller regions, which tend to exhibit large variances. Most noticeable were falls of greater than 5% in Wellington, the Hawkes Bay, Taranaki and Otago. The largest asking price rises of greater than 5% were seen in the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel region, the latter still witnessing high inventory and as such is very much stuck in a buyers market. The biggest movement in asking price this month was seen in Southland with a 6.8% increase as compared to the recent 3-month average.

Regional Summary – Listings

The regional perspective of new listing is very clear this month with one solitary region showing a rise in new listings comparing June 2011 with a year earlier. The Central North Island as well as seeing a rise in new listings is experiencing a buyers market with inventory of unsold properties exceeding long term average.

The majority of regions (13 out of 19) saw double-digit falls of new listings on a year-on-year basis with the biggest falls seen in the West Coast, Gisborne, Bay of Plenty, Marlborough, Canterbury and Wiararapa.

Two regions in June reported the lowest levels of listings going back to Jan 2007, they were Northland with 352 listings and Wiararapa with 117 listings.

Regional Summary – Inventory

The levels of inventory of unsold homes on the market fell further in June. In the space of just 3 months the levels have fallen from significant highs to be very close to long term average for many regions of the country.

For 2 years the predominant look of the regional inventory map has signaled a buyers market. In June there were 7 regions on or below their long-term average for inventory of properties on the market.

The most significant regions experiencing this shift to a seller’s market are Auckland and Queenstown; now joined by the Bay of Plenty, the Waikato and Otago. Not far behind the regions of Nelson, Wellington, Canterbury and the West Coast all of which are edging to a turning point in the market with more balance between buyers and sellers.

That still leaves 9 regions, all of which are provincial NZ firmly in a buyers market with existing inventory well above long term average.

Lifestyle

The level of new listings of lifestyle property coming onto the market in June fell by 4% on a seasonally adjusted basis from May. A total of just 829 new properties were listed with a truncated mean asking price of $554,864. The asking price was down 1% as compared to the recent 3-month average, and down 3% as compared to prior year.

On a rolling 12-month average basis new listings are down 10.5% with 11,346 listed in the past 12 months compared to 12,679 last year.

Apartments

Listings of apartments showed a 21% increase on a seasonally adjusted basis as compared to May with 439 new apartments coming onto the market. The truncated mean asking price for these new listings was $397,747, which was up 4.0% on the recent 3-month average, and up 8.3% as compared to June 2010.

In the Auckland apartment market, which represents over 60% of the market there were 274 new listings with an asking price of $383,980. The new listings shows a rise of 17% on a seasonally adjusted basis, and a 3% rise when judged on a year-on-year basis.

Property Price Index

Comparing the sale price of properties across the country to the asking price expectation is not a perfect comparison; however the trends tend to align. The benefit is that the data for asking price is of the market today, whilst the selling price is reflective of the market active between 4 and 6 weeks ago. The latest comparison is highlighted below:

Realestate.co.nz data is compiled from asking prices of new residential listings as they come onto the market via subscribers to the realestate.co.nz website. The Realestate.co.nz website currently has over 95% of all licensed real estate offices subscribing and providing all of their listings onto the website. The asking price is presented as a truncated mean price at a 10% interval.

REINZ: data is compiled from reported unconditional residential sales from all members of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand representing all licensed real estate offices. The sale price is published as a stratified median house price and is developed in association with the Reserve Bank of NZ.

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 1,020 licensed real estate offices across NZ, representing more than 95% of all offices.

With an average monthly level of over 10,000 new listings, the realestate.co.nz NZ Property Report provides the largest monthly sample report on the residential property market, as well as a more timely view of the property market than any other property report. The data is collated and analysed at the close of each month, and the Report is compiled for the 1st day of the following month. This provides a feedback mechanism as to the immediate state of the market, well in advance of sales statistics, which by the very nature of the selling process can reflect activity with a lag of between 2 and 4 months.

In analysing the details of the 9,111 new listings in the month of June a total of 166 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 120,000 listings, covering this portfolio of residential property for sale and rent, commercial property for sale and lease, rural properties and farms, as well as businesses for sale. With a subscriber base of over 1,020 offices, the company represents over 95% of all listings from licensed real estate agents in NZ.

The full NZ Property Report for June 2011 can be downloaded here (1.0MB 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 July 2011 will be published on this website on Monday 1st August 2011 at 10am.

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Australian real estate industry lines up to challenge web leader

Posted on: June 27th, 2011 | Filed in Featured, International, Real Estate Industry, Real Estate Industry News

NZ’ers are always interested to see what is going on in Australia and when it comes to online real estate we here at Realestate.co.nz are always interested to see what is happening on the other side of the ditch. At the moment it seems quite a lot judging by the front page headline from the Australian Financial Review.

Real Estate Agents ready to “revolt” reads the headline. It appears that after more than a decade of benefiting from the online transition of property buyers from print to the web,  with the consequential financial savings; the industry is now revolting from what they see as exorbitant charges from the online market leader realestate.com.au (just for clarity there is no connection between our site realestate.co.nz and the Australian site of the same domain name).

Realestate.com.au (REA Group) has been a stellar success of web marketing, founded before the dotcom crash of 2000 it has grown from nothing to now be valued at in excess of A$1.6bn as an ASX listed company (the majority shareholder is News Corporation). The site holds the lion’s share of web visitors and around 95% of all listings. The chart below tracks the leadership in web traffic by realestate.com.au to its nearest competitor (Fairfax owned domain.com.au).

With this powerful position of dominance of the collective eyeballs of property buyers and the dominance of content, the company has over the past decade grown revenue from a couple of million dollars to well over A$160m. On average each real estate office in Australia pays realestate.com.au over A$1,000 a month and this scale of fee combined with the regularity with which they increase this fee now has the industry up in arms in a very public manner. The industry as reported in the article is looking to band together under what they are calling “Project Rebellion” to power an alternative website with which they hope to secure a competitive threat to submit realestate.com.au into reducing fees or potentially remove it from the market.

Could this happen? – the rich and comprehensive content of real estate listing is what property buyers seek, in theory they will go to the site that has the most content. That content is totally in the control of the agents, so in theory this is possible. However consumers are creatures of habit and have no idea what constitutes comprehensive content. A new website would have to spend a lot of money promoting itself to create awareness to say it was the “new home” of property listings online. At the same time the agents would all in unison have to stop using realestate.com.au, something many in the industry might be wary of doing as it is a very powerful and effective advertising medium for their clients listings with over 7 million monthly unique visitors.

The whole challenging conundrum is very well detailed in an article by Simon Baker in the Property Observer – his summation is that there is very little chance of this initiative having any legs. As a point of note Simon Baker is the former CEO of realestate.com.au and still remains a shareholder. As he states in his article, the publication of this story in the Fin Review last week knocked 5% off the market value of REA amounting to a paper depreciation of the company’s value of some A$80m – that personally impacts Simon.

New Zealand

What implications might this initiative in Australia have for the NZ industry?

In NZ there are really two key online real estate websites. Trade me Property has the highest level of website visitors. In the past month it received over 1.4 million unique browsers as measured by Nielsen online, by comparison realestate.co.nz received just over 400,000 unique browsers (as a point of reference there were just 5,766 properties sold in the month, which just goes to show the casual browsing appeal of property to kiwis). In terms of content realestate.co.nz holds the most comprehensive selection of listings from licensed agents – around 95% of all such listings. Trade me property has more listings in total on their site, however their licensed real estate listings are supplemented by a significant number of private sale listings.

Trade me Property is owned by Fairfax media whereas Realestate.co.nz is owned by two shareholders – the Real Estate Institute holds 50% and the balance is held by 6 of the larger real estate companies (Harcourts, Harveys, Ray White, Bayleys, Barfoot & Thompson and LJ Hooker).

In NZ there is a disparity of what each website charges for its services to its agent. Realestate.co.nz has a two tier subscription based on office size. Large offices (more than 6 active salespeople) are charged $300 per month with small offices $225 per month. The charges for Trade me are higher at $799 per month. Certainly the real estate companies in NZ do not pay as much as their counterparts in Australia, however when seen in perspective of the relevance of online marketing and how much it has made print media so redundant for property marketing, it is somewhat surprising that this reaction is happening at all.

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Are property buyers really in the box seat?

Posted on: June 23rd, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured

“There has never been a better time to buy a house” – this was the first line of the Sunday newspaper article this past weekend. A big call some may say, especially when the property market has seen a very sober and lacklustre market over the past 3 years.

It is worth pausing for a moment to reflect on what circumstances arise to cause the property market to be either a great time to buy, or a great time to sell.

These circumstances are usually in opposing territory. However there are always exceptions and most recently in that heady period around 2004 when the pace of the market favoured both buyers and sellers with prices and volumes rising steadily and at such a pace that you almost “had” to buy and sell – or you feared being left behind in the market.

Great time to buy!

Great times to buy are generally when the cost of borrowing (interest rates) are low; when the availability of property on the market is high, and when there are not many other competing buyers in the market.

As to whether falling prices are a great incentive to buy is debatable as a cautious buyer will usually hold off  in these situations to see if prices may in fact falling further.

Great time to sell!

Great times to sell are generally when the cost of borrowing is cheap thereby encouraging a lot of buyers to come into the market. Ideally this is also combined with a shortage of properties on the market therefore forcing buyers to compete with each other to buy your property.

As to price, it is likely sellers are not that concerned. All they want is to sell. The price they sell at will be as the market dictates, which will allow them to move on and buy another property as appropriate.

 

The newspaper article went on substantiates the claim of it being a great time to buy, by stating that interest rates are currently at the lowest levels for decades. That is certainly true and with the vast majority of property purchased with a mortgage the cost of borrowing is a key driver of the market. The chart below (courtesy of the Reserve Bank) tracks mortgage rates over the past 20 years and clearly shows how low today’s rates are on a historical comparison – especially when you see the peak at over 15% in 1991.

Reserve Bank of New Zealand - Floating & 2yr fixed rates for new borrowers

The article stated that in addition to low mortgage rates the other key driver of a “great time to buy” was the fact that “prices across the country plunging in the past month”. I would challenge this assertion from the standpoint as made earlier that falling prices can in certain circumstances impede buyer motivation. It is also so important to look at house prices not on a one month basis but on a trend perspective.

The recent blog post entitled “NZ property prices continue to ease” highlighted the Stratified mean sales price across the country. This showed no sign whatsoever of “plunging prices”. Property sales price are in all cases below the peak of the property market back in 2007 (with the sole exception of Wellington which has managed to set a peak back in late 2009). Prices would be better described as stable or lacklustre rather than plunging.

One fact the newspaper article omitted completely was the a key driver of the property market – the inventory of unsold homes on the market. As stated earlier this statistic, far more than sale price is likely to impact the state of the market as either a buyers or a sellers market.

Realestate.co.nz publishes its monthly NZ Property Report which tracks this inventory measured as the number of equivalent weeks of sales of unsold properties on the market. In the May report published on the 1st June as well as the regional Property Pulse regional factsheets the data showed that in the Auckland market and now emerging in the Queenstown market the power is moving from buyers to sellers. A lack of new listings and a rise in sales volumes which is helping to clear what has been high inventory is leading the Auckland market to be in a deficit of properties on the market. If as a consequence of these low interest rates, buyers are more active in the Auckland market, then there will be a need for more listings to come onto the market. This then directly favours sellers. Potentially in this seller’s market a consequence of the lack of listings may lead to property appreciation due to more demand than supply.

Outside of these major markets of Auckland, Queenstown and possibly Wellington the rest of the country is still very much in a situation of high inventory of unsold properties. This means that if there are buyers eager to take advantage of low interest rates then in these more provincial areas they will have ample opportunity to pick and choose amongst the properties on the market and allow them to drive a good bargain – maybe these are the areas of the country where buyers may well be “in the box seat”!

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NZ Property Pulse – May 2011

Posted on: June 16th, 2011 | Filed in Featured, Property Pulse - Regional Market Report

Each month we publish a factsheet for each region of the country as well as a national report to provide an insight to the key numbers that detail the health of the property market across the country.

These reports for the month of May cover all 16 provincial regions as well as reports covering the 3 main metropolitan regions of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The Auckland report is divided up into each of the main metro areas (North Shore, Waitakere, Manukau as well as Auckland City).

Each factsheet provides the key numbers in table and chart form using the key statistics from the Real Estate Institute of NZ and Realestate.co.nz. This provides the number of property sales in the month, the median sales price for those property sales, the inventory of unsold properties on the market, as well as the number and the asking price expectation of new listings brought onto the market in the month.

Metropolitan Areas

Auckland City

North Shore

Waitakere

Manukau

Wellington

Chistchurch

Provincial Areas

Northland

Coromandel

Waikato

Bay of Plenty

Central North Island

Hawkes Bay

Gisborne

Taranaki

Manawatu / Wanganui

Wairarapa

Nelson

Marlborough

West Coast

Otago

Queenstown Lakes

Southland

National Property Pulse

The national NZ property pulse factsheet for May 2011 is published using data from Realestate.co.nz and REINZ (Real Estate Institute of NZ).

Property sales across the country totaled 5,766 in the month showed a rise on a seasonally adjusted basis in May and a 11% rise as compared to May 2010. The inventory of unsold houses on the market at 47 weeks of equivalent sales continues to sit well above the long-term average of 41 weeks.

The stratified mean sales price for property sales across the country at $358,925 is down just 1% as compared to a year ago, and has shown some easing over the prior month. The asking price expectation of new listings fell in May to $414,308, which is 2% up as compared to a year ago.

The level of new listings coming onto the market in April at 9,898 was down significantly from April and down 16% as compared to a year ago.

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NZ property prices continue to ease

Posted on: June 15th, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured, REINZ Monthly data

The latest property sales data released by the Real Estate Institute yesterday highlighted the easing of property prices in May. The national median price of all properties sold in the month was $350,000 down from $360,000 in April. A year ago the median price was $350,000, 2 years ago in May 2009 it was $337,500.

The median price is the midpoint price of all sales in the month; whilst a consistently trusted measure of the market price for property it can be influenced if the composition of the properties sold skews heavily towards high end or the low end of the market. For this reason REINZ developed in association with The Reserve Bank the Stratified House Price Index which applies a modeling technique which ensure that the composition (price ranges) of property sales does not skew price data – effectively ensuring that the index reflects the true value of property sales on a “like-for-like” basis.

The Stratified price for properties sold in May across the country was $358,925 down from $365,593 in April, a fall of 1.8%. A year ago the stratified price was $361,610 (down 0.7%), 2 years ago in May 2009 it was $353,425 (a rise of 1.6%).

So by this measure properties values seem to be pretty static with a small degree of long term rise. However to gain a true picture of property prices and values you need to see the picture of the trend over the longer term.

The chart below shows the stratified price for property sales across the whole country covering the period since 2007. The chart shows that over the past 18 months since late 2009 prices have definitely eased.

Current price of property sales prices remain 5.8% below the peak of property prices which was over 3½ years ago. The bottom of the recent property cycle was over 2 years ago in January 2009 when prices dropped to $337,400, the current price is 6.4% up from that point.

Out of interest casting the data back over the past 2 decades ably reminds of us of the history of the NZ property market as shown below!

The stratified price data is provided for each of the main metropolitan areas (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) as well as the North Island and South Island aggregate of property sales outside of the main metropolitan areas. The detailed paired charts below highlight these 5 regions for both recent property prices as well as long term.

Auckland

Wellington

Christchurch

North Island excluding Auckland and Wellington

South Island excluding Christchurch

 

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NZ Property Report – May 2011

Posted on: June 1st, 2011 | Filed in Featured, NZ Property Report

The May 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 May. 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 – May 2011 is published below and is available for download (1.0MB) and distribution.

Summary of the market – May 2011

The prolonged sluggishness of new property listings, which has been evident for nearly 2 years, has at last seen a tip in the balance of the property market from favouring buyers to favouring sellers. At least that is now being seen in two of the major markets around the country – Auckland and Queenstown lakes.

The Auckland market which saw strong late summer property sales has now as a consequence of these sales matched to the slow flow of new listings, seen inventory levels below long term average. At the end of May the inventory of unsold houses on the market fell to 30 weeks as compared to the long term average of 34 weeks. The last time this level was seen was at the end of 2009.

The asking price expectation of the new listings coming onto the market in May fell back from the peak seen in April. Historically there is always an adjustment seen at this time of year. The seasonally adjusted asking price fell 2% nationally and that was reflected right across the regions indicating that the market still senses no significant property price inflation as yet with new-to-the-market vendors pricing to attract buyers who are still small in number across the regions.

Asking Price

The truncated mean asking price for all new listings in May fell significantly from $429,249 in April to $414,308 in May. On a seasonally adjusted basis the asking price fell just 2% in the month indicating a degree of uncertainty amongst sellers.

The overall trend of the past 2 years continues to show strength in asking price expectation.

New Listings

The level of new listings coming onto the market in May fell to 9,898. This represented a 16% year on year decline but a 1% seasonally adjusted rise from April.

On a 12 month moving basis the number of new listings in the past year totals 127,843 as compared 144,375 for the same period a year ago – a fall of 12%.

Inventory

The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of May continued to fall from prior months. May reported 48,352 down from 50,398 in April and 51,980 in March.

The recent relative strength of sales as seen in March and April has now stared to see a clearing of what has been a high level of unsold houses on the market over the past 18 months. Heading into Winter, a time of traditionally weaker listing will likely see this inventory level fall further in coming months.

Regional Summary – Asking price expectations

After reaching a new peak of asking price in April the national asking price for new listings fell in May. This fall was reflected around the regions with 12 regions reporting falls and just 7 showing any increase. There is seasonal trend behind this which sees the asking prices for May fall significantly as compared to April, likely as a result of the market entering the winter period.

 

There were 5 regions showing declines of more than 5% in asking price with both Wellington and Queenstown Lakes among them, both of these regions are also showing low levels of inventory. This potentially points to a caution over the state of the market with no significant inflation expectation amongst vendors, new to the market.

Regional Summary – Listings

The continuing trend of new listings as has been the case for over a year is decline in number. Again the chart by region shows a overall trend towards a sellers market with only Marlborough and Central North Island bucking the trend to show year-on-year increases in listings.

Two regions in May recorded the lowest level of monthly listings stretching back 4 years – Northland and Otago.

The level of new listings in the Canterbury region continues to remain weak as a result of the earthquake. In May 1,188 new listings came onto the market, down 29% as compared to last year. Comparing the first 5 months of 2011 with 2010 the number of new listings in the region has fallen from 8,972 to 5,736 a fall of 36%.

Regional Summary – Inventory

The levels of inventory of unsold homes on the market changed markedly in May. For more than a year the predominant view has been that the property market is firmly stuck in a buyer’s market with inventory levels well above long term averages.

Starting in March and now accelerating through May the key markets of Auckland and now Queenstown Lakes are seeing the results of stronger sales matched with lower levels of new listings leading to these two markets now being viewed as seller’s markets.

Not far behind the regions of Otago, West Coast, Waikato and Bay of Plenty are edging to a turning point in the market with more balance between buyers and sellers.

That still leaves the remainder of provincial NZ firmly in a strong buyers market with 11 regions seeing existing inventory well above long term average.

Lifestyle

The level of new listings of lifestyle property coming onto the market in May fell by 12% on a seasonally adjusted basis from April. A total of just 844 new properties were listed with a truncated mean asking price of $567,575. The asking price was up 2% as compared to the recent 3 month average, and up 12% as compared to prior year.

On a rolling 12 month average basis new listings are down 8.6% with 11,462 listed in the past 12 months compared to 12,546 last year.

Apartments

Listings of apartments showed a 17% decline on a seasonally adjusted basis as compared to April with 406 new apartments coming onto the market. The truncated mean asking price for these new listings was $369,834, which was down 3.0% on the recent 3 month average, and down 2.1% as compared to May 2010.

In the Auckland apartment market which represents over 60% of the market there were 267 new listings with an asking price of $328,326. The new listings shows a decline of 20% on a seasonally adjusted basis, and a 27% decline when judged on a year-on-year basis.

Property Price Index

Comparing the sale price of properties across the country to the asking price expectation is not a perfect comparison; however the trends tend to align. The benefit is that the data for asking price is of the market today, whilst the selling price is reflective of the market active between 4 and 6 weeks ago. The latest comparison is highlighted below:

Realestate.co.nz data is compiled from asking prices of new residential listings as they come onto the market via subscribers to the realestate.co.nz website. The Realestate.co.nz website currently has over 95% of all licensed real estate offices subscribing and providing all of their listings onto the website. The asking price is presented as a truncated mean price at a 10% interval.

REINZ data is compiled from reported unconditional residential sales from all members of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand representing all licensed real estate offices. The sale price is published as a stratified median house price and is developed in association with the Reserve Bank of NZ.

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 1,020 licensed real estate offices across NZ, representing more than 95% of all offices.

With an average monthly level of over 10,000 new listings, the realestate.co.nz NZ Property Report provides the largest monthly sample report on the residential property market, as well as a more timely view of the property market than any other property report. The data is collated and analysed at the close of each month, and the Report is compiled for the 1st day of the following month. This provides a feedback mechanism as to the immediate state of the market, well in advance of sales statistics which by the very nature of the selling process can reflect activity with a lag of between 2 and 4 months.

In analysing the details of the 9,898 new listings in the month of May a total of 98 listings have been excluded due to anomalies. The categorisation of Lifestyle property is defined by the land area of the property. The criterion is a property having in excess of 0.3 hectares and being situated outside metropolitan areas.

Background to Realestate.co.nz

Realestate.co.nz is the official website company of the real estate industry of New Zealand, it is an industry owned web business providing online marketing services to the real estate industry. The shareholders in the business comprise the REINZ (50%) and six of the largest real estate companies (50%).

The business operates a portfolio of websites all focused to specialist sectors of the real estate market:

Realestate.co.nz is the heart of the business and is focused to the residential property market. It features the most comprehensive selection of property for sale and rent across NZ. The website attracts a significant monthly audience of over 400,000 unique browsers, with over 110,000 of those visiting from countries outside of NZ.

nzFarms is a specialist website presenting the most comprehensive selection of farms and agricultural businesses on the market across NZ. At this time it features around 5,000 listings for all types of farms and agricultural land as well as over 11,000 lifestyle properties.

Prime Commercial is a specialist website presenting the most comprehensive selection of commercial property for purchase or lease on the market across NZ. At this time it features over 27,000 listings for all types of properties – retail, commercial, industrial and investment properties.

Prime Business is a specialist website presenting the most comprehensive selection of businesses for sale on the market across NZ. At this time it features over 4,300 listings for all types of businesses – retail, tourism, wholesale as well as franchise opportunities.

Zoodle is a specialist property information website providing very detailed data on all residential properties in NZ. The database comprises over 1.6m properties with detailed specifications, map and local amenities. The site provides online reports for free and for purchase covering valuation and legal information to greatly assist the needs of property buyers and sellers.

The web business of Realestate.co.nz site is the most comprehensive real estate web operation in NZ, currently hosting over 120,000 listings, covering this portfolio of residential property for sale and rent, commercial property for sale and lease, rural properties and farms, as well as businesses for sale. With a subscriber base of over 1,020 offices, the company represents over 95% of all listings from licensed real estate agents in NZ.

The full NZ Property Report for May 2011 can be downloaded here (1.0MB 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 June 2011 will be published on this website on Friday 1st July 2011 at 10am.

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Real estate agents to embrace smartphones

Posted on: May 23rd, 2011 | Filed in Featured, mobile

Close to half of all agents polled in a recent survey said that they owned a smartphone with nearly 7 out of 10 of the remainder indicating that they would be acquiring one within the next year. These findings were part of a recent survey undertaken in partnership with 2degrees mobile amongst the real estate agents using Realestate.co.nz.

The survey was undertaken online with 216 completed surveys giving a margin of error of 4.2%.

Real estate agents were early adopters of mobile phones back in the 80′s and 90′s as their work environment certainly had them out and about more than many other professions. This adoption has continued with a clear imperative for all agents to have a mobile. The most active use of their mobile phone is to voice calls (40%) followed by texting (32%). It is interesting to note the preference of texting to handling emails on the mobile phone – just 13% indicating that they used their phone for this purpose.

At present the iPhone is the most popular type of smart phone for real estate agents with 24% of all those agents surveyed indicating that they owned the iPhone. Certainly the success of the Realestate.co.nz iPhone app would indicate the appeal of this smartphone to ensure that agents were able to be able to access the most comprehensive selection of property on the market. The adoption of Android at 17%; or put another way there is an Android user for ever 3 iPhone users, is higher than would be seen in the general population, and this signals a significant opportunity to ensure there is a Realestate.co.nz app for Android sometime soon.

As to the 54% of agents that do not as yet have a smartphone the message is clear that they will soon – 69% saying that they expect to buy one in the next 12 months with 40% indicating a purchase in the next 6 months. It would appear to be clear from these stats that a smartphone is now close to being by the end of this year a significant “must have” tool for all agents.

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