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Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

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Realestate.co.nz goes multilingual

Posted on: September 16th, 2011 | Filed in Featured, Website news

Thanks to the power and enormous capability of Google we are now able to offer a multilingual version of the Realestate.co.nz website. A first for NZ property fanatics, buyers, sellers and agents.

Rather than re-build the site we have made it as simple as possible to read the content of the website and all its listings in any of 48 languages as well as good old English!

Just scroll down to the footer of any page on the website and locate the “Translate” link to the right hand side of the page in the grey shaded box. This link brings up a selection list of the fill range of the most popular languages – everything from Latvian, to Korean and from Afrikaans to Yiddish. It does interestingly include Welsh, Irish and Maltese; not the most well known of global languages I must admit.

 

Selecting you chosen language then performs the Google magic to the whole of the realestate.co.nz website for the remainder of your viewing session.

Whilst the functionality is fairly comprehensive we clearly cannot confirm that all content will be translated or that the translation is accurate as a true representation of the content which is English in its original form, for this reason we would always encourage users to verify all details on properties with the listing agent before making any decisions concerning the property.

With over 30% of all daily users of the realestate.co.nz from outside NZ – amounting to over 100,000 users per month, this new service will certainly prove a boon to our international users and we trust that they will share the good news of how much easier it is now to search for NZ property in their native language.

6

Talking with our customers – interesting insights from recent survey

Posted on: September 2nd, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured, Property Investing, Renting, Website searching

We recently undertook a survey amongst our email subscriber database. What prompted this was a desire to learn more about the make up of this group of avid users of the site to see how we might improve the service we offer on Realestate.co.nz to buyers, sellers, investors, tenants and any other form of property hunting fanatic!

What we have discovered is very interesting and certainly worthy of sharing. If you participated in the survey; we really appreciate you taking the time to complete the survey and we hope with your help to repeat it again on maybe a quarterly basis as the data is valuable, and to see trends over time for some of the finding will be useful.

To start with we had 398 people complete the survey – a significant number and certainly large enough for the data to be representative of people in the market for property (we are not statisticians nor a research company so we are not trying to make any comment as to statistical margin of error etc).

The first question we asked was as to the status of the respondents.

The largest group (40%) are looking to buy property – this made up of 7% as first time buyers and 32% as general buyers. A fifth of respondents describe themselves as a landlord, with a further 7% saying that they are (or are looking to be) an investor.

Buyers

We then went on to ask the prospective buyers amongst the respondents when specifically they were looking to buy?

Not surprising was the fact that just under a third were looking to buy (we assume this is intent to be buying / searching actively as opposed to completing the purchase) in the next month. In total it would appear that over 60% of buyers are looking to be buying in the next 6 months in total, this would be expected as subscribers to the email are actively keeping tabs on the property market and receiving daily email alerts of new properties. We will be keen to ask this question again in the future to see how trends change over time by factor of market conditions and seasonality.

Additionally of interest is the fact that 11% are showing a reluctance to buy as they are waiting until the market improves.

Tenants – looking to buy

We also asked the same question of current tenants who expressed an intent to buy a property in the future. Their response was somewhat difference due to their circumstances.

Clearly the key issue for this group of respondents is the need to save for a deposit; a third of the respondents saw this as the key step to buying. Of the remainder 18% said they were looking to buy in the next 6 month, far less than active buyers, but interestingly a lower percentage (8%) felt that they would leave it until the market improves.

Type of property to buy

Going back to the group who are thinking of buying a property we asked them what type of property they were considering buying.

The majority of people (53%) looking to buy were interested in a property that would need a bit of work to be done – clearly the kiwi DIY mindset is still alive and well as people as still keen to add value to properties. This compared to just under a third who really wanted somewhere where the renovations had been completed and the property was ready to move in straight away.

Sellers

Moving from buyers to sellers we wanted to find out when those people who considered themselves sellers were looking to sell. The vast majority (83%) were looking to sell in the next 6 month, with 4 out of 10 thinking of selling in the next month, or at least putting their property on the market.

How would you sell?

We then posed an interesting question to those looking to sell. We asked them how they were looking to sell their property. Would they use a licensed agent, try and sell it themselves or might they give private selling a go, but more than likely end up using a licensed real estate agent. Having collated the results of this question we compared these with the recent Nielsen online real estate market survey asking the same question.

These results are very interesting. From both surveys the majority of respondents were likely to use a licensed agents, the sample respondents from the Realestate.co.nz email group were slightly more likely than the broader Nielsen market survey.

When it comes to selling privately the difference were significantly different, just 5% of the respondents to the Realestate.co.nz survey indicated that they would try and sell privately as against 11% for the broader Nielsen survey. Of note is the fact that the Nielsen survey was based on questionaires posted on both Trade Me and Realestate.co.nz and this is clearly showing that greater interest in private sales from Trade Me respondents to the Nielsen survey.

Investment Properties

The final set of questions we asked related to investment property. We asked those who described themselves as a landlord or investor how many properties they owned.

70% of those respondents who identified themselves as a landlord or investor had more than 2 properties with 14% having more than 5 properties. Clearly the Realestate.co.nz website is a core resource for investors looking to enhance their property portfolio.

Of these landlord we then asked if they used a Property Manager to manage their property / properties – or if they did themselves. Fully two thirds said that they managed their investment properties themselves with just one third using a professional property manager.

Probing a bit deeper we then asked them why they chose not to use a Property Manager.

Some useful insight here to assist the Property Management companies in providing support for this important sector of the property market.

 

 

3

NZ Property Report – August 2011

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

The August 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 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.

A full print version of the NZ Property Report – August 2011 is published below and is available for download (1.0MB) and distribution.

Summary of the market – August 2011

The property market is now showing all the signs of gearing up for a much stronger Spring season than has been seen for a number of years. The market is very firmly parked as a sellers market, with inventory levels at lows not seen since 2009. At that time, the low inventory was a result of a degree of a buy-up of distressed properties being sold at attractive prices as a result of the global economic recession. This time around, property sales have been steadily rising whilst listing have been in relative short supply.

Comparing the situation today with just 6 months ago highlights this – back in February the average number of property sales over the recent 3 months was 4,256. In July it had risen by 24% to 5,281. At the same time the number of properties on the market has fallen 15%. Traditionally the month of September shows the start of the Spring season, this year we appear to have seen an earlier rush, potentially as a function of greater economic confidence matched to attractive interest rates or possibly a potential impact of the Rugby World Cup.

The rise in asking price expectation is party explained by a seasonal uplift associated with increase in listing numbers however underlying this and as seen in the charted trend of the past 3 years there is a steady, albeit slow rise in the expected listings price for new properties coming onto the market. This recent asking price expectation is still some 3% below the recent peak of asking price back in April, however the trend is certainly upwards.

Asking Price

The truncated mean asking price for all new listings in August rose significantly from $403,474 in July to $415,0784. On a seasonally adjusted basis the asking price rose by 2.7% in the month indicating that there is an emerging confidence amongst sellers of stronger prices.

There is a seasonal trend that sees asking price rise in the August month each year, this year that seasonal rise is somewhat more significant.

New Listings

The level of new listings coming onto the market in August rose for the first time since March. A total of 10,120 new listings came onto the market representing a 3% year-on-year increase and a more significant 9% rise on a seasonally adjusted basis.

On a 12 month moving total basis the number of new listings in the past year totals 124,544 as compared 144,893 for the same period a year ago – a fall of 14%.

Inventory

The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of August continued to fall from prior months. At the end of there were 44,689 houses, apartments and lifestyle properties on the market down from 45,674 in July and down from 50,138 a year ago. This current level of inventory represents 36.7 weeks of equivalent sales.

From the chart the rate of decline in listings appears to be lessening, however given the rise in sales recently it is not expected that inventory levels will rise in the coming month.

Regional Summary – Asking price expectations

The national asking price expectation picked up in August as expected due to seasonal factors. Across the country this trend was seen in 12 of the 19 regions reporting a rise in the truncated mean asking price as compared to the recent 3 month average. The most significant rises were seen in the Central North Island and the Taranaki regions, up 7.5% and 8.7% respectively. The main metropolitan regions of Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury all saw very modest movements in asking price expectation of less than 1% indicating that whilst there is a sellers market environment property price appreciation is not rampant.

There were 3 regions which experienced significant asking price falls, Gisborne, Nelson and the Wiakato. The latter reporting the lowest asking price recorded going back over 4 years at $328,626.

Regional Summary – Listings

Listings has started to flow onto the market in the last month – making up for a succession of months when listings have been in short supply. The rise is most significant in those regions where the shortage became most acute a couple of months ago.

The three regions of Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Waikato were the first to show a sellers market back in May and that message seems to have got through to property owners keen to move. They have acknowledged that there has been a strong rise in sales and a shortage of available properties on the market, and now seem to be confident to list their property.

Outside of these emerging regions the remainder of the 19 regions have seen a continuing low level of new listings coming onto the market, potentially increasing the sellers market situation as the spring pick up in sales starts.

Regional Summary – Inventory

The NZ property market is now firmly anchored in a sellers market. The shortage of new listings over the past 6 months, matched to a rise in sales has driven inventory level of unsold houses well below long term average.

Across the country there are now only 2 regions out of 19 that remain a buyer’s market – both small regions of Gisborne and Wairarapa. In contrast there are 9 regions that where inventory levels are significantly below long term average.

Across the country by region, the Auckland region at 24.2 weeks is currently experiencing the lowest inventory for over 4 years; Wellington at 19.4 weeks is the lowest inventory for 18 months, and in addition Nelson at 26.3 weeks is lowest for 2 years.

Lifestyle

Lifestyle property listings across the country rose in August with a 22% seasonally adjusted increase to 760 listings. As compared to last year the total still shows a 10% decline. Over the past 12 months there have been 11,061 new lifestyle property listings brought to the market down 12%.

In terms of asking price expectation, the truncated mean in August was $565,753 which was up 9% on a seasonally adjusted basis and up 2% on August last year.

Apartments

New apartment listings shot up in August with 629 new listings coming onto the market. This represents a 51% seasonally adjusted increase and the highest level for over 18 months. At the same time the asking price expectation fell by 12% on a seasonally adjusted basis to $328,777.

In the Auckland apartment market, which represents over 60% of the total market there were 462 new listings which represented an 81% seasonally adjusted increase. In terms of asking price, the truncated mean in August was $302,425. This asking price is down 11% on a seasonally adjusted basis and is the lowest asking price since data reporting began at the start of 2007

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 1,000 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 10,120 new listings in the month of August, a total of 128 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 August 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 September 2011 will be published on this website on Saturday 1st October 2011 at 10am.

3

Mobile property searching – the way of the future

Posted on: August 24th, 2011 | Filed in Featured, mobile, Online marketing

Homebuyers who search for property online are also turning to their mobile devices to locate properties for sale. This fact has been presented in the latest survey undertaken by Nielsen in the annual Nielsen Real Estate Market report.

As would be expected, the survey continues to show the trend of online being the most preferred and useful source of real estate information – over 95% of those surveyed stated that online was “useful or very useful”- this as compared to newspapers which dropping down from 42% to just 38% (compare this to earlier reports when more than half of respondents stated that newspapers were a useful or very useful source of property information).

The key insight though came when the survey respondents who had an internet enabled phone were asked if they had ever accessed a real estate website on the device? – 32% stated they had. This is significant as whilst there are dedicated real estate apps for the iPhone (the realestate.co.nz app) there are no mobile website versions of any NZ real estate website. People are clearly showing that they are keen to use their phone to access property information when they are out and about.

The report also discovered that real estate researchers online were much more likely than the national population to own an internet-enabled phone or device, with 48% compared to 34% of the population overall (Nielsen Consumer and Media Insights, Q2 2010 – Q1 2011).

What is significant is understanding the behaviour of accessing real estate information on a mobile device as compared to a laptop or desktop. Computers on your desk or on your lap are excellent for the “lean back” character of browsing property listings via ever more extensive galleries of high quality images. This is why real estate websites collectively attract a daily audience of over 134,000 unique browsers per day when only around 180 homes are sold each day in NZ.

Compare this with the behaviour of mobile users – they want and need information that is contextual to their location right now – what’s for sale around me? / what’s for rent here now? / When is the open home for that property 2 blocks down? / I need to contact the agent selling that home! / I want to look at the aerial image for this street to see what the backgarden looks like… and so on. People on mobiles accessing property information are not casually browsing, they are committed, active, passionate property searchers.

Back to the survey, other illuminating information provides some great insight into these mobile users.

Globally the Android platform for smartphones is now the #1 market leader with a 48% market share according to Canalys report of August 1st, additionally the platform dominates in 35 of the 56 countries surveyed. In NZ however whilst no published data is available industry opinion (web search analysis) would have the iPhone with a leadership of installed users with a ratio of close to 3 to 1 – far different to the US.

It is therefore very interesting to see from the Nielsen survey that 40% of those surveyed whilst searching for property online who had a smartphone claimed to have an Android device compared to 35% with an iPhone or iPad. This result surprised us and provided the impetus we needed to get an Android version of the Realestate.co.nz app (please be patient it is in development!).

Given the scale of adoption of the Realestate.co.nz iPhone app (over 35,000 downloads since launch in Nov last year) we were keen in the survey to see firstly how many mobile device owners had downloaded and used an app and also which app they had chosen to use.

The survey showed that of the 586 respondents that had a mobile internet enabled device 7% had downloaded an app and used that application to search for property / discover property. In terms of popularity – the clear winner is the Realestate.co.nz iPhone app – 49% people spontaneously identified that as their tools for property search.

The Nielsen Real Estate Market Report is based on a site-intercept survey on New Zealand real estate web sites conducted during May to June 2011 with a sample size of 1,219 respondents and a margin of error of 2.86 percent.
2

Sharp rise in auction properties foreshadows tightness in the market

Posted on: August 4th, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured

In a typical month, around 600 properties come onto the market advertised as auction sales. In the months of June and July this number has spiked to 1,168 and 1,132 respectively – in absolute terms these months have seen the highest recorded looking levels going back over the past 4 years.

This spike is even more significant when viewed against the decline in new listings witnessed this year. As a percentage the number of properties brought to the market in June, it was the highest ever seen at 13% – far outstripping the prior high of 9% back in September / October 2009. July has continued this trend with another month with 13% of new listings being marketed as auctions.

The vast majority of properties marketed as auctions are in the Auckland region – in July, Auckland accounted for 56% of all of the 1,132 auction properties marketed across the country in the month.

In general across all property listing categories, Auckland represents around 24% of the total – it would therefore seem that Auckland is the epicenter of NZ property auctions and in June and July over 1 in 5 of all new listings brought to the market across the Auckland market were auctions, far above any prior period.

Whilst this spike in auction listings is significant; it is important to ground the stats by stating that currently on realestate.co.nz there are 1,378 properties on the market as auctions this compares to just over 48,500 properties for sale across NZ in total on the market – that amounts to less than 3% of all properties currently on the website.

Having made that statement; there is no doubt that there is a very clear correlation between the state of the market in terms of inventory of unsold properties and the proportion of new listings being marketed as auctions. When listings are in short supply, as we are seeing at this time we tend to see a rise in the proportion of properties being marketed as auctions. The last time this happened was in 2009 as seen in the chart below:

The message is clear – the level of new listings coming onto the market over the past 3 to 4 months continues to be lean, this is matched to a steady but significant rise in property sales. Such a situation when combined with falling stock of property for sale places the “power” in the hands of sellers. In these circumstances the real estate agent acting on behalf of the seller is clearly recommending taking the property to auction to encourage those motivated buyers to battle it out in the auction rooms and front lawns to grab their chosen home.

For prospective sellers looking to put their property on the market in the coming couple of months, now would seem to be as good a time as any to get ahead of the game and list that property.

1

NZ Property Report – July 2011

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

The July 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 July. 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 – July 2011 is published below and is available for download (1.0MB) and distribution. Alternatively watch the video below for a presentation of this month’s report.

Summary of the market – July 2011

The property market is edging toward the Spring period – a time traditionally when more buyer activity appears at open homes and new properties appear on the market. This year unlike the past couple sees a challenging set of circumstances. New listings are in short supply, not just in the major cities but now right around the country. Matched to this and as a function of this and the upturn in sales the level of inventory of unsold property on the market is edging down – nationally below the long-term average. This low level of supply, if not met by a rise in supply in the short term could result in either or both price pressure upwards or disillusioned buyers exiting the market.

This trend of falling inventory off the back of rising sales and shortages of new listings began a couple of months ago in Auckland and then spread out through the major metropolitan areas into provincial NZ. Auckland remains the epicenter of this trend and now sees a situation where available inventory of property for sale is the lowest seen since this recent property malaise began back in 2007. Auckland currently has just over 5½ months of available inventory based on the recent rate of sale, not since September 2007 has the region seen this level – the highest level of inventory was recorded in June 2008 at just over 13 months.

Whilst shortage of supply matched to low inventory and rising sales usually sees pressure on prices, the asking price for July showed what is a traditional fall – seasonally adjusted it was down 1.6% indicating that sellers new to the market are not being wildly optimistic in their expectations – potentially keener to sell quickly than inflate expectations.

Asking Price

The truncated mean asking price for all new listings in July fell significantly from $415,053 in June to $403,474. On a seasonally adjusted basis the asking price fell 1.6% in the month indicating a continued 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 July fell again to 8,966. This represented a 15% year-on-year decline but a marginal 1% seasonally adjusted rise from June.

On a 12 month moving basis the number of new listings in the past year totals 124,228 as compared 145,733 for the same period a year ago – a fall of 15%.

Inventory

The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of July continued to fall from prior months. July reported 45,674 down from 47,738 in June and 48,352 in May.

The current inventory is now well below the long term average. The winter season traditionally sees a reduction in new listings, this when seen against a strengthening of sale over the past 3 months is likely to see inventory levels continue to fall as Spring approaches.

 

Regional Summary – Asking price expectations

The national asking price expectation fell in July by 3.8% vs the recent 3 month average, this performance was mirrored across the regions with 14 regions showing a fall of which 4 reported asking price falls of more than 5%.

Countering this trend were 5 regions showing strength in asking price growth the most significant region being the Central Otago Lakes region including the key center of Queenstown, this saw a 7.4% rise in asking price to $581,666 – this is 10% up on a seasonally adjusted basis which when reviewed against the shortage of listings and low inventory would seem to highlight that the Queenstown property market is gathering pace again with recent 3 months sales volume up 26%.

 

Regional Summary – Listings

The dominant perspective for the 19 regions of the country is that in terms of new listings the market is definitely skewed to favour sellers. This month there are no regions reporting year-on-year growth in new listings.

There are 7 regions showing year-on-year falls of more than 20%, most notable in size are the Central Otago, Manawatu / Wanganaui and Coromandel. The latter being a region, which has seen a heavy weight of unsold inventory for many months, and has of late seen a significant improvement as these falls in new listings have taken effect.

Two regions saw record lows of new listings – Northland with 335 down from the previous record low of 352 from last month and Marlborough with 101 down from the previous low of 110 back in April 2009.

 

Regional Summary – Inventory

The NZ property market has markedly changed in the space of 4 months – in April of this year every one of the 19 regions showed an inventory well above long term average indicating that these regions as well as the national picture at 54 weeks of equivalent sales was stuck in a buyers market as it had been for well over 18 months.

Now just 4 months later the picture shows 9 regions as defined as sellers markets, just 4 as definite buyers markets and the remainder balanced markets.

The regions that are seeing the greatest pressure in inventory are the major regions of Auckland, Otago, Nelson, Otago Lakes and the Waikato. These 5 regions are all sitting with inventory well below long term average and based on recent listing shortages will see levels fall further heading into Spring.

Despite the national view there remains a number of regions which have inventory well above long-term average of which the Wairarapa and Northland feature strongly.

 

Lifestyle

Lifestyle property listings across the country fell significantly in July to a new record low of just 628; this was below the prior low of 727 seen in January of this year. The Auckland region – one of the largest regions for lifestyle property recorded a low of 124, lower than the prior record from January 2010 of 153. Overall listings were down 25% year-on-year and down 10% on a seasonally adjusted basis.

In terms of asking price the national truncated mean asking price at $520,109 was down 5% on a seasonally adjusted basis and down 8% as against recent 3-month average.

 

Apartments

Listings of apartments showed a 16% decrease on a seasonally adjusted basis, reversing what had been a strong June for new listings of apartments. A total of 443 new apartments came onto the market in the month. The truncated mean asking price for these new listings was $372,983, which was down 4.0% on the recent 3-month average, and up 4.3% as compared to July 2010.

In the Auckland apartment market, which represents over 60% of the market there were 295 new listings with an asking price of $340,344. The new listings shows a fall of 21% on a seasonally adjusted basis, and a 15% fall 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 8,966 new listings in the month of July, a total of 135 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 1,000 offices, the company represents over 95% of all listings from licensed real estate agents in NZ.

The full NZ Property Report for July 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 August 2011 will be published on this website on Thursday 1st September 2011 at 10am.

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Advanced property search – zero in on your selection!

Posted on: July 22nd, 2011 | Filed in Featured, Website searching

Searching for a property is a time consuming task, thankfully since the emergence of the web as the primary source of property information, this process has got a lot simpler.

Remember just for a minute, when your only means of finding property for sale in your chosen area was to trawl every page of the property magazines and newspapers and then drive round the streets. There was no intelligent filter to apply to finding only those properties that were in your price range and specific area – properties in print publications are still today presented as branded sections by real estate company!

Well the searching filters available to you on Realestate.co.nz just got a whole lot more advanced to help you can use your time far more effectively. We have rebuilt the Advanced Search feature specifically to help the many thousands of users of our site everyday who are really committed buyers, those for whom the buying process is not a casual browse, but a detailed committed search project.

The Advanced Search feature is located adjacent to the “Find Properties” search button in the property finder search box at the top of every page on the site. This feature opens up a wide option list to refine your search:

Location

Traditional search allows you to use a hierarchy to search for a suburb or group of suburbs within a specific district of the country. You have always been constrained to a search being geographically bounded, now that has changed.

With Advanced Search you can select a wishlist of chosen areas of the country and group them together to become your saved search parameter. Saving you chosen search using the My Property feature ensures you can get daily emails that tell you when new listings appear in your area of choice.

So lets look at a real scenario. Say for example you are interested in buying a beachside property – something of a lifestyle choice and you hear on the grapevine that beachside properties are a good buy and prices are good. You live in Auckland and your choice could extend all the way from the Bay of Islands through the Matakana coast down to the Coromandel. No problem with Advanced Search. Just select your chosen suburbs (or whole regions) to effectively build a “shopping list” for your search – for me this includes Matarangi, Kuaotunu in the Coromandel, Russell in the Bay of Islands and Algies Bay in Rodney district.

Price

Hard as it is to face up to the fact, not all of us have a bank balance approaching a lotto win! – for that reason we have to stick to a budget when searching for a property. The standard search price range selection on the website has been greatly enhanced as compared to the old realestate.co.nz website. We used to have 16 ranges, we now have extended that to 25 ranges.

The Advanced Search however takes it even further – now this feature allows you to search for any price range – you name your price!. Just under the price range boxes is a link titled “Specify your own price range” – this allows you to enter any price range you want – $425,000 to $465,000 for example. Just type in any numbers – a tight or as broad as you like. This advanced search will only show properties for sale which are being marketed with a price in this range.

Pricing method

A common and consistent feedback we have received from users of the website over the years is the desire to see properties with a price; they often go on to say “please don’t show us property marketed as tenders / auctions / price by negotiation etc”. We certainly feel that it is best to check out all property regardless of price method, however we respect the users of our site and that is why we have introduced this feature.

You can now select only ‘displayed price’ property or just ‘auctions’ or just properties going to ‘tender’ – you choose which one or combination you want to filter on.

Land area / Floor area

This additional filter allows you to set some parameters around the size of house or the size of section. As a note of caution please be aware that we do not have details of the floor area of every house nor the section size of every property on the website. This unfortunately is something that is outside of our control as we seek the input of this data from the listings agents and it may not be provided. So choosing this filter may mean that some property results are excluded as we do not have details on these parameters.

Addressed property

This final filter tool is pretty self explanatory. Researching properties that have a displayed address is more valuable as you can see the location on a Google map on the site as well as review the property information and free report on Zoodle about that property. So now you can select to search only on properties with an address, we think it will be helpful.

So there you have it! – an exhaustive view of the richness of Advanced Search – my choice; well I wanted to look for that beachside property so I have made my search based on Russell, Algies Bay, Matarangi and Kuaotunu; a price range from $465k to $585k; anything up to 4 bedrooms and I am only interested in property with an address and with a price displayed – my search gives me 18 properties to review!

 

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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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