The Unconditional Blog

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Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

1

Floorplans add a true sense of a virtual open home to the website

Posted on: December 7th, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured, Website news

The presentation of property online has radically transformed over the past 5 years.

Back in 2006 when the new website of Realestate.co.nz emerged to provide a much improved user experience, the content provided on the site was by today’s standards pitiful. On average a listing had only 3 photos. The property seldom had an address, and the description was often copied from the newspaper advert. At the time the real estate industry in general judged the web as an after-thought, with the central focus being on print advertising in newspapers and magazines.

Skip forward 5 years to today and so much has changed. Today the first destination for almost all property seekers is online, on average property seekers spend over 3 hours a week on property websites. Their intent is to spend even more time in the future with more than a third of them say they will check out property online more frequently. (This data comes from the recent Nielsen online intercept survey carried out in July this year).

As this exponential growth of viewing property online has transformed the real estate industry; so at the same time the industry has adapted and recognised the need to provide more information with each listing. The average number of photos per listing has shot up to 16. The photos have got bigger, and to accommodate these we have added full screen viewing. Today more than 65% of all listings now have an address which allows property maps to be included on the website providing great context to the property location.

These improvements fit perfectly into the wish list of users of real estate websites as identified in the Nielsen survey – the table below tracks the most requested information presented on a real estate website:

Nestled firmly below the expected critical information on property listings – the address, the large portfolio of high quality images and maps is the desire for floor plans. 89% of those surveyed stated that they would like to see floorplans for properties on the market.

That request has now been answered on the realestate.co.nz website. Working with partners such as MyAgent and Open2view we have enabled the integration of interactive floor plans for properties on the market today on the website. These solutions which go further than just static image based floor plans adding in the context of the location for each images matched to the part of the house really add engagement to these listings which is so important for getting the maximum impact for the vendor’s property.

At this time this service of interactive floorplans on the realestate.co.nz is the unique in NZ and with several hundred listings already on the site featuring these floorplans, and more to come in the near future, we certainly see this as a compelling appeal of the website. Check out the example of a few current listing:

Click here to see the full listing on realestate.co.nz

 

Click here to see the full listing on realestate.co.nz

 

 

Click here to see the full listing on realestate.co.nz

5

A New Zealand housing bubble?

Posted on: December 6th, 2011 | Filed in Featured, International, Money Matters

The question has been posed today in the media that NZ properties are overvalued by 25% – according to a report from the Economist entitled “House of Horrors“. It should be pointed out that this report was reported by Interest.co.nz a couple of weeks ago.

The Ecomomist’s report is certainly worth reading, as well is the data which lies behind the report for it shows that the headline of a 25% overvaluation for NZ property is hard to identify. The full table of data is presented here. It should be noted that The Economist cites Statistics NZ as the source of the data for the report.

The report states that “Based on the average of the two measures (analysis of value to rents & value to income), home prices are overvalued by about 25% or more in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, New Zealand, Britain, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden“.

The specific data for NZ shows that when assessed on the value to rents NZ is 66% overvalued, whilst when assessed on value to income NZ property is just 4% overvalued. Australia by comparison is 38% overvalued when assessed to income and 53% overvalued to rents.

The UK is judged to be 20% overvalued when assessed to income and 28% overvalued to rents, with the US 22% undervalued when assessed to income and 8% undervalued to rents.

The chart also highlights that NZ property is showing a 0.1% increase in price as compared to last year and a 4% fall since 2007. Whilst the countries cited in the headline such as Belgium, Canada and France have seen year on year increases of over 3% up to 7.7% and increases since 2007 of between 6% and 22%.

The Economist provides as part of the data report an excellent interactive chart. This has given me the opportunity to analysing some great comparatives of both property prices and value comparatives which I have detailed below.

Comparing property prices on an index basis since 2000 shows the relative position for NZ matched to Australia and the US. All three countries enjoyed rapid growth through the first 6 years of the decade before the US started its spiral down, over the past 4 years NZ has flatlined whilst Australia has forged ahead.

The analysis of property prices based on real terms rather than actual price as in the index chart is very illuminating – this chart which shows NZ and Australia highlights the fact that the current property prices in real terms are back to where they were in the Q2 of 2005 – over 6 years ago – such is the inflation impact on property prices.  By comparison Australian property prices in real terms are 20% up as compared to Q2 of 2005.

 

 

The Economist report made comparison of valuation to both income and rental and these next 2 charts present the data for NZ and Australia against these two measures. Based on income NZ Property prices are now around 17% overvalued compared to the status in 2000, by comparison Australia is 42% overvalued. NZ and Australia were tracking on a comparable basis up until the last 2 years when NZ has fallen as a ratio of price to income.

 

 

 

The comparison of property prices to rents for NZ and Australia shows a chart where the two markets are exactly aligned comparing Q1 2000 with the current data – both are showing a 60% appreciation of prices to rents over the period, with both markets tracking in line through the period.

 

 

As a final analysis it is interesting to compare NZ with two markets that has fared the worst in the property crash of the last decade – the US and Ireland. In this chart showing property prices in real terms the NZ property prices in real terms are up just over 50% in the 11 years, by comparison both Ireland and the US have seen the bubble followed by the crash which in both cases shows that property prices in real terms are back to 2000 levels – a lost decade for these property markets.

 

 

 

3

NZ Property Report – November 2011

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

The November 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 November. 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 – November 2011 is published below and is available for download (1.5MB) and distribution.

Summary of the market – November 2011

The property market is now firmly in the active Summer season with a strong surge of new listings coming onto the market to provide variety for the prospective buyers who have certainly been more active over the winter and spring period of this year. This current level of activity is likely to result in full calendar year sales in excess of 60,000. This would be up 7% on the prior year; however this level of sales is far below the peak of the property market (now a somewhat distant memory) of 2004 when in excess of 120,000 properties were sold in that year.

The slightly lower level of listings in October are now judged to have been influenced by the Rugby World Cup with sellers possibly hesitant to list at that time preferring to wait until the event was over before marketing their properties. It is still though noticeable the extent to which this year has seen a much lower level of new listings than 2010, so far this year 116,016 new listings have been brought to market 11% lower than last year.

With this new flow of listings has come what can be considered to be a confident position by sellers on asking price; which whilst slipping slightly in the month continues to show a slow but steady increase over the past few years. This confidence on the part of sellers is certainly supported by the rate of sale of property which is being shared by real estate agents in their daily contact with the public, and can also be seen in traffic to online listing sites which has seen an aggregated increase this year of 6% with over 187,000 daily visitor sessions across all sites (Nielsen Online).

Asking Price

The truncated mean asking price of $425,956 for all new listings in November eased slightly from the peak in October of $434,161. On a seasonally adjusted basis the asking price fell 2% indicating that whilst expectations are rising the rate of increase is not as high as seasonal factors would expect.

The long term trend as seen in the chart has been a steady increase in asking price over the past 3 years – the seasonal trend each year tends to see asking prices rise through from mid winter to October before falling back.

New Listings

The level of new listings coming onto the market in November rose on a seasonally adjusted basis by 17%. A total of 13,369 new listings came onto the market representing a 3% year-on-year rise.

On a 12 month moving total basis the number of new listings in the past year totals 124,412 as compared 140,214 for the same period a year ago – a fall of 11%.

Inventory

The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of November turned down slightly in what was a somewhat unexpected trend. At the end of the month there were 48,647 houses, apartments and lifestyle properties on the market barely up from 46,597 in October and down from 54,365 a year ago. This current level of inventory represents 38.1 weeks of equivalent sales.

 

Regional Summary – Asking price expectations

The national truncated mean asking price expectation among sellers eased slightly in November to $425,956. This price trend has been seen for each of the past 4 years as rising asking prices begin to ease as the summer approaches.

Across the 19 regions the view is generally of increasing prices with 12 regions reporting increases as measured against the recent 3 month average. There were 3 regions with rises of over 5% – Hawkes Bay, Nelson and the West Coast, the latter of these reporting a new record high up 25% over the prior year to $315,993.

Amongst the 7 regions showing a fall in asking price there were 4 regions where the fall was over 5% – Northland, Gisborne, Manawatu / Wanganui and Southland. The largest of these falls was in Gisborne which saw asking price fall by 29% vs. November last year, this level at $260,189 is approaching a record low last seen in early 2009.

 

Regional Summary – Listings

New listings rose across most of the country in November with just 5 of the 19 regions seeing falls in listings of greater than 5%. The biggest fall was in the Coromandel which was down 29% with just 247 new listings, this compares with levels of over 400 in prior years.

Contrasting these regions were Nelson reporting 24% increase, Northland with a 46% increase and the Central North Island with an enormous 120% increase – this latter region has seen a consistently low level of new listings this year. In the first 10 months of this year only 1,284 listings came onto the market, whilst 296 new listing hit the market in the single month of November.

The remainder of the country seems to reflect a balance with 6 regions reporting barely changed levels of new listings which would indicate a balance between buyers and sellers.

 

Regional Summary – Inventory

The inventory of unsold homes on the market eased slightly this month having seen a slight upturn in October; given the rise in new listings this would indicate a strong rate of sale.

Across the country there were a total of 8 regions where the advantage is to sellers. Of these the 5 regions of Auckland, Manawatu/Wanganui, Canterbury, West Coast and the Waikato remain very much in strong sellers markets. If anything the past month has seen a degree of rebalancing of the market overall in all but these extreme market-condition-affected regions.

There are however still 5 regions (Marlborough, Wairarapa, Southland, Taranaki and Gisborne) were the market is certainly favouring buyers with high levels of inventory set against long term average.

The market is now firmly in the peak summer season and with the more balanced market in terms of inventory of unsold properties on the market the options seem more open for both active buyers and sellers.

 

Lifestyle

Lifestyle property listings shot up in November with 1,133 listings in the month, this represented a 15% seasonally adjusted increase but was down 5% on the same month last year. The truncated mean asking price at $574,507 was up 3% from last year but down 3% down on the recent 3 month average.

Across the country strength in new listings was seen in Northland (125, up 67% Yr. on Yr.) and the Waikato (120, up 13% Yr. on Yr.). Whilst the Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and Wellington all saw year on year falls of over 25%.

 

Apartments

New listings for apartments picked up in November with 535 apartments coming onto the market up 20% from October but 10% down on last year. The truncated mean asking price of $370,532 was up 2% from prior month and in line with last year.

The Auckland market which dominates the apartment market saw a stronger performance with 350 new listings which was 25% up on prior month and just 1.4% down on last year. The asking price was $352,407 which was up nearly 15% on last year and 2% up from October.

 

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 13,369 new listings in the month of November, a total of 138 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 November 2011 can be downloaded here (1.5MB pdf document). Additionally the raw data is accessible here as an Excel spreadsheet enabling anyone to analyse the raw data and establish any trends or observations.

Usage rights are governed under attribution to the source of the data being Realestate.co.nz. The next NZ Property Report for December 2011 will be published on this website on Sunday 1st January 2012 at 10am.

0

Property Pulse – October 2011

Posted on: November 29th, 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 October 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 October 2011 is published using data from Realestate.co.nz and REINZ (Real Estate Institute of NZ).

Property sales across the country totalled 5,007 in the month showed a fall on a seasonally adjusted basis in October and a significant 28% rise as compared to October 2010. The inventory of unsold houses on the market at 38 weeks of equivalent sales continues to sit below the long-term average of 41 weeks.

The stratified mean sales price for property sales across the country at $368,200 is up 3% as compared to a year ago, and continues to show slow but steady rise over the past year. The asking price expectation of new listings rose to a new peak in October of $434,161, which is 3% up as compared to a year ago.

The level of new listings coming onto the market in October at 11,312 was up very slightly from the prior month and down 5% as compared to a year ago.

5

The mortgagee hangover

Posted on: November 16th, 2011 | Filed in Featured, Market News

The headlines keep reminding us that we are still globally mired in what can be thought of a global economic doldrums. Europe seems perilously close to some form of collapse or at least a “lost decade” and as ever when one of our major trading partner sneezes we tend to catch a cold.

At this time, one of the measures of this – what might be thought of as a long term hangover is mortgagee sales. Those properties where for whatever reason the property owner fails to meet their obligation with the lender and proceedings ensue whereby the lender (in the main, high street banks) seek to repossess the property and auction it off as a “mortgagee sale” to recover the debt owed on the property.

This sector of the NZ property market is a background condition in boom times as well as in bust times, it just tends to be that bust times tend to raise the levels of mortgagee properties being brought to the market. Over the past 4 years this has been very evident as the chart below highlights.

At the peak of the global financial crisis in 2009 the number of mortgagee properties being marketed peaked at over 400 properties in the market and in that year a total of 2,231 mortgagee properties were placed on the market. That compared to just 571 in the whole of 2007 (pre GFC). In 2011 so far 1,535 properties have brought to the market as mortgagee listings by lenders seeking to liquidate the asset.

At this time on the market there are 396 properties being marketed by real estate agents as mortgagee properties. As mortgagee properties are not a defined category our data set relies on the use of the term mortgagee to identify such properties.

As stated this continuing prevalence of mortgagee properties on the market is a bit of a legacy hangover – a legacy we seem unable to shake. Examining year on year data as the chart below shows, the fact is that 2011 is actually worse than 2010 when judged on the perspective of the percentage representation of mortgagee properties on the market as a proportion of all properties being marketed.

The scale of the NZ mortgagee property hangover is though somewhat modest when compared to other countries, most notably the US where still some 3 years after the GFC as a result of the sub-prime mortgage fiasco mortgagee sales (foreclosures as they are called) are estimated to still total 2.1 million properties and by some estimates will take a decade to clear, by comparison NZ mortgagee listings have never represented more than 0.75% of all listings or less than 0.5% of total sales.

6

NZ Property Report – October 2011

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

The October 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 October. 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 – October 2011 is published below and is available for download (1.5MB) and distribution.

Summary of the market – October 2011

The property market continues to show signs of confidence and heightened activity as compared to the past few years. The confidence amongst sellers bringing their properties onto the market has pushed up the truncated mean asking price to a new high of $434,161 – the highest level since the collection of data began in 2007. This rise in asking price was noticeable right across the country, with Auckland pushing a new high of $568,778.

However the volume of new listings shows a slightly different picture with an 11% seasonally adjusted decline which indicates that there is still some hesitation within property owners to bring their property onto the market. The month of October tends to see a big lift from September to satisfy the spring surge in demand; this year the increase was not so significant. This would ordinarily lead to some further tightening in the available stock of property on the market but recent sales which have not continued the year-on-year rises seen through the winter months have resulted in a rise in the inventory of unsold properties on the market. These inventory levels are still in the main below the long term average, but are edging up from the lows of 2 months ago.

The next data for November will be interesting to review as to the final flush of new listings coming onto the market in Spring – November is traditionally one of the biggest listings months of the year. Last year that total was close to 13,000 – that at a time when inventory was considerably higher than today.

Asking Price

The truncated mean asking price for all new listings in October rose again for the 3rd month in a row to $434,161 from $425,565. On a seasonally adjusted basis the asking price actually slipped 0.4% in the month indicating that whilst expectations are rising the rate of increase is not as high as seasonal factors would expect.

The long term trend as seen in the chart has been a steady increase in asking price over the past 3 years – the seasonal trend each year tends to see asking prices rise through from mid winter to October before falling back.

 

New Listings

The level of new listings coming onto the market in October rose only slightly, bucking seasonal trends. A total of 11,312 new listings came onto the market representing a 5% year-on-year decline; on a seasonally adjusted basis the fall was a more significant 10.7%.

On a 12 month moving total basis the number of new listings in the past year totals 124,503 as compared 141,139 for the same period a year ago – a fall of 12%.

 

Inventory

The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of October rose again. At the end of the month there were 48,597 houses, apartments and lifestyle properties on the market up from 46,299 in September and down from 52,043 a year ago. This current level of inventory represents 38.5 weeks of equivalent sales.

The trend as show in the adjacent chart is showing a small incline as the market stabilises once again.

 

Regional Summary – Asking price expectations

The national truncated mean asking price expectation among sellers rose to a new peak in October of $434,161. This exceeds the prior peaks of $429,249 in April of this year; and $429,033 from back in October 2007.

Across the 19 regions the signal was in all but 2 that price expectations are rising. The exceptions were the Central / Otago Queenstown Lakes region were prices fell by 11% on a comparison with recent 3 months average to $498,436 and the Central North Island region which was down 3.5% to $344,669. In the case of the Queenstown region this latest price is low as judged on a long term basis with an all time high in July 2007 of $668,973 and a low of $479,699 in Feb 2009.

There were 7 regions where asking prices rose above 5% on a comparable basis to the past 3 months, with a further 8 regions with an increase of between 1% and 5%.

 

Regional Summary – Listings

The flow of new listings onto the market has been sporadic this year. From shortages in the Autumn and Winter months to then seeing an early surge in late Winter and early Spring. The latest month of October – traditionally a strong month for listings saw a flatter performance.

Nationally the year-on-year comparison was down 5%. Across the country there were 10 of the 19 regions reporting falls in listings greater than the national average. Within this group extremely low levels of listings were seen in the Central North Island (-36%) Hawkes Bay (-38%) and Otago (-30%), a clutch of 4 regions (Gisborne, Wairarapa, Marlborough and the West Coast) all saw 19% falls.

Against these falls Northland saw a massive rise of 31% to 622 new listings, with 4 other regions reporting rises in new listings over 5%.

 

Regional Summary – Inventory

The inventory of unsold homes on the market crept up again this month to 38 weeks, still below the long term average of 41 weeks leading to the assessment that the market is in the main favouring sellers.

Across the country there were 5 regions which are certainly in a shortage of listings situation of which Canterbury and Auckland are the most significant. The former region not having seen this level of inventory for 2 years.

There are however 3 regions (Marlborough, Taranaki and Gisborne) were the market is certainly favouring buyers with high levels of inventory set against long term average.

The remaining 9 regions are balanced between buyer and sellers with a slight leaning in favour of sellers. The key factor affecting the future trend will be the extent of property sales over the months of October and November as to whether the trend of inventory keep edging up to the long term average or plateaus.

 

Lifestyle

Lifestyle property listings across the country rose in October by 14% as compared to September; when judged on a seasonally adjusted basis the performance showed an increase of 3%. There were 998 new listings added in the month with a truncated mean asking price of $609,544 which was up 8% on the recent 3 month average. Measured against October last year the asking price is up 4%. It certainly would look as though lifestyle properties are coming back onto the market after a quiet period. On a 12 month moving average basis total new listings of lifestyle properties are down 12% at 10,847.

 

Apartments

New apartment listings fell again last month from September and the high of August. A total of 446 new apartment listings came onto the market. The truncated mean asking price at $363,115 was down 3% on the prior month and 2% up on a year ago. Nationally over the past 12 months the level of new listings of apartments have fallen 15% as compared to the prior 12 month period the prior year – a total of 5,720 new apartments have come onto the market in the last 12 month period.

In the Auckland apartment market, which represents over 60% of the total market there were just 280 new listings which represented an 20% seasonally adjusted decline. In terms of asking price, the truncated mean in October was $345,321 up 6% as compared to the recent 3 month average.

 

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 sales 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 11,312 new listings in the month of October, a total of 170 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 October 2011 can be downloaded here (1.5MB pdf document). Additionally the raw data is accessible here as an Excel spreadsheet enabling anyone to analyse the raw data and establish any trends or observations.

 

Usage rights are governed under attribution to the source of the data being Realestate.co.nz. The next NZ Property Report for November 2011 will be published on this website on Thursday 1st December 2011 at 10am.

 

 

 

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Real estate mobile search comes to the Android smartphone

Posted on: October 9th, 2011 | Filed in Featured, mobile

The success of the Realestate.co.nz app for the iPhone has transformed the NZ real estate search experience. Every day thousands of eager property seekers fire up the iPhone app to checkout what property is for sale or rent right around where they are at that time. It’s the only property app in NZ for a smartphone that utilises the GPS capability to help you discover your favourite new home, from the most comprehensive database of listings for properties on the market.

All of these benefits has made the Realestate.co.nz app for the iPhone the mobile app of choice and is why over 40,000 downloads have been made through the iTunes app store in the past 11 months – with still over 100 new downloads every day.

The iPhone is unquestionably an innovative and highly appealing device, but globally the Android operating system is proving the leader with over 500,000 activations a day globally. In NZ the Android platform offers a wide range of smartphone options and this why it is so important for all these Android smartphone owners to have a mobile app for house hunting. To meet this need Realestate.co.nz is delighted to release an Android app to complement the iPhone app .

The functionality is very similar – again offering the only GPS enabled property search app in NZ for the comprehensive selection of property on the market. The app for both iPhone and Android draws on the enormous property database of Realestate.co.nz hosting as it does over 95% of all listed properties by licensed real estate agents.

The Android app is free and can be downloaded through the Android marketplace. Simple and easy to use and sure to swell the numbers of property seekers turning to their smartphone as well as their web browser to search for their next home.

 

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NZ Property Report – September 2011

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

The September 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 September. The key measures of the market analysed in the report are the number of new listings, the asking price expectation for those new listings and the level of inventory of unsold houses on the market at this time. The report is compiled from data captured by the website and represents close to 95% of all property movements in the NZ market as managed by licensed real estate agents.

A full print version of the NZ Property Report – September 2011 is published below and is available for download (1.5MB) and distribution.

Summary of the market – September 2011

The property has now fully entered its traditional spring period; an active time with new listings appearing as the weather improves. This year the two uncertain variables of the Rugby World Cup and the forthcoming election certainly do not appear to be affecting the supply side of the market.

New listings continued to come onto the market – by no means a flood, but much in line with seasonal trends. The current rate of sale of properties has been growing steadily over the past 6 months and whilst in last couple of months this rate of sale has been at a higher rate than listings leading to a decline in inventory; during September this balance was redressed. As a consequence in the month of September the inventory of unsold houses rose slightly.

The key measure for the month is without doubt the asking price expectation, which rose again a significant $10,000 to $525,565. This is now 3.4% ahead of September last year and just 1% below the peak asking price set in April of this year.

 

Asking Price

The truncated mean asking price for all new listings in September rose significantly from $415,078 in August to $425,565. On a seasonally adjusted basis the asking price rose by 1.5% 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 early spring each year, this year that seasonal rise is somewhat more significant and could result in a new peak of asking price.

 

New Listings

The level of new listings coming onto the market in September rose again in line with seasonal trends. A total of 11,117 new listings came onto the market representing a 5% year-on-year increase; on a seasonally adjusted basis the rise was a more modest 0.3%.

On a 12 month moving total basis the number of new listings in the past year totals 124,102 as compared 142,778 for the same period a year ago – a fall of 12%.

 

Inventory

The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of September rose slightly. At the end of the month there were 46,299 houses, apartments and lifestyle properties on the market up from 44,689 in August and down from 51,035 a year ago. This current level of inventory represents 37.2 weeks of equivalent sales.

From the chart the decline in inventory has been halted and a plateau is emerging.

 

Regional Summary – Asking price expectations

The national asking price expectation rose significantly in September due to seasonal factors. Across the country this trend was seen in 17 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 Auckland, Manawatu/ Wanganui, Canterbury and the West Coast all of which exceeded 5% growth as compared to recent 3 month average.

There were just 2 regions which experienced falls in asking price, Marllborough down 1.6% and Southland down a significant 7.9%.

 

 

Regional Summary – Listings

Listings flow was strong in September with 12 of the 19 regions seeing rises.

Significant rises were seen on the West Coast and in the Marlborough region. By contrast just 4 regions saw comparable year-on-year falls in new listings. Northland saw a significant 22% fall as compared to last year.

 

 

 

Regional Summary – Inventory

Whilst the overall state of the property market still favours sellers, the trend of the past month has seen some easing in some regions as new listing levels have outpaced sales. There are still 11 of the 19 regions of the country that have an inventory measured as weeks of equivalent sales below the long term average.

The 3 key metro areas of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are all sitting with inventory well below long term average and have seen very active local pockets of property buying as listings in short supply have driven some active buyer activity.

 

Lifestyle

Lifestyle property listings across the country rose in September by 15% as compared to August when judged on a seasonally adjusted basis the performance showed a 4% decline. There were 878 new listings added in the month with a truncated mean asking price of $599,813 which was up 10% on the recent 3 month average. Measured against September last year the asking price is up 14%.

 

Apartments

New apartment listings returned to a more normal level last month from the peak level in August. A total of 492 new apartment listings came onto the market. The truncated mean asking price at $372,747 was up 13% on the prior month and 3% up on a year ago.

In the Auckland apartment market, which represents over 60% of the total market there were just 299 new listings which represented an 31% seasonally adjusted decline. In terms of asking price, the truncated mean in September was $336,707 up from the prior month record low of $302,425.

 

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 11,117 new listings in the month of September, a total of 169 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 September 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 October 2011 will be published on this website on Tuesday 1st November 2011 at 10am.

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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.

 

 

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