The last 10 years witnessed some incredible highs and lows in NZ real estate – at its peak in the month of March 2005 houses were being sold at the rate of 368 a day – that is close to 33 an hour. At the other extreme in January 2009 sales stalled to a low of just 3,706 – a daily rate of just 120.
In pricing terms the decade started with an average NZ home costing $174,850 – in today’s money that would equate to $222,411. By the end of the decade that average NZ home cost $369,825 a rise of 66% over the decade. If you had decided to sell in that house in November 2007 when the market peaked then that house would have seen an inflation adjusted rise of 77% from the start of the decade.
At the start of 2000 the process of searching for a home likely involved a meeting with an agent early in the process as access to information as to what was on the market very much resided in their offices. The internet was used for property search but not as the primary means. Back in January 2000 there was only one website aggregating listings from various sources RealENZ (the predecessor of Realestate.co.nz) – the monthly traffic to the site was around 60,000 visitors as probably less than 20% of buyers used the web.
In January 2010 78% of buyers turn to the web first when searching for real estate and the monthly audience for all monitored websites is over 1,300,000 unique visitors. This has largely placed the task of searching firmly in the hands of buyers with a vast amount of additional information accessible to educate and inform buyers mostly thanks to Google and their ability to organise the world’s collective knowledge and make it universally accessible.
So as we start this new decade and consider how the industry will change in the next 10 years I was prompted to share the following summary from Brad Inman written as the introduction to last week’s Real Estate Connect Conference held in New York attended by over 1,800 delegates from around the world. Brad is highly respected in the industry as the publisher of Inman News and a knowledgeable and insightful observer of the industry.
“The first decade of the new century ended last month. What began in a boom and ended in a bust, the real estate market, is slowly coming alive. Along the road to recovery is a raft of innovation that has enabled the smart and technology savvy real estate agent/broker to survive. Combine the technology transformation with a revived market and change will accelerate dramatically in the coming 24 months.
Think of these changes in phases. Phase one included a greater number of steps in the home buying and selling process being digitized and automated, allowing consumers to more intelligently navigate real estate deals. In addition, the Internet has enabled home buyers through maps, search, AVM’s and MLS data (US centralised Multiple Listing Service) to structure their own home hunt, in one way relieving the agent/broker but reshaping their world along the way.
Because of technology, consumer needs are changing, and smart agents are transforming their business practices to focus on these new expectations. Technology – communication and information delivery – has become a central part of the services that home buyers and sellers expect and that savvy agents are providing.
Instant online real estate intelligence will be the next big change as consumers rely more on rich live data feeds, social media and local metrics to make house buying and selling decisions.
These innovations will change the role of the agent and the broker again. At one time, the listing data was perceived as the central value proposition of the industry, but that has changed with ubiquitous listing data. Then the agent became more of a counselor, teacher and advisor, which will evolve as Internet real estate intel becomes more sophisticated and matures.
In the future the role of the agent will be to focus on the gnarly often confusing transaction and direct and move it along. Smart agents are using technology to make that process easier and less confusing for their customers. The agents with the best technology will find and close more deals online and dwarf their slower-to-adopt competitors. Thanks to technology adoption, their business will scale and they will capture greater market share by closing more deal efficiently”.