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2

NZ Property Report – November 2012

The November 2012 NZ Property Report published by Realestate.co.nz provides an insight into the state of the New Zealand property market as measured by the supply side of the property market over the month of 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 97% 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 2012 is published below and is available for download (1.2MB) and distribution.

Summary of the market – November 2012

Inventory hits 5 year low and adds growing pressure to the property market

The message coming from the property market is that buyers are out and about and are keen to get into the market. This eagerness to buy is matched by the availability of attractive mortgage packages, but is not being met with sufficient supply of new property listings, which is continuing to drive the current sellers market.

Inventory levels across the country remain low and the market remains a firms sellers market across 15 of NZ’s 19 regions. Overall stocks of unsold homes fell to a 5 year low of 28.7 weeks of inventory (long term average = 39 weeks). Auckland was again the most affected by low inventory levels, with stocks of unsold homes falling to a new low of 15.5 weeks of inventory, well below the long term average of 31 weeks.

The REINZ Residential Market Statistics reports strong property sales with 6,640 properties sold in October, up 33% on a year ago, and yet listing flow is not matching with just a 1.5% year on year growth. This is why the inventory supply of the property on the market (as measured by rate of sale) has fallen 29% in the past year.

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 Realestate.co.nz which has seen an increase this year of 40%, with over 1,400,000 monthly visitor sessions across all sites (Google Analytics).

 

Asking Price

The seasonally adjusted truncated mean asking price for listings steadied, rising just 0.2% to high of $446,277 in November.

The trend (as seen in the chart opposite) very clearly shows an accelerating growth in asking price over the recent 12 months (as compared to 2010/11) and shows continued strength in seller expectations.

 

New Listings

The level of new listings coming onto the market in November continued to increase, with 13,571 listings in the month – up from 12,688 in October (7% increase). However listings were only slightly up by 1.5% on November last year.

On a 12 month moving total basis the number of new listings that have come onto the market in the last year totals 132,493, as compared to 124,940 in the prior 12-month period, this represents a rise of 6%.

 

Inventory

The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of November (45,228) was up, when compared to October (43,410). The inventory as measured in terms of equivalent weeks of sales fell to a 5 year low last month to 28.7 weeks last month. This fall was witnessed across 15 of the 19 regions.

With the rising rate of property sales, the inventory on the market has seen a significant drop over the last 12 months pushing it well below the long-term average of 39 weeks of equivalent sales.

 

Regional Summary – Asking price expectations

The national (seasonally adjusted) truncated mean asking price expectation among sellers rose just 0.2% in November to a new high of $446,277.

In the main centers, Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch all reported a fall in the asking price in November. Auckland fell 2.5% to $596,759, Wellington fell 4.2% to $431,259 and Canterbury fell 2% to $405,913.

In total 10 regions reported asking price increases, and 5 regions saw rises greater than 5%. The most significant rises were seen in the Central North Island, Northland, Manawatu/Wanganui and Southland with Central North Island showing the largest increases, up 6.9% to $369,390. Of the 9 regions witnessing asking price falls on a seasonally adjusted basis there was 3 that reported a falls of greater than 5% with Gisborne falling by 14.4% to $250,866, Hawkes Bay falling by 10.3% to $321,454 and Wairarapa falling 7.3% to $254,194

 

Regional Summary – Listings

Overall new listings increased on a national basis, as seen in the adjacent chart however across the regions there were slightly more regions showing increases than falls.

There were 11 regions reporting year-on-year rises, with significant increases (over 20%) seen in just 2 regions, the largest increases were in Gisborne (25%), and Otago (20%).

7 regions reported lower new listings than November last year with the Central North Island being the region to report the highest fall off of 35.8% when compared to November 2011, Followed by Northland who saw a fall of 21%

 

Regional Summary – Inventory

The inventory of unsold homes on the market tightened significantly in March – Falling to a new low of 28.7 weeks off equivalent sales from 33 weeks (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

Four regions (Southland, West Coast, Coromandel, and Wairarapa) showed increases in inventory of homes on the market taking them above their respective long-term average. In addition one other region (Manawatu / Wanganui) sits close to it’s respective long term average.

Market sentiment now favours sellers in 14 regions, with the greatest strain being felt in the 8 regions which are marked in dark blue, which includes the main metro areas of Auckland, Wellington, and Canterbury which remain under pressure from low listings as measured against sales activity.

 

Lifestyle

New lifestyle property listings fell across the country in November, dropping 4.9% when compared to October. A total of 1,066 listings came onto the market, showing a fall of 5.9% when compared to November last year. The truncated mean asking price for these listings was down by 1.5% as compared to the recent 3-month average to an asking price of $654,519 (up 13.9% when compared to October 2011). New record high asking prices were seen in 2 regions in New Zealand (Waikato – $675,581, and Central Otago/Lakes – $1,596,071).

 

Apartments

New listings for apartments in November down 9.5% on a year on year basis, with 484 being brought to the market. The truncated mean asking price of new apartment listings fell 1% to $394,282 in November from $398,121 in October, but was still up 6.4% on a year on year basis.

The Auckland apartment market had 304 new listings coming onto the market, down 13.1% when compared to November last year. The truncated mean asking price of new listings in Auckland rose again to $386,818 (November) from $382,303 (October) representing a 2.2% increase on the prior 3 months.

 

For Media Enquiries, please contact: Paul McKenzie, Realestate.co.nz | +64 21 618 537

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 from licensed real estate agents, realestate.co.nz is uniquely placed to immediately identify any changes in the marketplace. The realestate.co.nz NZ Property Report is compiled from new listings coming onto the market from the more than 1,000 licensed real estate offices across NZ, representing more than 96% 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.

 

Seasonally adjustment

The core data for the NZ Property Report is seasonally adjusted to better represent the core underlying trend of the property market in NZ. In preparing this seasonally adjusted data Realestate.co.nz is grateful for the assistance of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) who use an X12 ARIMA methodology to calculate seasonally adjusted data.

 

Background to Realestate.co.nz

Realestate.co.nz is the official website company of the real estate industry of New Zealand, it is an industry owned web business providing online marketing services to the real estate industry. The shareholders in the business comprise the REINZ (50%) and five 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 475,000 unique browsers, with over 115,000 of those visiting from countries outside of NZ.

In addition Realestate.co.nz receives over 25% of all traffic to property listings from mobile devices, including their iPhone and Android applications. To date these applications have been downloaded by over 122,000 users making the app the most popular property app in 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.

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 97% of all listings from licensed real estate agents in NZ.

The full NZ Property Report for November 2012 can be downloaded here (1.2MB 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 2012 will be published on this website on Wednesday 2nd January 2013 at 11am.

By Paul McKenzie, Marketing Manager, Realestate.co.nz

2

NZ Property Report – October 2012

The October 2012 NZ Property Report published by Realestate.co.nz provides an insight into the state of the New Zealand property market as measured by the supply side of the property market over the month of 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 97% 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 2012 is published below and is available for download (1.5MB) and distribution.

Summary of the market – October 2012

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 (seasonally adjusted) truncated mean asking price to a new high of $445,529 – the highest level since the collection of data began in 2007. This rise in asking price was noticeable right across the country, with Auckland reaching a new record high of $611,864, and Canterbury reaching a new high of $414,070.

November saw a good rise in new listings (up 12% on October 2011), and this rise has lead to some balancing of the property market in both Wellington and a number of provincial regions.

While inventory levels across the country balanced in October, the market remains a firm sellers market across 12 of NZ’s 19 regions. Overall stocks of unsold houses rose slightly to 33 weeks of inventory (long term average = 40 weeks). Both Auckland and Canterbury remain firmly sellers markets, with overall inventory levels continuing to remain well below long-term averages.

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 just over 13,000 – that at a time when inventory was considerably higher than today.

 

Asking Price

The seasonally adjusted truncated mean asking price for listings rose 4% (from September) to an all time high of $445,529 in October. This new record asking price level was up from the prior peak of $435,887 reached in May this year.

The trend as seen in the chart opposite continues to show strength in seller expectation and strong demand in the main centers.

 

New Listings

The level of new listings coming onto the market in October continued to increase, with 12,688 listings in the month – up from 11,514 in September (14% increase). October also saw big increases on last year, with an increase of 12% in listings.

On a 12 month moving total basis the number of new listings that have come onto the market in the last year totals 132,291, as compared to 124,503 in the prior 12 month period, this represents a rise of 6.3%.

 

Inventory

The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of October (43,921) remained stable, when compared to September (44,063) as measured on a seasonally adjusted basis. The inventory as measured in terms of equivalent weeks of sales rose last month to 33.1 weeks last month. This rise was witnessed across 17 of the 19 regions. But overall inventory levels still fell well below the long-term average of 39 weeks.

 

Regional Summary – Asking price expectations

The national (seasonally adjusted) truncated mean asking price expectation among sellers rose 3.8% in October to a new peak of $445,529. This exceeds the prior peak of $435,887 reached in May this year.

Following the new record high for the national asking price figure, both Auckland and Canterbury also posted record highs in October. This is the first time that the seasonally adjusted mean asking price has topped the $600,000 mark in Auckland ($611,864), and the $400,000 mark in Canterbury ($414,070).

In total 15 regions reported asking price increases, and 7 regions saw rises greater than 5%. The most significant rises were seen in the Central Otago/Lakes, Canterbury, Gisborne, Manawatu/Wanganui, Southland, and Auckland regions, with Central Otago/Lakes showing the largest increases, up 18% to $621,200 (the highest seen since November 2007). Of the 4 regions witnessing asking price falls on a seasonally adjusted basis there was just 1 reporting a fall greater than 5% with West Coast seeing a fall of 6.5%.

 

Regional Summary – Listings

Overall new listings increased on a national basis, as seen in the adjacent chart however across the regions there were slightly more regions showing increases than falls.

There were 16 regions reporting year-on-year rises, with significant increases (over 20%) seen in 10 regions. The largest increases were in Taranaki (68%), Wairarapa (40%), Hawkes Bay (34%) and Gisborne (31%)

Only 3 regions reported lower new listings than October last year with Northland being the region to report the highest fall off of 17.4% when compared to October 2011.

 

 

Regional Summary – Inventory

The inventory of unsold homes on the market eased in October, rising 9% from September to 33 weeks of stock, and shows the market re-balancing.

This re-balancing is however not occurring in the two major markets of Canterbury and Auckland where the inventory continues to remain low.

Five regions (Taranaki and West Coast) showed increases in inventory of homes on the market taking them above their respective long-term average. In addition four other regions (Central North Island, Southland, and Otago) sit close to their respective long term averages indicating a more balanced market.

Market sentiment continues to favour sellers in the remaining 10 regions, with the greatest strain being felt in the 3 regions which are marked in dark blue, which includes the main metro areas of Auckland, and Canterbury, which remain under pressure from low listings as measured against sales activity.

 

Lifestyle

New lifestyle property listings had another boost across the country in October, rising a further 18% when compared to September. A total of 1,121 listings came onto the market, showing an increase of 12% when compared to October last year. The truncated mean asking price for these listings was up by 7% as compared to the recent 3-month average to a record high asking price of $689,375 (up 13% when compared to October 2011). This record high was reflected across 4 regions in New Zealand (Northland, West Coast, Canterbury, and Central North Island).

 

Apartments

New listings for apartments in October were up 1.5% when compared to September, with 484 being brought to the market (on a year-on-year basis listings were up 9%). The truncated mean asking price of new apartment listings fell slightly to $398,121 in October from $399,489 in September, but was still up 8% on the recent 3-month average.

The Auckland apartment market followed the national trend with 300 new listings coming onto the market, up 7.1% when compared to October last year. The truncated mean asking price of new listings in Auckland rose again to $382,303 (October) from $366,057 (September) representing a 9.8% increase on the prior 3 months.

 

For Media Enquiries, please contact: Paul McKenzie, Realestate.co.nz | +64 21 618 537

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 from licensed real estate agents, realestate.co.nz is uniquely placed to immediately identify any changes in the marketplace. The realestate.co.nz NZ Property Report is compiled from new listings coming onto the market from the more than 1,000 licensed real estate offices across NZ, representing more than 96% 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.

 

Seasonally adjustment

The core data for the NZ Property Report is seasonally adjusted to better represent the core underlying trend of the property market in NZ. In preparing this seasonally adjusted data Realestate.co.nz is grateful for the assistance of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) who use an X12 ARIMA methodology to calculate seasonally adjusted data.

 

Background to Realestate.co.nz

Realestate.co.nz is the official website company of the real estate industry of New Zealand, it is an industry owned web business providing online marketing services to the real estate industry. The shareholders in the business comprise the REINZ (50%) and five 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 450,000 unique browsers, with over 115,000 of those visiting from countries outside of NZ.

In addition Realestate.co.nz receives over 25% of all traffic to property listings from mobile devices, including their iPhone and Android applications. To date these applications have been downloaded by over 117,000 users making the app the most popular property app in 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.

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 97% of all listings from licensed real estate agents in NZ.

The full NZ Property Report for October 2012 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 2012 will be published on this website on Monday 3rd December 2012 at 9am.

By Paul McKenzie, Marketing Manager, Realestate.co.nz

2

NZ Property market outlook continues to brighten

Posted on: August 13th, 2012 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured, Market News

The latest data released last week by the Real Estate Institute for the month of July shows that the property market is reasonably active. That is the best description “active” rather any inference of a boom – Helen O’Sullivan the CEO rightly stated that “the current market should be seen as recovering rather than ‘booming'”.

The fact is that sales of properties across NZ in July were up 20% as compared to the same month last year with 5,907 unconditional sales booked in the month by licensed real estate agents. The first 7 months of 2012 has seen 42,464 sales as compared to 34,511 for the same 7 months of 2011, an increase of 23%. The chart below tracks the annual trend of sales growth or decline over the past 5 years. Having had 15 months of yer-on-year increases we are at that stage of seeing increases on increases on a year-on-year basis which really shows a strong trend.

The most important perspective to appreciate when examining the scale of property sales as a measure of the overall market is the historical backdrop. The chart below tracks the NZ property market from 1993 to date, measuring on the red line the 12 month moving total of property sales using the right hand axis. The blue line shows the total value of transacted sales tracked on a 12 month basis with the left hand axis scale.

 

The key take-away from this chart is just how low the property market fell between 2007 and 2009 – 105,00 down to 55,000. The current 12 month average is tracking at 69,000 with an expectation of 72,000 by the end of the year. This total now marginally surpasses the “dead-cat bounce” mini-peak of January 2010. In terms of the value of transactions this is now running at an annualised rate of $30.64 billion up 40% from the lowest point in February 2009 at $21.91 billion.

The other perspective on property sales is to reference sales to the existing stock of houses in NZ. The key factor here is just how slow new house builds have been over recent years, having said that the current estimated stock at 1.56 million is up 14% since 2000 the equivalent of an extra 189,000 homes. The chart below tracks the percentage of houses sales on an annualised basis against the stock of houses.

 

I think this chart more than any other ably demonstrates that the NZ Property market is in nothing like in a boom – the current rate of sale equates to 4.5% of all dwellings per year far below the long term average transaction level of 6%.  The market is staging a recovery as the general population regain a sense of confidence in the general economy and are clearly being influenced with what are very attractive interest rates. However we would need to see another year of 20% growth on top of this year’s 20% growth before we would be anything like approaching the long term average level of sales.

 

0

Auckland property market continues to heat up

Posted on: July 4th, 2012 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured, Market News, Regional News

At the half way point in the year the data keeps on reinforcing the fact that the property market activity in Auckland is firmly on the rise.

Barfoot & Thompson – Auckland’s largest real estate company reported its June sales at 994 sales in the month, up 14% on June last year. The first 6 months of this year has seen Barfoot & Thompson sell 5,602 properties, up 18% over the same period last year.

The chart above certainly shows that 3 of the past 4 months have seen sales reach significant new highs. If you exclude the April month (which seems abnormally low) the total for March, May and June represents 3,405 sales up 20% on the same 3 months of last year – some very strong growth for Barfoot & Thompson.

Naturally being the largest real estate company in the Auckland market tends to see their data reflect the overall regional performance and this is certainly the case based on the more comprehensive REINZ data – the recent Property Pulse factsheets for Auckland (Total region, North Shore, Central, Manukau, Waitakere) provide this deeper analysis.

As has been reported in the monthly NZ Property Report the inventory of property for sale in Auckland has been falling for many months and now sits at a 4 year low. This is a function of rising sales, however the rise in new listings has not been keeping pace with sales. Taking Barfoot & Thompson data, again as stated earlier the first half of the year has seen a sales growth of 18% – the rise in listings for the same period showed only a 7% growth. The monthly data of new listings for Barfoot & Thompson is shown below.

This situation of new listings lagging the growth of sales can best be seen when stacking up the two sets of data (sales & listings) on the same chart. The data used in this chart below is the 3 month moving average and I have split the axis to emphasise the significant gap appearing between sales and listings – a situation not seen before over the past 5 years of data.

As Barfoot & Thompson cite in their market report this shortage of properties for sale, with buyers being quick to commit, (is) pushing up prices to an all-time high of $589,251. The chart below tracks this trend over the past few years and using a trend line certainly provides a guide to the scale of this trend.

 

 

1

Don’t delay – get your property on the market

Posted on: June 28th, 2012 | Filed in Featured, Market News

The message from the market of the past 12 months has been of a shortage of listings. The NZ Property Report back in May of last year foreshadowed this situation by stating that the market has reached a turning point, subsequent months have only reinforced this perspective, as property sales have remained strong with a consistent 20+% year-on-year growth as evidenced by the chart below which tracks the % growth / decline of the market over the past 4 years.

In the space of 12 months the inventory of property on the market (measured by the equivalent rate of sale in weeks) has gone from 47 weeks down to 36 weeks, a fall of over 20%. In actual numbers, the stock of property on the market in June last year was 47,738 whereas today it sits at 43,917 – the key difference is that this time last year around 161 properties were being sold a day whereas now it is up over 200.

The key question though has been, when would inventory start to rise, when would homeowners take note of the market signals and create a steady flow of new listings coming onto the market driven by this strong sellers’ market that has been present for close on a year. Back in February an analysis was undertaken to identify the likely trend for sales and new listings through 2012. At that time there was a belief borne of analysis that identified a 6 months lag between the trend of sales and the response of listings – sales being the demand leading indicator and listings being the supply lagging indicator.

The analysis foretold a picture of steadily rising new listings through this year as represented by the chart below (listings being represented by the red line measured off the left hand axis, sales being represented by the blue line measured off the right hand axis):

The forecast at that time anticipated that new listings would rise steeply from around 10,500 per month to around 12,000 per month on a moving average basis as the year progressed, thereby providing a match to the rise in sales which were anticipated to rise from 4,600 a month to just under 6,000 per month, again on a 12 month moving average basis.

However with 5 months of activity under our belt for the year it is valuable to see how the forecast is tracking. As far as sales are concerned the rise since the start of the year has tracked exactly as forecast and by the end of the year sales will likely slightly exceed the forecast of 6,000 a month on a 12 month moving average basis as shown int he chart below. However when it comes to listings things are not tracking to the forecast – the red line below shows a revised forecast reflective of recent levels of new listings and seasonal trends out to the end of the year.

 

This revised forecast now looks more like a year end position of just over 11,500 listings a month on a 12 month moving average basis.

This continued lag in the trend of new listings is likely to see a continued pressure on the market with continued shortages in specific local markets. That means the message appears to be the same as at the start of the year – if you are thinking of selling then now would look like a good time to get your property on the market. However I hear a lot of people saying – isn’t that the message the industry always wants the market to hear? – well of course; but I can assure you I am not speaking from the motivation of the real estate industry, I am purely trying to share insight from the available data and analysis which we derive from the website.

Part of the extrapolation of this revised forecast is the seasonal trend of new listings. This data which has been shared before (in fact 2 years ago in an article titled “Is summer really the best time to sell a property?“) is that the variance by month of new listings is more extreme than that for sales through the year. This fact is best showacsed in the chart below which tracks the % each month represents of annual sales and annual listings (based on 6 years worth of data).

The chart shows very clearly through the green bars those months when sales proportionally are higher than listings – the winter months; and in the red bars the months when listings are proportionally higher than sales – the summer months. The take out of this data is that potentially to list a house over the winter allows you to compete in a less cluttered market in which buyers are still active. This period extends from May through to August before that classic spring surge of new listings occurs.

So just maybe the smarter sellers and smarter agents can benefit from this insight and help homeowners choose the right time to sell and profit from greater insight based on data.

 

 

0

Mortgagee listings continue to ease

Posted on: April 4th, 2012 | Filed in Market News, Media commmentary, Money Matters

The front page story of the NZ Herald highlights the anguish and horror of the impact of mortgagee sales upon the owners of properties reprocessed by the mortgagee – in this case the bank. Behind the headline is the statistics that the scale of the mortgagee listings being brought to the market to be sold on behalf of the owner by the bank or other lender is on the way down.

At the peak of the financial crisis the number of properties being marketed as mortgagee sales hit 423 across the country, that was back in November 2008, today that number is 216. Currently around 30 properties a week are marketed as mortgagee sales, and given the financial imperative of the bank or financial institution the properties tend to sell fairly quickly seeing properties not hanging round long on the market.

The chart below updates the last 5 years of data and graphically shows the steep rise at the start of the global financial crisis and the slow steady recovery since then.

In real terms each property put up for mortgagee sale is a human story about over leveraged financial management, but in absolute terms the number of mortgagee properties in NZ remains relatively low when judged against the property market in general. At no time over the past 5 years has the number of mortgagee properties on the market in NZ ever exceeded 1% of all properties being marketed – at its worst mortgagee properties represented just 1 in 132 of the properties on the market. Compare that to the US where although things are looking brighter the story a year ago from Bloomberg showed 3 million homes foreclosed since the start of the crisis (for reference US house sales are around 4 million a year).

One way to evaluate the current tracking of mortgagee listings in NZ is as shown below matching week by week for the past 5 years the % of mortgagee listings of the total of all listings.

This chart tracks in red the current year and shows that weekly this year is looking to be at a similar level to 2010, far lower than the worst year of 2009 and down on last year. The reason for the somewhat higher level of listings last year could well have been as a result of banks looking to liquidate their repossessed properties as the property market began to regain life and activity.

 

Regional Variance

One noticeable trend within the data of mortgagee listings is the split between the major metro areas of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and the provincial ares of the country.

The blue line tracks the listings in the major cities with the red showing provincial areas. As the financial crisis hit the early impact was seen in the cities (potentially in the area of apartments and investment properties) whereas as time has gone on the provincial areas have actually been creeping up and have in the past 3 months overtaken the cities to represent a higher percentage of current mortgagee properties on the market.

This week the region with the highest proportion of mortgagee properties is the Hawkes Bay where there is one mortgagee property for ever 123 properties on the market (0.81% of all listings) – a total of 17 properties; by contrast Taranaki, Nelson, West Coast and Otago had just one mortgagee property each on the market.

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.

2

Keeping up to date with the property market

Posted on: January 26th, 2011 | Filed in Featured, Market News, Real Estate Industry, REINZ Monthly data

Perfect image of houses croppedIt is late January and I must admit the Unconditional blog has been a bit quiet for the past few weeks as an extended vacation has meant I have not addressed an update on the NZ Property market.

Well, now back firmly in the chair,  I intend to address this issue by providing some key facts of assistance to any prospective buyer or seller as well as those fond of keeping a close eye on the property market.

The first data of 2011 will be published next Tuesday, the 1st of February when the NZ Property Report from Realestate.co.nz is published. The data will detail the level of activity of new listings coming onto the market in the first month of this new year. Suffice to say at this stage it is looking to be pretty quiet as far as new listings are concerned.

Closing out 2010 data from the Real Estate Institute showed sales in December of 4,397 properties, this was though up a seasonally adjusted 7.1% from the November sales; which itself was up a seasonally adjusted 23% from October.

However despite this recent pick-up in sales the total sales in the full calendar year were just 56,303. This figure is a mere 175 properties more than the lowest year since recording data back to 1992 (that prior lowest was 2008). It is very clear from the chart below the new levels of property sales of the past3 years since the turning point in the market.

NZ Property sales each year 1992 to 2010 REINZ Realestate.co.nz

Whilst the calendar year data shows the big picture it is inadequate in highlighting trends. For this I favour the seasonally adjusted monthly sales tracking as detailed in the chart below tracing the past 5 years by month since January 2006.

Seasonally_adjusted_monthly_sales_to_Dec_2010

In separating key periods I have tried to highlight the trends. The start of 2006 saw a fairly stable period for well over a year, right up to the turning point in the market in early 2007. The next year saw a significant fall to late summer 2008. Then followed a 9 month period of stability – a sense of adjustment before a resurgence occurred through a 7 month period in mid 2009. Unfortunately that resurgence ran out of steam as Spring 2009 appeared and the market has subsequently been sent backwards for the next 12 months.

To call a turning point is risky, but the chart does show some favourable signs through the past 3 months. As ever it is better to reflect after 6 months than just one quarter.

Sales volumes are a key indicator of the health of the market from the perspective of activity (as without buyer you have no market!). The level of demand is often best represented by price movements and to close out 2010 it is worth looking at what the trends are for property sales price. Using the Stratified House Price Index provided by the Real Estate Institute in consultation with the Reserve Bank as the measure, the chart below tracks the national price over the past 4 years.

Stratified_price_-_Dec_2010

The December stratified median price was $360,660 down from the November levels and as shown from the chart, down 5.3% from the peak price in the market back in November 2007. The selling price over the past 12 to 15 months has been tracking in a very narrow band from $370,000 to just below $357,000, there does appear to be a slight decline, but given the split axis this trend is very slight and it might be better to call these prices stable. Which when set against global property price movements of the past couple of years would be seen as favourable by the more optimistic among those property watchers.

0

L J Hooker acquisition of Harveys propels them to 3rd largest group

Posted on: November 4th, 2010 | Filed in Featured, Market News

Harveys_and_L_J_Hooker

It was announced today that L J Hooker is acquiring the real estate business of Harveys Real Estate.

Both L J Hooker and Harveys are franchise groups with L J Hooker operating 53 offices in NZ coupled with a further 642 offices across Australia and Asia. Harveys on the other hand is a NZ company with 38 offices.

The acquisition is a complementary fit as the two companies do not overlap regionally, with Harveys strength in the Auckland, Waikato and through the Central North Island whilst L J Hooker has a good coverage especially in the South Island where Harveys is not really present.

The move will leapfrog L J Hooker from the 8th biggest group by number of offices in NZ to the 3rd largest player with a combined 91 offices as the charts below show.

NZ_real_estate_market_by_offices_Oct_2010

As the industry adjusts to the current level of sales which this year is heading for around 60,000 sales as compared to 70,000 last year, and compared to 100,000+ in each of the years spanning 2002 to 2006, the pressure on margins and overheads will and have already lead to closures of some offices and industry consolidation. As ever under such pressure there will always be opportunities for those well capitalised companies to take advantage to grow market share through marketing or acquisition. This move by L J Hooker is just such a move. It will be interesting to see if this is the only development or if we will witness others in the coming months.

The likely result of this acquisition will see a rebranding of Harveys offices as L J Hooker thereby leveraging the brand franchise as operating two separate brands provides no beneficial economies of scale in marketing.

As a point of disclosure both L J Hooker and Harveys are both shareholders in Property Page (NZ) Ltd which owns 50% of Realestate.co.nz Limited.

0

September 2010 Property market video – Realestate.co.nz

Posted on: October 15th, 2010 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured, Market News, REINZ Monthly data

Video image header for blogThe latest statistics from the Real Estate Institute for September, providing insight into the residential property market are presented in this video.

The key charts to accompany the video are provided below:

The sales analysis of the 3 key metro areas highlights the impact of the Canterbury earthquake on sales in the region. The flat property sales market in Wellington is contrasted with a rise in sales in Auckland of 12%. The sales figures are seasonally adjusted to allow comparable month by month comparisons.

Key_regions_sales_Sep_2010

The Stratified price for the total of NZ shows the extent to which prices have continued to slide over the past year since November last year when they had recovered some of the early falls after the peak in mid 2007. The current stratified price across the country is $359,555.

NZ_Strat_price_Sep_2010

The Auckland property prices have risen sharply in September to $487,800 to edge closer to that long term peak of July 2007, currently that differential is 4.4%.

Auckland_Strat_price_Sep_2010

The Wellington property prices continue to see some weakness with the stratified price down in the month to $403,595 which is 4.3% below the peak of the market just under a year ago.

Wellington_Strat_price_Sep_2010

The Christchurch stratified property price continued to show weakness. It is likely that the impact of the recent earthquake and the resultant fall in sales could impact reported prices and the state of the market. For the month of September the stratified price was $330,750. This level represents a level 6.7% below the peak of the property market in the city back in October 2007.

Christchurch_strat_price_Sep_2010

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