The Unconditional Blog

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Archive for the ‘Regional News’ Category

5

An insight into the Christchurch property market – after the earthquake

Posted on: April 1st, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Regional News

Post Updated to include video presentation at the end of the post – April 8th

The monthly NZ Property Report published on the first day of every month provides a view to the supply side of the property market, nationally as well as regionally. This month of March 2011 is the first full month since the devastating earthquake of 22 February, and so provides an opportunity to examine the impact that the quake has had on the property market in Christchurch and the wider Canterbury region.

Property for sale

The level of new listings coming onto the market in March was in some way fairly resilient. A total of 1,297 new properties came onto the market across the wider Canterbury region in the month. This was down 36% as compared to March last year, a significant fall when the rest of the country only saw a 10% fall in listings year-on-year. By comparison the impact of the September quake last year saw a fall of 26% in Canterbury compared to a 15% fall on a year-on-year basis for the rest of the country.

Using an assumption of the representation of the region to the total national property market it is estimated that c.480 less properties were brought to the market in March than would have been the case at this time of year had it not been for the impact of the quake.

The chart below shows the monthly level of new listings for the Canterbury region. At first sight it does not show any dramatic fall off of new listings, either after the September quake or after the February quake. The highlighted section shows that the September quake set in play a slower level of new property listings which has weighed down on the market for the past 6 months and which based on the devastating impact of February will continue for many months to come.

The interest in property

Clearly the human impact of the Christchurch quake is the priority for people in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, however business and people pick themselves up and resume some state of normality. The real estate industry is an industry serving customers everyday and somewhere close to 1,400 real estate people live and work in the region which operates from over 120 offices of which 87 are based in Christchurch. There have already been notifications of 31 offices that have ceased operating from their prior location. Many have found temporary offices or consolidated operations in an existing office that thankfully has not been affected.

Their business relies on consumers and ascertaining the level of consumer interest in property is something a website can uniquely do as every day the traffic to the site can be assessed to see trends and behaviours.

Prior to the September quake the daily visitor number viewing Canterbury property was around 3,700, this fell to less than 2,000 in the days after that quake. Now 6 months after that quake the daily traffic is down around 20%. For the February quake that lower daily level of traffic again fell to below 2,000 per day in the immediate days after, and is now back to around 2,100 – a 35% fall from the period preceding the quake.

The chart below tracks the daily visitor traffic using a 7 day moving average – the red line tracks the February quake whilst the blue line track the September quake with both lines using the same axis which is 40 days preceding the quake to 70 days after the quake in the case of the September quake.

The chart certainly demonstrates (although not surprisingly) that the February quake has had a more significant impact on property searching in the region. At the same time the region has not ground to a halt. Property is being listed, marketed, viewed, researched, enquired about, negotiated and sold.

Interestingly a larger proportion of those viewings of Canterbury properties are being made by people outside NZ. In the month of March 29% of all visitors to realestate.co.nz viewing Canterbury properties came from overseas, this compares to 25% a year ago. That proportional growth though does result in lower absolute numbers as the chart above highlights. However a higher representations of Australians are researching Canterbury property during March than a year ago – some 15% of all visitors checking out Canterbury properties were from across the Tasman, up from 12% a year ago.

Property for Rent

Rental activity is far more dynamic than property sales. Property for rent comes onto the market more frequently and stay on the market for a shorter period. In the Christchurch market the availability of rental property has seen a significant fall off in the period since the February quake. The chart below tracks this trend.

The September quake hardly seemed to impact the availability of rental properties, whereas the weeks following the February quake has seen available inventory fall from just under 900 to just over 530. The available inventory of rental properties featured on realestate.co.nz comprise those properties being marketed by property management companies rather than private landlords. In speaking with some of them they see this decline as the result of two major factors. Firstly the demand for rental properties grew significantly straight after the quake as people searched for somewhere to relocate to from uninhabitable houses. Secondly a reasonably large proportion of rental inventory in some key areas of the city has had to be withdrawn as it is uninhabitable.

The level of activity of people searching for rental properties varies significantly from week to week. The impact of the Christchurch earthquakes has only further exacerbated this over recent months. The chart below tracks the daily (7 day moving average) level of searching for rental property in Christchurch city through the past 10 months comparing this year with last year.

The chart shows the almost instantaneous impact of the quake on searching for rental property in both the September and February period. The September quake caused a sudden drop followed by a minor increase in the next 2 to 3 weeks after the quake. After that, the next 4 months saw a lower levels of activity up until Christmas, by which time activity was returning to normal. The February quake equally resulted in a dramatic fall, however within a few days searching spiked to a very high level for a couple of weeks before falling back over the last week and a half up to the end of the month.

0

Canterbury market continues to feel the after effects of earthquake

Posted on: October 14th, 2010 | Filed in Featured, Regional News, REINZ Monthly data, Website searching

REINZ monthly article headerThe latest sales results released today by the Real Estate Institute bear witness to the fact that the real estate market across the Canterbury region is struggling. A total of 359 properties were sold in September down from the 884 sold in the same month last year and also down from the 647 in September 2008 – up until August, the 2010 year was tracking pretty close to the same levels as 2008 as seen from the chart below.

Canterbury sales data for Sep 2010

The results for the Canterbury region are not unexpected given the catastrophic impact that the earthquake had on the built environment, not just in terms of actual structural damage, but more importantly in verification of structural integrity. The early signs of the impact of the earthquake were seen in terms of website visitors as seen in the days after the impact. That situation was showing signs of improving. However as can be seen from the chart below now that four weeks have passed the overall level of visitor traffic is down around 23% from where it would have been expected to be at this time of the year.

Canterbury region website visitor stats 2009 and 2010

The other early sign of the impact of the earthquake on the region was reported within the monthly NZ Property Report which was published on the 1st October and covered the month of September in terms of new listings. In September a total 1,211 new properties were listed in the Canterbury region which was down 19% on a seasonally adjusted basis from August. This compared to a total for all other regions of the country excluding Canterbury showing a small 1% increase from August on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Half way through October the picture is looking very similar with new listings still down, this is best shown from the chart below which tracks the % representation of the Canterbury region listings each month. The October data is for the first 14 days of the month so far.

Canterbury listings to oct 2010

1

Canterbury – how the earthquake is affecting the real estate industry

Posted on: September 13th, 2010 | Filed in Featured, Regional News

Balancing balls croppedA week has now passed since the devastating 7.1 scale quake rocked the Canterbury landscape and brought untold damage to the region and the picturesque city of Christchurch. The saving grace is the fact that there was no loss of life.

As life slowly and hopefully begins to return to some form of normality the question that has been asked is what impact will the earthquake have on the real estate market in the region? An article in the NZ Herald today states that around 150 house sales are in limbo as a direct result of the earthquake as they wait to be able to confirm finance and insurance.

Clearly an event on this scale and with the impact on the built environment will cause uncertainty in the minds of both buyers and sellers. That having been said with a population in the Canterbury region of 518,000 and 202,000 occupied dwellings (Census 2006) business and life will go on and that includes real estate. In July total sales in the region were 651 with 482 in Christchurch city itself. That amounts to close to 16 properties sold per day. Whilst the August sales result due to be published this week will be unaffected there will likely be some impact on September figures as well as subsequent months.

An early indication of the future state of the property market potentially can be gleaned from statistics of the Realestate.co.nz website providing as it does real-time data.

The level of visitor traffic to Canterbury properties took a significant and immediate hit immediately after the quake. This is only to be expected as more urgent matters were top-of-mind. The chart below tracks the daily visitor numbers viewing Canterbury properties for sale (this is the viewing of properties from both within the region as well as nationally and internationally).

CHC_web_traffic

As can be seen the prior 5 weeks saw an average of 3,000 to 4,000 visitors per day – the Saturday of the quake saw visitor numbers drop to below 2,000 with subsequent days climbing back up, closer to 3,000. Whilst still down by a third it is clear that the area is still attracting interest from buyers and sellers.

Another key metric measured by the website is the number of new listings and inventory of unsold properties on the market. The data in the last NZ Property Report and the Canterbury Monthly Property Pulse factsheet both highlighted that the property market in the region as viewed from August data showed a balanced market with an inventory level equivalent to 35 weeks of sales compared to the long term average of 31 weeks.

Since last Saturday, the 4th September, listings are still being added to the website, in Christchurch alone 188 new properties have been listed. Across the region the number of listings are down on a proportional basis, although not that significantly. Based on historical trends the total of new listings coming onto the market across the region look to be down by just 10%.

The media coverage of the events of the past 10 days have provided for us who do not live in the Garden City a sense of what is going on, however we cannot start to imagine what it must have been like to have been there on that fateful morning and for that reason we wish to pass on our good wishes to all the family and friends in this industry in the region. They like all real estate people are very much a part of the local community and I am sure they are doing their utmost to support their communities.

One of the great benefits of social media is hearing from people as they share their perspective and personal experiences. It was a couple of these blogs that caught me eye this weekend; reading the true story of what it has been like down there in the region. Have a read of the personal blog of Phil Hayes and the  Doctor in the House a blog by Steve Taylor.

0

NZ Property Market Pulse – June 2010

Posted on: June 24th, 2010 | Filed in Featured, Property Pulse - Regional Market Report, Regional News

Property Pulse Realestate.co.nzAssessing the state of the property market can be as daunting as finding that perfect house. There is a multiplicity of reports appearing all the time, all sharing insight into where the market is headed. We would like to provide on a monthly basis – not a new report, but a digest of what we here at Realestate.co.nz are the key numbers to follow.

The property market is like any other type of market, there are buyers and sellers, there is available stock and there are sales number and also the ever critical sale price. These are the key numbers we think are critical to follow. Each month we will highlight by region and nationally these key numbers and the picture they are showing.

Property Sales

The number of property sales is a key measure of buyer activity. The Real Estate Institute release this data on a monthly basis from the sales made by all licensed agents in the prior month making this data the most timely and comprehensive. Actual monthly sales data is effected by seasonal factors, for this reason seasonally adjusted data is presented which clearly shows one month to the next if the sales are going up or down.

NZ seasonally adjusted property sales May 2010 Realestate.co.nz

Commentary:

Sales in May amounted to 5,206 down just a single house as compared to April. As viewed on a seasonally adjusted basis the number of sales turned around having seen a consistent growth from the start of the year, reasons behind this could certainly be influenced around uncertainty surrounding the May budget and future interest rate expectation.

Property Price

The selling price of properties measures that critical balance between what a buyer is prepared to pay and what a seller is prepared to accept. The Real Estate Institute data of prior month sales produces a median price. This raw number is then re-calculated through a model developed in partnership with the Reserve Bank of NZ to create a Stratified Price, which ensures that volume changes in key price segments do not skew the figures.

NZ Stratified property price - May 2010 Realestate.co.nz

Commentary:

The stratified price fell in May down from the April figure of $366,925 to the May figure of $361,600 taking prices back to the same level at the start of the year. This clearly shows the market is tight with little immediate pressure on price as sales volumes remain subdued.

Stock of Property

The number of properties on the month is provided from Realestate.co.nz data and measures the level of seller activity in the market. The data represents the total number of new listings coming onto the market each month and is compiled at the start of each month for the prior month and is published in the NZ Property Report. The measure of properties on the market is represented by the number of weeks of equivalent sales, and judged on a comparative basis with prior months more accurately reflects the state of the market.

NZ Inventory of property on the market - May 2010 Realestate.co.nz

Commentary:

The level of new listings in May fell, sending the stock of property on the market down from the peak of 52 weeks in April – that was equating to a full years worth of sales on the market. The current level for May at 47 weeks is still high by historical standards. The long term average is around 38 weeks which would indicate that the market is still very much in favour of buyers rather than sellers.

These statistics are the aggregation of all the statistics from across the country. As is well know by those in the industry, real estate is a local business and in an attempt to provide greater insight into the local market the same set of key data – sales, selling price and inventory has been calculated for each of the 19 regions of the country. Check out the factsheet for your local region to see what is happening in your neck of the woods.

North Island

South Island

0

Comprehensive price data on each area of NZ

Posted on: December 8th, 2009 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Regional News

Every month we seem to be presented with more and more information on the property market. This is excellent for all involved in the real estate market as it will ensure better informed decisions.

In what seems like a very quiet move QV has produced an excellent analysis of property price movements for almost all territorial local authorities across the country.

However this is not just the normal data of the average price in this region this month vs last month – this analysis is far more detailed.

They have segmented the price bands of property in each area and detailed the movement of price in each area within each price band comparing the first quarter of 2009 with the third quarter (July – Sep 2009). The examples below highlight the regions with the highest and lowest price appreciation – North Shore and Queenstown.

qv-tla-data

The charts for 37 territorial local authorities of the country are provided in this download pdf summary. There are some areas excluded as QV highlight due to insufficient data to make meaningful comparisons.

Click here to download PDF of the QV area analysis of property price movements Q3 vs Q1 2009

6

Auckland rises up the ranks as top place to live

Posted on: April 28th, 2009 | Filed in Media commmentary, Regional News

Auckland - 4th placed world city for liveability - Mercer Survey 2009The Mercer 2009 Worldwide Quality of Living Survey has just been released and NZ’ers and Aucklanders alike have cause for celebration. From their 5th place ranking of 2008 Auckland has now nudged up one more place to 4th (well 4th equal with Vancouver). Auckland now enjoys the illustrious company of sharing the top 5 with Vienna, Zurich and Geneva to round out the top 5 and also importantly be the top city in the region.

This vindication of the quality of life that one third of NZ’ers enjoy living in Auckland seems though to have slipped the attention of the “Auckland” newspaper the NZ Herald. I came across the story whilst reading the Melbourne Age whilst over in Australia today. Whilst Melbourne is ranked 18th that city felt it worthy of running a key story of the day and appears on their home page. The NZ Herald despite my review of the online digital print version and the online website shows absolutely no signs of the story! Rather and in a somewhat telling judgment of what some may say is typical of newspapers to sell bad news is the story that some parts of the new proposed “Super City” will pay higher water rates. Clearly I recognise that the issue of a global flu epidemic is a key news story but one would think that a balance of stories would provide a rich news experience for a newspaper and its readers.

Auckland is a wonderful place to live and work, sure it has its problems – most major developed and growing cities have their problems – those problems are the consequences of the growth of this city which now can challenge to be a credible place to live and work within the Asia Pacific region, a region which no doubt is going to be the powerhouse of the global economy for the next two decades. So with this as a backdrop of economic focus what better opportunity is there for our major city to face outward to Asia and being the number 1 ranked city in the region to attract business and talent to come and live and grow to the benefit of all New Zealanders.

The only caveat is the need for Auckland to plan, act and execute as a cohesive and progressive outwardly focused city – the plan for the new central single governing body is the solution to the factional infighting, narrow parochial patch protection and myriad of duplicated of bureaucracies that has plagued Auckland for decades. The vision for Auckland was crafted back in 2001 when a smart group of passionate Aucklander’s decided that these impediments to growth needed some greater public exposure and international benchmarking. So with private funding and broad based representation a new organisation was born “Competitive Auckland” – its vision was to assist and challenge the governance and leadership of local and national government to ensure that Auckland could attain its rightful place as a leading global city of the Asia Pacific region.

That organisation is still active today – it has morphed into the Committee for Auckland and has played a significant role in spearheading the initiative for a single governance body for Auckland. The organisation does not seek to capture the headlines as a self serving promotional vehicle, rather it likes to use its influence and capabilities to effect change and bring together the people who can makes the difference and who have the mandate and resources to effect such change. Auckland and NZ has much to thank this organisation for, as it has in its own way contributed significantly to the current ranking of Auckland and will continue to contribute this great city’s future.

Disclosure of interest, I was the Executive Director of Competitive Auckland and The Committee for Auckland from 2002 to 2004.

UPDATE – in the time it has taken me to write this blog post I see that the NZ Herald online has posted the story – pity it missed the printed version earlier – but then again why would you read the print version when the web version is always the most comprehensive and up-to-date!

13

Mortgagee listings on the rise – search activity however is subdued

Posted on: February 10th, 2009 | Filed in Regional News, Website searching

The latest statistics for mortgagee property featured on realestate.co.nz shows a rise over the past few weeks. After a fall off in the lead up to Christmas, the stock of such listings has grown from a low of 218 in the last week of December to 285 today.

The graph below tracks the weekly level of listings (blue area on the graph – left hand axis) against the number of keyword searches (red line – right hand axis). As a point of note the extreme spike in searches for mortgagee property in April of last year when the spike broke through the graph was a direct result of a feature on Campbell Live on TV3 which covered the extent of mortgagee property sales at the time referring to the site data.

NZ mortgagee properties for sale Feb 2009

Whilst the number of listings is increasing once again, the number of searches for the key words of “mortgagee”,, “mortgagee sale” and “mortgagee auction” have only marginally increased over the past month since their peak in the early spring when just under 2,000 searches were carried out on the site each week – the figure for last week was just under 800. It will be most interesting to track these searches in the coming weeks as the inventory rises.

A deeper analysis of the make up of these listings shows exactly the type of property comprising mortgagee listings. In terms of price point the majority are in the sub $300,000 bracket with nearly half of all mortgagee listings in this bracket as compared to representing a third of all listings on the website. The mid price bracket of $300k to $600k is interestingly under represented in mortgagee listings with just 31% of the 285 listings as compared to 44% of all of the listings on the site.

NZ Mortgagee listings by price band - Feb 2009

Analysing the listings by region is equally illuminating with a clear domination of Auckland based listings – over 55% of all mortgagee listings are in Auckland, whereas they represent just 28% of the total of all listings on the website. Almost all other regions of the country are less represented in terms of mortgagee listings, with the slight exception of  the Waikato with 7% of mortgagee listings as compared to the 6% of all listings the website features.

NZ Mortgagee listings by region - Feb 2009

It is important to note that the base of 285 mortgagee listings featured on realestate.co.nz represents just 0.5% of all residential listings – equating to 1 house in every 200 that is currently on the market being subject to or advertised as a mortgagee sale. This very small base can cause some of the data for the regions above to be heavily skewed by small listing number changes.

3

Property prices – median vs. average? – how confusion can arise

Posted on: December 22nd, 2008 | Filed in Media commmentary, Regional News

The headline of the morning paper makes for dramatic effect – “NZ’s first $2 million dollar suburb!”

All over the country people stumbled over their breakfast to find out if they live or know someone who lives in the named suburb………. Herne Bay in Auckland! The article claims Herne Bay over Remuera as the first suburb where the average price has broken the $2m barrier.

Naturally working in the industry I was somewhat surprised, as I would have thought that the prize would have more likely to have gone to Queenstown. Equally I was surprised as I know there are many properties in Herne Bay that are well below $1m. As of today there are 66 Herne Bay listings on  our website with the highest at $4.95m and the lowest just $390,000 – it is actually a pity that of the 66 listings only 15 have a displayed price – the rest are by “Negotiation” – but that is another story.

What lies behind the headline is as ever as important as the headline itself. For the sales data for these 2 Auckland suburbs provides a very useful example of how insufficient data can  result in misleading statistics. More particularly how average price can be influenced far greater than median price when data numbers are low. Take a moment to see the detailed data for the 2 comparable suburbs of Herne Bay and Remuera.

Herne Bay

In the 12 months from December 2007 to November 2008 there were 44 reported sales by real estate agents in the suburb – total sales value – just under $83 million, resulting in an average price of $1.885 million. The graph below shows the distribution of sales from highest to lowest.

Herne Bay property sales (REINZ) - Dec 2008

Whilst the newspaper article sighted an average price for Herne Bay at $2.19m, this analysis does not show it that high (the data analysed here is from reported sales provided by the Real Estate Institute – REINZ, the data source is not quoted in the newspaper article). The point to note is that close on three quarters of all sales of property in Herne Bay in the last 12 months were actually below $2m.

When it comes to the Median price as opposed to the Average price the difference is very striking – the median price over the past 12 months is $1.315 million – a difference from the average of $570,000. The reason to find such a big difference is the extreme price of just 2 properties, both fetching over $8m. These 2 properties significantly skew the figures. If these 2 individual properties were removed from the data set – the result of the remaining 42 properties sales would show the median price of $1.310 million (down $5,000) however the average would fall to $1.553 million (down over $330,000). Clearly demonstrating the vulnerability of average price to extreme data points from within a small data set.

Remuera

By contrast the data for Remuera shows a vastly different perspective. In the 12 months from December 2007 to November 2008 there were 315 reported sales by real estate agents in the suburb – total sales value – just on $376 million, resulting in an average price of $1.194 million. The graph below shows the distribution of sales from highest to lowest.

Remuera property sales to Nov 08

The median price for Remuera over this period was $919,000, a difference of $274,000 as compared to the average price. Just as with Herne Bay there were a handful of very expensive property sales, four of which were over $5m with two of them over $6m.

Whilst as the graph shows these were exceptional they had a lesser impact on the average price. By removing just the 4 which sold above $5m the average price comes down to $1.128 (down just $65,000) whilst the median moves to $915,000 (down just $4,000).

What this analysis seeks to demonstrates is the complexities of reported pricing for property given the diversity of properties that makes up a suburb. Additionally it clearly shows how smaller data sets with an extreme range of data points can significantly skew statistics, especially when it comes to averages and this can therefore lead to some claims and headlines which end up not being totally reflective of the genuine state of the market.

3

Waikato Property Report – October 2008

Posted on: October 29th, 2008 | Filed in Regional News

The Waikato region demonstrates some significant differences to the main trends and indicators of the national view of real estate in New Zealand. Potentially the region could be seen as a “bell weather” foreseeing early on the slowdown in the market for property in 2007; and then beginning to show a flattening out of current sales of residential property, potentially establishing a base level.

The graph below shows the first signs of a slowdown in the property market in the Waikato way back in the late summer of 2007 when sales began to tumble from their peaks of 600+ per month. At the same time the levels of inventory started to rise from a base of fewer than 3,000 in the first quarter of 2007 to close to 4,000 by the end of the year. This trend was at least 6 to 9 months ahead of the trend nationally which only showed the rise in inventory as the sales in the spring of 2007 began to fall short of the heady levels of prior years.

As sales of residential property have maintained a consistent level of around 270 per month for the past 6 months so the inventory levels have fallen back by over 1,000 properties from the peak in April of 5,098. That figure for inventory of properties on the market back in April represented a ratio of just 2.4 houses out of every 100 on the market – this region has always represented a low level of inventory to dwelling ratio when compared to the national ratio which was almost twice as much at that time of 4.2 houses out of every 100 on the market across the whole country.

As property sales have reflected a more considered approach to property buying by Waikato residents so real estate search online has fallen back through 2008 – at a slightly higher rate than compared to the country as a whole. The statistics presented in the graph below tracks the monthly visitors sessions to Waikato properties by NZ’ers (red line- RH axis), matched to the national level of visitor sessions (blue bars – LH axis). Since the start of the year the activity has fallen by as much as a quarter, although the September figures for both local and national traffic reflect some spring increase in viewings.

Waikato residential property is comparatively less viewed by overseas visitors to the website than as compared to other regions of the country – on average around 1 in 5 visitors looking at Waikato property will be from overseas as compared to 1 in 4 for the whole website.

Of the main countries viewing local property the main 3 countries of UK, Australia and the US make up 75% of these overseas viewings. The breakdown in the bar chart below shows the changes over the past year in the interest shown by the top 10 countries. A significant decline has been shown by traffic of viewings from the UK which is off over 40% compared to a year ago, with Australia similarly down 25%. This shortfall has been made up for in a 50% increase from the US and the star performance of China (more than double) as well as strong growth of visitors from Canada, Netherlands and Belgium, as well as South Africa.


The website of realestate.co.nz is a dynamic environment and has the ability to analyse real-time data, most valuable of which is key lead-indicator of potential future activity, primarily regarding the level of demand for property as measured in enquiries sent from the website to agents regarding listings on the site in the form of emails. This tracking shows some interest recent trends from this index chart below:

The early high levels of enquiry generated in emails to agents in the first 2 months of this year did not sustain and with the exception of a flourish of interest in June the past 3 months has seen a subdued level of enquiry, tracking at around the same level or slightly lower than last year – potentially maintaining a cautionary view of buyers.

Properties of interest

The Waikato region covers a diversity of property from the city; to the lifestyle; to the beach. Scanning through this eclectic range I found the most viewed listing from the region is this 5 bedroom home in the Hamilton suburb of Huntington marketed by Kerry Hooper of Lugtons.

The property has enjoyed a strong level of interest from NZ and overseas, but has yet to find a buyer.

The beach at Raglan is home to the most expensive property listed in the region, this $3.85m 6 bedroom home is perched high on the cliff over looking Raglan beach – my only comment would be to see more comprehensive descriptive content and a greater portfolio of photos which would do justice to such a spectacular home.

At the other extreme the Waikato has some very affordable homes – this property in the settlement of Benneydale, located on SH20 half way between Te Kuiti and Mangakino offers 2 bedrooms and is being marketed by Mary Tapu of First National in Te Kuiti for $54,000.

Local Knowledge

The emergence of blogging by real estate agents is providing a rich source of local knowledge which can be a valuable assistance for buyers and sellers in the market. The Waikato region seems to have found a love of blogs with more activity there by real estate agents than any other area of the country. Here then is a selection – well worth checking out to see who might be a good professional advisor whether you are looking to buy or sell.

Hamilton NZ Real Estate, Duncan Munro – Duncan expresses his opinions openly and calls a “spade a spade”, have a read of The fundamental principles of agents pricing property

Motels – Kathie is a specialist real estate professional focused on the motel industry, she juggles the challenges of being a broker with the operation of a motel as well as being an industry representative. Her blog provides rich and valauble insight into the industry for prospective buyers and investors. Her first hand practical experience provides for rich content – have a read of Customer service makes or breaks a business, how do you measure up?

Greig’s – Hamilton – Greig is the Managing Director of Century 21 Geo Boyes in Hamilton, he like so many bloggers has found the medium of blogs a rich opportunity to share his high level observations on this real estate industry like this post titled Salespeople to help fund realestate.co.nz?

Brenda Beale – Brenda is an agent with Lodge real estate in Hamilton and shares in her blog a love and appreciation of the benefits of the great city – have a read of Why I’m fond of the fountain city

3

Canterbury property report – Sep 2008

Posted on: September 24th, 2008 | Filed in Regional News

The Canterbury market is very much reflective of the whole country in continuing to see slow sales with just 595 transactions reported by REINZ members in August, down 32% as compared to the same month last year. The graph below shows in the red line the significant fall off in sales volumes of residential properties across the region over the past 18 months. Matched with this softening of the market has been the rise in the inventory as reflected in the blue bars of the chart.

In the first half of 2007 with an active sellers market the level of inventory was steady at around 5,500 properties in the region representing around 16 weeks of stock (fairly close to the national average at the time of 19 weeks = 4 months). As sales slowed through the second half of 2007 and into 2008 the inventory levels crept up to peak in April at over 8,000. However the last 4 months have seen a reduction of properties on the market this is obviously the result of sales volumes supported by  a degree of sellers’ withdrawing properties as a function of an inability to find buyers or sellers expectations of price not being met in the market. The current level of inventory is just over 7,000 properties representing over 45 weeks’ worth, based on current rate of sale.

Whilst sales have fallen by as much as a half the interest in viewing property as measured in visitors to the website has seen only a slight decline through 2008 to date as highlighted in the graph below. The blue bars are the level of web traffic to Canterbury listings over the past 18 months and the red line tracks the same period for all NZ listings on realestate.co.nz.

Observing international viewers of Canterbury property highlights some interesting trend. Overall around 1 in 4 viewers of property within the region are viewing the website from overseas, and common to the site overall UK, Australia and USA are the top countries. These collectively represent 75% of all international traffic. Over the past year interest from the traditional markets of the UK and Australia have slipped away to be replaced by greater interest from the USA, Ireland and South Africa – the latter representing a 70% increase from a year ago.

The website is a valuable lead-indicator of potential future activity within the real estate market. The key metrics being the level of demand as measured in website visitors and enquiries sent from the website to agents regarding listings on the site in the form of emails. This graph tracks the level of emails as indexed over prior year:

Whilst the level of enquiry fell away markedly (when measured as an index of average monthly enquiry) during the Autumn and winter period; the months of July and August has seen a robust boost in email enquiries being sent to agents – both months outstripping the levels of emails sent at this time last year, potentially highlighting a degree of a spring boost to flagging market activity.

Properties of interest

Within that rich portfolio of over 7,000 property listings on the website at this time for the region there are some very interesting facts accessible through the website to tempt buyers.

One of the most popular properties on the site at this time is this striking property looking down on the city of Christchurch from the Cashmere Hills. Currently being marketed by Nerina Higgins of Harcourts in Merivale, this property goes to auction on the 1st October. As can been seen from the extensive photo portfolio this property has stunning views and to help market the property it features a video presentation to really enhance the unique location.

The listing has received over 3,300 views since being listed, less than 3 weeks ago. Of these visitors a high proportion have visited to view this property from overseas as per this graph for the listing which shows the traffic from each of the top 8 countries over the past 7 days, with undoubtedly great interest from the US.

Naturally the question always goes to the most expensive and the cheapest property in the region – well for $4m this 4 bedroom 370m2 home takes the top slot. Again in Cashmere this gracious family home is an oasis of house and stunning garden. The web presentation is enhanced with 28 high resolution images provided by Open2view.

Whilst at the other end of the spectrum for just $85,000 (that is a mere 2% of the cost of the Cashmere property) you could be the owner of this 4 bedroom house on classic quarter acre section – that slice of kiwi paradise in Ashburton – it is on leasehold land, but despite that the interest is there – the listing has been viewed over 2,500 times, again with good interest from the US.

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