Realestate.co.nz is uniquely placed to provide relevant and timely information on the state of the market from the perspective of the lead indicators of price expectation and the quantity of new listings coming onto the market. These unique indicators will, it is believed, provide a valuable balance to the established indicators of sales volumes and property selling prices.
This second report from realestate.co.nz provides an insight into seller activity in the residential market for the month of April 2009. This report also introduces a change in the presentation of asking price. Following consultation with economists the decision has been taken to utilise a ‘truncated mean’ asking price as a more accurate guide to asking price.
Significant fall in new listings points to a turning point in the property market
The level of new listings coming onto the website in April slipped to a seasonal low of just 10,453. Traditionally April is a quieter month for new listings, as evidenced by the listings data for 2007, which provides a more reliable measure of seasonality than 2008, which was a year heavily influenced by a massive contraction in sales and the consequential impact on inventory on the market.
This lower listing inventory which has been seen as a trend for over 12 months, matched to the recent awakening of sales in February and March, could mark the end of the buyer’s market which is how the property market has been typified over the past 18 months. Whilst there is no clear sign that the market has entered into a sellers market phase with any consequential impact on prices, there has to be a point of inflection and that is a sense of where the market currently is.
The asking price expectation in many ways supports this turning point, as the asking price expectations are not perpetuating the declines seen through 2008, rather it is as though it is seeking direction as the market heads into the traditionally quieter winter period.
The national decline of new inventory is reflected right around the country with year-on-year double digit decline. The only exception is Nelson which traditionally has maintained a very active property market and coincidentally Nelson recorded one of the leading increases in asking price – up 13.8% for the month as compared to April 2008.
The biggest fall in new inventory was recorded in Northland down 56%. The Auckland market, representing as it does over a third of inventory experienced a decline of 1,689 listings as compared to April 2008 and 1,369 as compared to April 2007.
Across the regions, asking prices in the main slipped with 12 regions reporting price declines (largest fall 9.8% in Marlborough) and just 6 reporting an asking price increase. The largest rise was in the West Coast with a 22.4% year on year growth to an asking price of $279,882.
Whilst March saw renewed activity in the listing market for apartments, April had seen a marked reversal with one of the lowest months of the past 2 years. Just 405 new apartment listings were added to the website, reflecting somewhat of a seasonal decline, and yet is 37% down on April 2008.
In terms of asking price, the April figure of $372,865 is down a significant 16% as compared to April last year, and an equally significant 15% from last month. Clearly the apartment market is struggling to generate much supply side activity outside of the lower priced segment.
Mirroring the comments of March, lifestyle property continues to show sluggish activity of new listings. A total of 906 listings were added in April down 32% on April 2008. A seasonal decline in listings is anticipated at this time of year but this decline month on month of 13% is ahead of 2007 and 2008.
In terms of asking price, the April figure of $581,938 is up slightly by 3% as compared to April last year, and pretty much line-ball with the March asking price.
Realestate.co.nz: data compiled from asking prices of new residential listings as they come onto the market via subscribers to the realestate.co.nz website. Realestate.co.nz website currently has over 93% of all licensed real estate offices subscribing and providing all of their listings onto the website. The asking price is presented as a truncated mean price at an 80% interval.
REINZ: data compiled from reported unconditional residential sales from all members of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand representing all licensed real estate offices. The sale price is a median price.
QV: data compiled from residential sales compiled by QV for the previous 3 month period. The sale price is a pure average (mean) price.
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 so easily can introduces 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.
With the largest database of properties for sale in NZ, realestate.co.nz is uniquely placed to immediately identify any changes in the marketplace. The realestate.co.nz NZ Property Report is compiled from new listings coming onto the market from the more than 1,120 licensed real estate offices across NZ, representing more than 93% of all offices.
With an average monthly level of over 12,000 new listings, the realestate.co.nz NZ Property Report provides one of the largest monthly sample reports on the residential property market, as well as a more timely view of the property market than any other property report. The data is collated and analysed at the close of each month, and the Report is compiled for the 1st day of the following month. This provides a feedback mechanism as to the immediate state of the market, well in advance of sales statistics which by the very nature of the selling process can reflect activity with a lag of between 2 and 4 months.
In analysing the details of the 10,453 new listings in the month of April, a total of 262 listings have been excluded due to anomalies. The categorisation of Lifestyle property is defined by the land area of the property. The criterion is a property having in excess of 0.3 hectares and being situated outside metropolitan areas.
Background to Realestate.co.nz
Realestate.co.nz is the official website of the real estate industry of New Zealand, it is an industry owned website providing online marketing services to the real estate industry. The website is the most comprehensive website for real estate in NZ, currently hosting over 112,000 listings, covering 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 1,120 offices, the website features over 93% of all listings from licensed real estate agents in NZ. Realestate.co.nz was visited by over 355,000 unique browsers in the month of April from both domestic and international visitors. The website is the most popular website for international visitors enquiring of NZ real estate, with over 125,000 unique browsers in the month of April from more than 200 countries
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