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NZ Property Report – December 2012

Posted on: January 4th, 2013 | Filed in Featured, Market News, NZ Property Report

The December 2012 NZ Property Report published by 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 December. 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 – December 2012 is published below and is available for download (1.2MB) and distribution.

Summary of the market – December 2012

New Year starts with even fewer properties for sale, but an ease in asking prices.

The property market saw a further tightening of supply in December, more especially in the 3 major cities where the market remains very firmly as a sellers market. In overall terms the number of new listings coming onto the market in December was considerably lower than expected given the surge in November. Overall stocks of unsold homes fell to a 5 year low of 26.6 weeks of inventory (long term average = 39 weeks).

Auckland, Waikato and Otago were most affected by low inventory levels, with stocks of unsold homes falling to a new record lows of 13.9 weeks of inventory in Auckland, 31.5 weeks in Waikato, and 20.4 weeks in Otago, each well below their long term inventory levels.

Inventory levels across the country remain low and the market remains a firms sellers market across 16 of NZ’s 19 regions.


Asking Price

The seasonally adjusted truncated mean asking price for listings in December eased from the record high of $446,277 set in November to a December level of $422,636. The month-on-month decrease of 5% takes the month level to 1% up on December last year.

As can be seen from the chart that the fall in the month does not significantly affect the trend line which continues to show a steady rise over the past 2 years.


New Listings

The level of new listings coming onto the market in December fell on a seasonally adjusted basis by 8.4%. A total of 8,482 new listings came onto the market representing a 3% year-on-year fall.

For the calendar year of 2012 a total of 132,243 new listings came onto the market as compared to 124,748 for calendar year 2011 – a rise of 6%. By comparison the prior years stats were 2007: 177,529; 2008: 163,488; 2009: 135,416; 2010: 138, 789. So as compared to the peak of the market on 2007 listings are down 26%.



The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of December (42,513) was down, when compared to November (45,228). The inventory as measured in terms of equivalent weeks of sales fell to a 5 year low last month to 26.6 weeks last month. This fall was witnessed across 16 of the 19 regions.

With the rising rate of property sales, the inventory on the market has seen a significant drop over 2012 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 fell by 5.3% in December to $422,636.

In the main centers, Auckland, and Christchurch reported a fall in the asking price in December. Auckland fell 1.5% to $588,088, and Canterbury fell 4.1% to $389,273. Wellington reported a rise in asking price of 0.8% to $434,843.

In total 5 regions reported asking price increases, and 3 regions saw rises greater than 5%. The most significant rises were seen in Gisborne, Wairarapa , and Hawkes Bay with Gisborne showing the largest increase, up 33.9% to $335,905. Of the 13 regions witnessing asking price falls on a seasonally adjusted basis there were 6 that reported a falls of greater than 5% with Northland falling by 14.4% to $366,584, Central Lakes / Otago falling by 12.8% to $515,859, Central North Is falling by 9.9% to $332,649, Marlborough falling 8.7% to $362,071, West Coast fell 7.2% to $277,538 and Taranaki fell 6.3% to $281,856.

A new record high asking price was seen in Southland, rising by 3.6% to $264,028.


Regional Summary – Listings

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

There were 11 regions reporting year-on-year falls, with significant falls (over 20%) seen in just 1 region, West Coast – falling by 35.1% when compared to December 2011.

Record low numbers of new listings were seen in West Coast, Auckland, and Wellington, putting more pressure on the already low number of listings in the main centers

8 regions reported higher new listings than December last year with Southland being the region to report the highest increase of 72.5% when compared to December 2011, Followed by Northland who saw a increase of 42.9%, and Coromandel who saw a increase of 35.8%.

Regional Summary – Inventory

The inventory of unsold homes on the market tightened significantly in December – Falling to a new record low of 26.6 weeks of equivalent sales from 29 weeks (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

Three regions (West Coast, Southland, and Central North Island) showed increases in inventory of homes on the market taking them above their respective long-term average. In addition one other region (Taranaki) 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 10 regions which are marked in darker blue, which includes the main metro areas of Auckland, Wellington, and Canterbury which remain under pressure from low listings as measured against sales activity.

Auckland, Otago, and Waikato all reported record low numbers on Inventory (based on weeks of equivalent sales), with Auckland reporting an all time low of 14 weeks of equivalent sales.



New lifestyle property listings fell across the country in December, dropping 23.7% when compared to November. A total of 813 listings came onto the market, showing a fall of 3.8% when compared to December last year. The truncated mean asking price for these listings was down by 4.8% as compared to the recent 3-month average to an asking price of $624,860 (up 13.6% when compared to December 2011). New record high asking prices were seen in 1 region in New Zealand (Hawkes Bay $765,375).



New listings for apartments in December were down 6.1% on a year on year basis, with 325 being brought to the market. The truncated mean asking price of new apartment listings fell 3.9% to $378,750 in December from $394,282 in November, and was down 4.5% on a year on year basis.

The Auckland apartment market had 163 new listings coming onto the market, down 17% when compared to December last year. The truncated mean asking price of new listings in Auckland fell to $352,786 (December) from $386,818 (November) representing a 5.7% fall on the prior 3 months.


For Media Enquiries, please contact: Paul McKenzie, | +64 21 618 537


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.



With the largest database of properties for sale in NZ from licensed real estate agents, is uniquely placed to immediately identify any changes in the marketplace. The 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 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 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 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: 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 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 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 December 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 The next NZ Property Report for January 2013 will be published on this website on Friday 1st February 2013 at 11am.

By Paul McKenzie, Marketing Manager,

Article Discussion

  1. During the holiday season buyer demand has remained very strong with our Grey Lynn and Pt Chevalier offices taking offers for properties right up to Christmas Eve and between Christmas and New Year.
    In addition to buyers transferring to Auckland from other cities in NZ, there appear to be more Kiwis arriving back from overseas than in any recent year and we simply do not have enough homes available in Grey Lynn, Westmere or Pt Chevalier to meet demand.
    It looks like January will be the ultimate time to achieve a premium price for a home in central Auckland but we need your home now!

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