The Unconditional Blog

The impartial voice of the industry


NZ Property Report – February 2010

Posted on: March 1st, 2010 | Filed in Featured, NZ Property Report

NZ Property Report - industry has long been expecting a surge in new listings and February answered that call. However the timing is not ideal as these listings are hitting the market right at the time that sales volumes have gone soft. The last month of 2009 and the first month of 2010 surprised the market with particularly weak sales with both months showing long term lows of 4,957 and 3,666 respectively.

Click here to download the full report (1.4MB pdf)The month of February is traditionally a very strong month for new listings. Two years ago a record level of 18,700 listings came onto the market – at that time sales were beginning to weaken heading into the recession. Also at that time the inventory of unsold houses was beginning to rise from 34 weeks in Feb ’08 rising to a peak of 57 weeks a year later.

The rise in asking price to $419,015 puts price expectations back on an increasing trend and does reflect the traditional increase seen in February. Clearly sellers and their agents are confident that the pricing will find a willing buyer market at these levels; somewhat of a challenge given recent weakness in the stratified median sales prices as reported by the Real Estate Institute.

The key focus for the market is the inventory of unsold houses which at close to 12 months means that there is ample opportunity for buyers to evaluate the property that best suits their needs in what is clearly a buyer’s market.

Asking Price

NZ Property Report Feb 2010 - asking price expectationThe vendor’s expectation of asking price for properties coming onto the market in February rose quite significantly from $405,040 to $419,015.

This price represented a 1.6% increase in asking price when compared to the moving average of the past 3 months (Nov/Dec/Jan).

The asking price of new listings in February last year was $413,337 representing a 1.4% year on year increase.

New Listings

NZ Property Report Feb 2010 - level of new lisitingsThe number of new listings coming onto the market in February rose sharply in what is traditionally a peak listings’ month. The volume represented a 47% increase on prior month and 24% year on year growth. It is also the highest single month for nearly 2 years.


NZ Property Report Feb 2010 - Inventory of listings on the marketThe level of unsold houses on the market at the end of February totaled 54,381.This represented the equivalent of 48.2 weeks.

This very steep rise in inventory of unsold houses is the result of the combined effects of a surge in new listings and sluggish monthly sales over the past quarter. Whilst the current level is 15% below the level at the same time last year unless sales volumes pick up or listings dry up then inventory could continue to rise in the coming months – clearly signaling a buyer’s market.

Regional Summary – Asking price expectation

NZ Property Report Feb 2010 - Regional asking price expectation of vendorsWhilst the national asking price expectation showed a rise in truncated mean from $405,040 to $419,015 the regional variances were quite significant with 11 regions showing increases set against the recent 3 month average and 8 regions showing falls.

The main metro areas showed only marginal variances of around 3% or less with Wellington just 1.1% down. In provincial areas significant falls were seen on Gisborne, Marlborough and the Central Otago / lakes region. In the latter region the asking price expectation of %28,137 was the second lowest in the past 12 months.

Significant rises were seen in Southland, Taranaki, Otago and the Hawkes Bay. For the Taranaki region the asking price of $335,423 is an all time high.

Regional Summary – New listings

NZ Property Report Feb 2010 - regional levels of new listingsThe surge of listings nationally amounting to a 47% month on month growth was seen most significantly in a key number of regions.

Most significant was Wellington which has for so long been running on a shortage of new listings – the regions saw a surge with over 2,000 listings, a level not seen over the last few years. Matching that level of new listings was Canterbury with a 34% year on year rise.

Regions seeing a fall in year on year listings were Coromandel, Central Otago / Lakes and Northland.

Regional Summary – Inventory of unsold houses

NZ Property Report Feb 2010 - regional summary of inventory of unsold housesThe steep rise in inventory on a national basis in February was reflected across the majority of the 19 regions which in the main are clearly indicating a buyer’s market.

The only three regions which are seeing a level of inventory of unsold houses below long term averages were Auckland which now has 30 weeks of stock, The Hawkes Bay with 32 and Wellington with just 18 weeks. All of these regions inventory levels are over 30% down on the same period last year

The areas of the country where inventory is significantly above long term averages were Northland (160 weeks), Central North Island (115 weeks), Taranaki (29 weeks) and Marlborough (74 weeks).

Lifestyle Property

NZ Property Report Feb 2010 - Lifestyle property new listingsA healthy 30% increase in listings in February with 1,113 new lifestyle properties come onto the market with an asking price expectation of $601,220 which is 7.6% up on prior year and 1.2% up on the 3 month average

Regions of the country seeing significant increases in new listings of over double as compared to prior year were the Hawkes Bay, Wellington and Marlborough. Only Northland, Gisborne and the Coromandel saw year on year declines in new listings.


NZ Property Report Feb 2010 - listings of apartmentsThe apartment market had a very strong month with 747 new listings – the highest overall level of new listings for 2 years. Very strong listings came through in the Bay of Plenty and Wellington both showing year on year growth of over 100%.

The asking price expectation of apartments for February was $374,503 which was almost identical to a year earlier and just 1% up on the prior 3 months. The asking price in Auckland was $335,861 which was almost identical to a year earlier, but 2.6% down the prior 3 months.

The full report 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 by attribution to the source of the data being The next NZ Property Report for March 2010 will be published on this website on Thursday 1st April at 10am.

Article Discussion

  1. Neil Walker says:

    hello Alistair
    I find the monthly regional data trends to be of limited value. In Gisborne the volume of data tends to be too low, thereby distorting any report. e.g. An average asking price of $300,000 (with a drop of 13%) doesn’t necessarily mean much when you consider the median sale price is mid $200,000’s. Other regional reports show too much fluctuation in their KPI’s. I accept that the data for whole of NZ may give a more indicative snapshot of what the market may be doing. But really, does it? In your opinion what are the key indicators?

  2. Alistair Helm says:


    Appreciate your feedback. I guess as ever with data when you draw down to small samples then there can be variances.

    In regard to this report the data set for Gisborne it is the largest of any real estate report – in the past month there was a data set of 101 listings added in the month. The REINZ sales data which drives the median sales price over the past few months has averaged around 30.

    The asking price is established from the truncated mean average price. In the case of Gisborne this is established by removing the 10 top priced properties and the bottom 10 properties (10% at each end of the range) and then taking the average asking price of the remaining 81 properties which gave a asking price average of $300,500 down from $344,661 last month and compared to $260,945 this time last year.

    Clearly an asking price is an indication – not a sale price. However what it can do is demonstrate trends.

  3. Neil Walker says:

    Trends are interesting. When accompanied with anecdotal reports then they give a better picture. Have a look at – February’s sales report for Gisborne.

  4. Alistair Helm says:


    Great video blog – professional and valuable view of the local market

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