The February 2013 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 February. 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 – February 2013 is published below and is available for download (1.2MB) and distribution.
Summary of the market – February 2013
Confidence among sellers drives an increase in both new listings & price expectations
Following seasonal listing expectations, February delivered a healthy start to the year, with 13,145 new listings coming to the market, down just 2% on last year. While up significantly from both December and January figures, the flow of new listings was not enough to meet the buyer demand in the main cities, where inventory fell to between 14 weeks and 17 weeks (measured by the number of weeks of equivalent sales).
This increase of new listings came with a higher asking price expectation from sellers, who are eager to capitalise on the demand that they are seeing in the property market. Mean asking prices in New Zealand reached $443,734 (seasonally adjusted) and 2 regions reached record highs, Wellington rose to $453,220, and Central Otago/Lakes rose to $642,251.
As has been seen for the last year, the pressure in the market caused by a shortage of listings is very focused in the main cities with provincial still not witnessing anything like the level of buyer demand or activity that is being witnessed in the main cities. For example, listings in Auckland were down 4.2% year on year in February, while sales in January rose 26.7% on last year.
The seasonally adjusted truncated mean asking price for listings in February rose by 1% to $443,734. It represents a 4% year-on-year growth in the asking price as compared to February last year. The highest year-on-year growth was seen in Central Otago/Lakes region, rising 21% to a record high of $642,251. (The highest regional listing price ever recorded in New Zealand)
The trend as seen in the chart opposite, continues to show strength in seller expectation, on the back of low listings, and strong demand in the main centers
As forecasted the level of new listings coming onto the market in February increased substantially, with 13,145 listings in the month – up from 8,849 in January (49% increase). This however represents a fall of 2% on last year.
On a 12 month moving average basis a total of 132,236 new listings have come onto the market since February 2012 as compared to 127,054 in the prior 12-month period, this represents a rise of 4%.
The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of February (44,698) was up slightly, when compared to January (43,056). The inventory as measured in terms of equivalent weeks of sales fell in February to a new record low of 26.2 weeks, well below the long-term average of 39 weeks.
The market remains firmly a seller’s market; with 13 of the 19 NZ regions showing inventory levels that are well below long term averages.
Regional Summary – Asking price expectations
The main centers, Wellington rose 4.6% to a new record high asking price of $453,220. Asking prices in Auckland, and Canterbury remained stable in February. Auckland sellers remained confident with an asking price of $603,781 (up 9% on last year), and Canterbury rose just 0.7% to $405,436 (up 7.6% on last year).
In total 13 regions reported asking price increases, with 7 of these regions seeing rises greater than 5%. The most significant rises were seen in Central Otago / Lakes, Taranaki, and Coromandel. Central Otago / Lakes showed the largest increase, up 16.4% to a record high of $642,251. Of the 6 regions witnessing asking price falls on a seasonally adjusted basis there was just one that reported a fall of greater than 5% with Otago falling by 7.2% to $278,240.
A new record high asking price was seen in Central Otago / Lakes, rising by 16.4% to $642,251, and Wellington, rising by 4.6% to $453,220.
Regional Summary – Listings
Of the 11 regions reporting year on year falls, just one region reported a significant fall (over 20%), Gisborne – falling by 24% when compared to February 2012.
8 regions reported higher new listings than February last year, with 2 regions reporting year on year increases of over 20%. Otago was the region to report the highest increase of 23.9% when compared to February 2012, followed by Coromandel who saw an increase of 21.4%.
Following the seasonal listing trend, expect strong levels of new listings coming onto the market in March (13,265 were seen last march)
The main cities continue to suffer from low levels of listings. In Auckland listings were down 4.2% year on year in February, while sales in January rose 26.7% on last year.
Regional Summary – Inventory
Four regions (Central North Island, Taranaki, West Coast, and Southland) showed increases in inventory of homes on the market taking them above their respective long-term average. In addition two other regions (Nelson and Wairarapa) sit close to their respective long-term averages.
Market sentiment continues to favour sellers in 13 regions, with the greatest strain being felt in the 9 regions that are marked in darker blue. This includes the main metro areas of Auckland, Wellington, and Canterbury, which remain under pressure from low listings as measured against sales activity.
Both Canterbury and Waikato regions reported record low inventory in February
New lifestyle property listings rose across the country in February, following the seasonal February trend they increased 62.1% when compared to January. A total of 1,057 listings came onto the market, showing an increase of just 0.9% when compared to February last year. The truncated mean asking price for these listings was up by 1.8% as compared to the recent 3-month average to an asking price of $656,392 (up 2% when compared to February 2012). New record high asking prices were seen in one region in New Zealand (Wellington $913,684).
New listings for apartments in February were down 2.6% on a year on year basis, with 524 being brought to the market. The truncated mean asking price of new apartment listings fell 0.7% to $383,077 in February from $385,821 in January, and was down 4.8% on a year on year basis.
The Auckland apartment market had 336 new listings coming onto the market, up 2% when compared to February last year. The truncated mean asking price of new listings in Auckland rose to $380,251 (February) from $375,887 (January). When compared to the recent 3-month average, this represents a rise of 2.9%.
For Media Enquiries, please contact: Paul McKenzie, Realestate.co.nz | +64 21 618 537
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, 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.
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 30% of all traffic to property listings from mobile devices, including their iPhone and Android applications. To date these applications have been downloaded by over 140,000 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 February 2013 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 March 2013 will be published on this website on 2nd March 2013 at 10am.
By Paul McKenzie, Marketing Manager, Realestate.co.nz