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NZ Property Report – January 2013

The January 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 January. 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 – January 2013 is published below and is available for download (1.2MB) and distribution.

Summary of the market – January 2013

Property market remains tight over summer as buyer interest surges to record heights

The first month of the year is traditionally a quiet period, with significantly less business days, and therefore listings coming onto the market tend to be subdued. This trend continued in 2013, with the New Year starting with both low levels of inventory of properties for sale, and a sluggish flow of new listings. Website traffic in January was a different story though, with over 1.5 million visits to Realestate.co.nz, hitting a new record (source – Google Analytics). It will be interesting to see how this increase in traffic translates into the REINZ sales data for January (released in the second week of February) and into both sales and new listings in February.

Asking prices rebounded in January, with the national (seasonally adjusted) mean reaching $440,507, just shy of the record asking prices seen in November last year of $446,277. This asking price increase was mainly driven by the Auckland market, which reached $607,226 (over $600,000 for a second time in history).

While some stabilisation was seen in January, inventory levels across the country remain low and the market remains a firm seller’s market across 13 of New Zealand’s 19 regions.

 

Asking Price

The seasonally adjusted truncated mean asking price for listings in January rose by 4% to $440,507. It represents a 5% year-on-year growth in the asking price as compared to January last year. The highest year-on-year growth was seen in Auckland, rising 12.4% to $607,226.

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

 

New Listings

The level of new listings coming onto the market in January rose on a seasonally adjusted basis, with a total of 8,849 new listings, representing a modest 4% year-on-year raise.

On a 12 month moving average basis a total of 132,550 new listings have come onto the market since January 2012 as compared to 124,990 in the prior 12-month period, this represents a rise of 6%.

 

Inventory

The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of January (43,506) was up slightly, when compared to December (42,513). The inventory as measured in terms of equivalent weeks of sales rose in January to 28.7 weeks, the same levels seen in November last year

While this increase in the last month was seen in 13 of the 19 NZ regions, the market remains firmly a seller’s market, and inventory on the market remains 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 rose by 4.2% in January to $440,507.

The main centers, Auckland, and Canterbury reported a rise in the asking price in January. Auckland rose 3.3% to $607,226, and Canterbury rose 3.5% to $402,742. Wellington reported a slight fall in asking price of -0.3% to $433,347.

In total 9 regions reported asking price increases, and 4 regions saw rises greater than 5%. The most significant rises were seen in Otago, Central Otago / Lakes, Northland, and Marlbourgh, with Otago showing the largest increase, up 8% to a record high of $299,845. Of the 10 regions witnessing asking price falls on a seasonally adjusted basis there were 6 that reported falls of greater than 5% with Southland falling by 14.6% to $225,541, Gisborne falling by 14.4% to $287,573, Wairarapa falling by 9.5% to $272,996, Coromandel falling 6.5% to $403,748, Nelson fell 6% to $424,463 and Manawatu/Wanganui fell 5.5% to $255,879.

A new record high asking price was seen in Otago, rising by 8% to $299,845.

 

Regional Summary – Listings

Overall new listings increased 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 6 regions reporting year-on-year falls, with significant falls (over 20%) seen in just 1 region, Taranaki – falling by 30.8% when compared to January 2012.

11 regions reported higher new listings than January last year with Gisborne being the region to report the highest increase of 41.1% when compared to January 2012, followed by Otago who saw an increase of 27.2%, Central North Is with an increase of 24%, and Southland who saw an increase of 20.5%.

The data month for February will be interesting to review, as it is traditionally one of the biggest listing months of the year. Last year that total was over 13,000, Auckland seeing the majority with over 4,500 coming to the market.

Regional Summary – Inventory

The inventory of unsold homes on the market stabilised in January – rising back to November levels of 29 weeks of equivalent sales from 27 weeks (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

Four regions (West Coast, Southland, Gisborne and Taranaki) showed increases in inventory of homes on the market taking them above their respective long-term average. In addition two other regions (Otago 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 7 regions that are marked in darker blue. This includes the main metro areas of Auckland, and Canterbury which remain under pressure from low listings as measured against sales activity. 

Auckland saw some stabilisation of inventory levels in January, rising from the record low seen in December of 14 weeks, to 15 weeks of inventory in January.

 

Lifestyle

New lifestyle property listings fell across the country in January, dropping 19.8% when compared to December. A total of 652 listings came onto the market, showing a fall of 2.8% when compared to January last year. The truncated mean asking price for these listings was up by 1.4% as compared to the recent 3-month average to an asking price of $653,269 (up 5.2% when compared to January 2012). New record high asking prices were seen in one region in New Zealand (Otago $600,500).

 

Apartments

New listings for apartments in January were up 16.8% on a year on year basis, with 334 being brought to the market. The truncated mean asking price of new apartment listings rose 1.9% to $385,821 in January from $378,750 in December, and was up 10.3% on a year on year basis. 

The Auckland apartment market had 197 new listings coming onto the market, up 10% when compared to January last year. The truncated mean asking price of new listings in Auckland rose to $375,887 (January) from $352,787 (December). When compared to the recent 3-month average, this represents a rise of 0.5%.

 

For Media Enquiries, please contact: Paul McKenzie, Realestate.co.nz | +64 21 618 537

Notes:

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.

 

Methodology

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.

 

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 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 29% of all traffic to property listings from mobile devices, including their iPhone and Android applications. To date these applications have been downloaded by over 134,000 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 January 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 February 2013 will be published on this website on 1st March 2013 at 11am.

By Paul McKenzie, Marketing Manager, Realestate.co.nz

Article Discussion

  1. If the many millions worth of homes our Pt Chevalier and Grey Lynn offices have sold since Christmas is any indication it looks like 2013 will be a boom year like no other – in Auckland at least!
    Street record sale prices are being broken every week, the number of buyers looking for a home exceeds the stock available by at least 20 to 1 and the lack of new construction combined with low interest rates looks like leading to at least another 15% increase in house prices through 2013.

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