The Unconditional Blog

The impartial voice of the industry


NZ Property Report – July 2010

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

blue pen and small houseThe July 2010 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 July. 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 95% of all property movements in the NZ market as managed by licensed real estate agents.

The July 2010 report shows the first signs of some balancing within the market with new listings declining and a matching fall in asking price expectation. Both of these signals match to the reality that the property market is moving at a very slow pace in regard to sales and therefore for those needing to sell, pricing appropriately and marketing smartly are the only approach that can generate interest from what is clearly a reduced pool of buyers.

Realestate_DownloadNowA full print version of the NZ Property Report – July 2010 is published below and is available for download (1.2MB) and distribution.

Summary of the market – July 2010

July_NZ_Property_report_coverWith the property market now firmly in the middle of winter the level of new listings coming onto the market has eased to a level expected of this quieter period of the year. For almost 9 months the flow of new listings has been at a level ahead of a year prior, but in July that trend was reversed. The net result of this steady flow of new listings for over 9 months is seen very clearly in the inventory levels. Measured on an equivalent number of weeks of sales the inventory of unsold houses across the country remains at high levels as compared to long term averages.

This strength of listings matched to the existing stock of unsold houses is challenging for property owners looking for buyers in what is a very slow paced market. In terms of sales of properties as reported by the REINZ the first 6 months of 2010 have seen just 29,844 sales; compared to 34,169 in the same 6 months of 2009 – a 12.7% decline.

It would appear that set against this market with high inventory and strong new listings sellers are heading the advice of real estate agents to price property to attract interest in the market which is what is driving these more competitive prices, down from $410,058 in June to $400,481 in July.

As has been commented on before the market situation between provincial and metropolitan NZ continues. In terms of new listings the 3 key metro areas saw an 11.6% decline in new listing in July compared to 2.3% increase for the sum total of provincial regions.

Asking Price

Asking_price_chart_July_2010Asking price expectations of new listings coming onto the market fell significantly in July. From a peak of asking prices in March of $422,648 the truncated mean asking price has fallen to just $400,481 in 4 months.

This price represents a seasonally adjusted fall of 1.1% from June; it is also at the same levels as the month of July in both 2009 and 2008 signaling the softness in the market.

New Listings

Chart_of_new_listings_July_2010The volume of new listings coming onto the market fell slightly from the June level of 11,106 to 10,586 in July. This represented a 2.3% decline when measured on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Over the 12 months to July 2010 a total of 145,733 new listings came onto the market. This compared with 134,378 in the prior period – an increase of 8.5%, on the same comparison property sales have at least kept pace up 8.1%


Chart_of_inventory July 2010The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of July totaled 52,404 up slightly from June. This represented the equivalent of 46.8 weeks, as assessed on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The inventory levels had been beginning to fall over the preceding two months, but this month saw a slight correction.

Regional Summary – Asking Price Expectations

Map_of_asking_price_July_2010The regional view of asking price changed significantly in July from both May and June. Asking prices have continued to ease with the scale of falls in some regions becoming quite marked as seen by the deep red colour in 5 of the 19 regions; these indicate falls of over 5% as compared to an average of the preceding 3 months – all are in provincial north island regions. Wairarapa with an asking price of $250,135 is the lowest reported over the past 3 years.

Asking prices did however firm across 3 regions – Queenstown lakes, Nelson and Gisborne. These South island regions also were regions that showed a more balanced market in both listings and inventory.

All of the 3 main metro areas showed easing in asking price most noticeable in Wellington and Canterbury, the latter showing a 4.6% fall from the 3 month average.

Regional Summary – New Listings

Map_of_new_listings_July_2010Whilst July levels of new listings were down just 1.7% compared to the prior month there was a turning point in the market. July was the first month this year to witness a decline on a –year-on-year basis; the last such month was back in October 2009.

Across the regions based purely on levels of new listings there were 8 regions of the 19 that saw falls indicating a switch from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market. Matched to these regions there were just 6 regions showing growth in listings with the Coromandel, Nelson and the West Coast recording listings growth of over 20%.

The Northland region recorded its lowest level of monthly listings at 399 since the beginning of 2007, down 5.7% compared to June and 3.2% below July 2009.

Regional Summary – Inventory

Map_of_inventory_July_2010The indicative trend highlighted last month where there were a number of regions which were beginning to find a balance with less influence of buyers has taken a step backwards with the vast majority of regions back into a stronger position for buyers. Even the Nelson region which in June showed a modest sellers market has fallen back somewhat to a more balanced market.

In July of the 19 regions, all but 5 are showing a significant buyer’s market based on the current inventory as measured against long term averages.

The 3 regions of the country which are fairly well balanced with neither a buyers nor sellers market are regions with a heavy influence of lifestyle and potentially overseas interest – Queenstown, Nelson and the Coromandel.

Lifestyle Property

Chart_of_new_lifestyle_listings_July_2010The flow of new listings for lifestyle properties continued to fall in July with just 833 new listings across the country, placing July amongst the lowest months going back to 2007. On a year-on-year comparison July was down 13.9%.

The asking price expectation also fell from $573,893 in June to $536,155 in July – a 2.3% fall as compared to the prior 3 months, but identical to July 2009. Significant price falls were seen in Gisborne, Canterbury, Marlborough, the Manawatu / Wanganui as well as the Wairarapa.


Chart_of_new_apartment_listings_July_2010The apartment market as judged by new listings seems flat with the past 3 months witnessing almost identical levels of new listings – 559 new ones in July. This represents a 23.7% decline from July 2009. Within the Auckland region where the majority of apartments are, new listings in July totaled 349, identical to June but down 35.5% as compared to a year earlier.

The asking price expectation of new apartment listings fell 7.7% in July as compares to the recent 3 month average at $357,616; this represented a 2.1% decline as compared to July 2009. For Auckland the asking price was $323,327 – down 8.3% compared to the recent 3 month average and down 5.5% as compared to July 2009.

Property Price Index

Comparing the sale price of properties across the country to the asking price expectation is not a perfect comparison, however the trends tend to align. The benefit is that the data for asking price is of the market today, whilst the selling price is reflective of the market active between 4 and 6 weeks ago. The latest comparison is highlighted below:

Property_price_index_July_2010 data is compiled from asking prices of new residential listings as they come onto the market via subscribers to the website. The website currently has over 94% 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 a 10% interval.

REINZ: data is 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 published as a stratified median house price and is developed in association with the Reserve Bank of NZ.


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, 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 1,160 licensed real estate offices across NZ, representing more than 94% 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.

In analysing the details of the 11,106 new listings in the month of July, a total of 165 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 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 six 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 350,000 unique browsers, with over 110,000 of those visiting from countries outside of 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 over 5,000 listings for all types of farms and agricultural land as well as over 11,o00 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 26,000 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 4,000 listings for all types of businesses – retail, tourism, wholesale as well as franchise opportunities.

Zoodle is a specialist property information website providing very detailed data on all residential properties in NZ. The database comprises over 1.5m properties with detailed specifications, map and local amenities. The site provides online reports for free and for purchase covering valuation and legal information to greatly assist the needs of property buyers and sellers.

The web business of site is the most comprehensive real estate web operation in NZ, currently hosting over 120,000 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 1,160 offices, the company represents over 94% of all listings from licensed real estate agents in NZ.

The full NZ Property Report for June 2010 can be downloaded here (1.4MB 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 August 2010 will be published on this website on Wednesday 1st September 2010 at 10am.

Article Discussion

  1. James says:

    Why does use “mean asking prices”??? Wouldn’t it give a more accurate figure to compare sale prices?

  2. Alistair Helm says:


    Thanks for the question. With the website we only have access to and monitor the listing of property coming onto the market. We do access the withdrawal of listings which can be for reasons such as the successful sale, however we do not collect the selling price details.

    It is for this reason that we produce the data related to new listings, asking price of new listings and inventory of unsold houses.

  3. Thanks Alistair, as usual great charts :)

  4. Alistair Helm says:


    Thanks for the comments. Never hesitate to suggest any improvements or additional data or charts that might make the report better!

  5. Steven says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I have found a problem in the NZ Property Report – July 2010, the Major Centers, Auckland, Property asking price, May 2010. The price is $518,1853. I dont think so. Could you please check it?

    Thank you!

  6. Alistair Helm says:


    Many thanks for bringing this to my attention – it is a classic case of a checking error. The May asking price was $518,853 – the 1 had crept in somehow.

    I have updated the report and uploaded it.

  7. […] today some 56,844 listings for properties for sale are featured on the website, equating to over 11 months of equivalent sales. The market therefore is tough for sellers – raising a property’s profile when there are so […]

  8. Billy says:

    Hi, this is excellent information. Please advise where and how can I find specific, regional information on sections? Many thanks

  9. Alistair Helm says:


    Thanks for the question. At the moment I cannot direct you to access to this type of information in the public domain. It is something that I think it would be worthwhile for us to examine.

    Keep watching and I hope we can get some data together.

Post your views