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NZ Property Report – March 2013

Posted on: April 6th, 2013 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured, NZ Property Report

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

Summary of the market – March 2013

Property market continues to favour sellers, with asking prices near record levels.

 

Nationally the property market saw some stabilisation in March, with a mean asking price of $444,883, a small increase of 0.3% on February, but a growth of 4% on the same time last year, close to the $446,277 record set in November 2012. The average asking price (seasonally adjusted truncated mean) in both Auckland and Canterbury climbed further in March, reaching their 2nd highest recorded figures of $610,628, and 438,298 respectively.

The number of new listings fell slightly to 12,732, down 3% on February and down 4% year on year. However, the decrease in new listings was particularly apparent in the major centres, where the number of new listings in the main centres is not keeping up with demand, Wellington and Canterbury experiencing falls of 9.9% and 8.6% respectively from the same time last year, with Auckland’s figure falling by 4.6%.

The 12,732 new listings that came to market in March did little to ease the record low in inventory seen last month. Inventory – measured by weeks of equivalent sales – settled at 27 weeks. While this is a marginal increase on last month’s 26.2 weeks, it is still 20% less than March 2012, and well down on the long term average of 39 weeks.

 

Asking Price

 

The seasonally adjusted truncated mean asking price for listings in March rose by 0.3% to $444,883. It represents a 4% year-on-year growth in the asking price as compared to March last year, and is the close to the National asking price record of $446,227 which was set is November last year.

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 March fell 3% from February, to a total of 12,732. This represents a fall of 4% from March last year.

On a 12 month moving average basis a total of 131,703 new listings have come to the market since April 2012, as compared to 128,072 in the prior 12 month period, a slight rise of 2.8%. This compares to REINZ reported sales, which are up 18.1% on the same 12 month comparable basis.

 

Inventory

 

The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of March (43,930) was down slightly, when compared to February (44,698). The inventory as measured in terms of equivalent weeks of sales rose in March to 27 weeks, remaining 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. Both Auckland and Canterbury are witnessing the highest extent of this. Auckland is 53% below its long term average, and Canterbury is 45% below its long term average.

 

Regional Summary – Asking price expectations

The national asking price expectation among sellers rose by just 0.3% in March to $444,883, just below the high set in November 2012 of $446,277 (seasonally adjusted truncated mean).

The main centers – asking prices in Auckland, and Canterbury remained strong in March, each reporting asking prices close to the record highs seen in October 2012. Auckland sellers remained confident with an asking price of $610,628 (up 9.2% on last year), and Canterbury rose 2% from February to $413,403 (up 7.8% on last year).

In total 8 regions reported asking price increases from February, the most significant rises was seen in the Hawkes Bay region, up 5.1% to an asking price of $354,225. Of the 11 regions witnessing asking price falls on a seasonally adjusted basis there were three that reported a fall of greater than 5%, Central Otago / Lakes fell by 5.8% from the record set last month to $604,824, Gisborne fell 9.5% to $287,097, and Takanaki witnessed the largest drop, falling by 14.1% to $282,019.

 

Regional Summary – Listings

 

New listings fell across most of the country in March with just 5 of the 19 regions seeing an increase on a year-on-year basis.

The most significant drop in listings was seen in Gisborne, falling 19.8%, and Taranaki, which fell by 15.7%

Of the 5 regions reported higher new listings than March last year, just 1 region reported significant year on year increases of over 20%. Coromandel was the region to report the highest increase of 41.7% when compared to March 2012, followed by Otago who saw an increase of 12.7%.

The main cities continue to suffer from low levels of listings. Auckland listings were down 4.6%, Wellington was down 9.9% and Canterbury was down 8.6% year on year in March.

 

Regional Summary – Inventory

 

The 12,732 new listings that came to market in March did little to ease the record low in inventory seen last month. Inventory settled at 27 weeks (weeks of equivalent sales). While this is a marginal increase on last month’s 26.2 weeks, it is still 20% less than March 2012, and well down on the long term average of 39 weeks. 

Just three regions (Gisborne, Taranaki, and West Coast) showed increases in inventory of homes on the market taking them above their respective long-term average. In addition three other regions (Central North Island, Southland, 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 8 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.

Auckland is 53% below its long term average, and Canterbury is 45% below its long term average.

 

Lifestyle

 

New lifestyle property listings rose across the country in March. A total of 1,081 listings came onto the market, showing an increase of 2.3% when compared to February, but a fall of 6.3% when compared to March last year. The truncated mean asking price for these listings was up by 3.5% as compared to the recent 3-month average to a record high asking price of $689,910 (up 7% when compared to March 2012).

 

Apartments

 

New listings for apartments in March were up 3.2% on a year on year basis, with 544 being brought to the market. The truncated mean asking price of new apartment listings rose 2.4% to $392,443 in March from $383,077 in February, and was also up 7.2% on a year on year basis.

The Auckland apartment market had 369 new listings coming onto the market, up 17.5% when compared to March last year. The truncated mean asking price of new listings in Auckland rose to $380,805 (March) from $380,251 (February). When compared to the recent 3-month average, this represents a rise of 1.4%.

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 97% 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 500,000 unique browsers, with over 120,000 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 145,000 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 March 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 April 2013 will be published on this website on 2nd May 2013 at 10am.

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

Article Discussion

  1. The first week of April saw the lowest level of homes on the market in Pt Chevalier for at least 10 years. Westmere has a slightly better selection than usual, while Grey Lynn remains very active, with record prices achieved in recent weeks.

    Appears to be a reluctance to list on the market without first finding somewhere else to go – a classic catch 22 situation that can only see prices go even higher through 2013.

  2. […] NZ Property Report for March shows the median asking price has moved just 0.3 percent in a month, while listings are down […]

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