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NZ Property Report – May 2013

Posted on: June 1st, 2013 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured, NZ Property Report

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

Summary of the market – May 2013

High demand, and lack of supply drives asking price to a new record high

The message coming from the property market is that buyers are still out and about and keen to find a home. However, their eagerness to buy is not being met with a consistent and sufficient supply of new listings. This scenario continues to drive this sellers’ market, and homeowners who are putting their property on the market are expecting to see a higher sale price, as flagged by the new record asking price seen in May.

Seller confidence has pushed up the (seasonally adjusted) truncated mean asking price to a new high of $454,795. This rise in asking price was noticeable in over half of New Zealand, with Auckland reaching a new record high of $631,656, and Central Lakes Otago reaching a new high of $707,510.

Property sales remain strong, with REINZ reporting 7,104 properties sales in April, up 25% on a year ago. However, new listings are not matching the sales strength, and reported with a fall of 4.3% year-on-year. The inventory of property on the market has fallen 29% in the past year to record low levels. On the back of record low inventory levels, the challenge for the market in the coming winter period will be if the level of new listings can keep up with the buyer demand that we are seeing in the main centres.

Asking Price

The seasonally adjusted truncated mean asking price for listings rose 4.3% (from May 2012) and reached an all time high of $454,795. This new record asking price level was up from the prior peak of $447,275 reached last month.

The trend as seen in the chart opposite, continues to show strength in seller price expectation, on the back of low listings, and strong demand in the main centres

New Listings

The level of new listings coming onto the market in May rose 5.9% from April, to a total of 11,001. However this represents a fall of 7.2% from May last year.

On a 12 month moving average basis a total of 131,053 new listings have come to the market since June 2012, as compared to 129,711 in the prior 12 month period, a rise of 1%. This compares to REINZ reported sales, which are up 17.6% on a 12 month comparable basis


The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of May (39.698) was down 6%, when compared to April (42,225). Inventory, as measured in terms of equivalent weeks of sales fell in May to a record low of 25.4 weeks, remaining well below the long-term average of 38 weeks.

The market remains firmly a seller’s market; with 18 of the 19 regions showing inventory levels that are well below long term averages. Both Auckland and Canterbury continue to witness the highest extent of this, reach record low inventory in May. Auckland is 59% below its long term average, and Canterbury is 52% below its long term average.

Regional Summary – Asking price expectations

The national asking price expectation among sellers rose by just 1.7% in May to a new peak of $454,795. This exceeds the prior peak of $447,275 reached last month (seasonally adjusted truncated mean).

Following the new record high for the national asking price figure, both Auckland and Central Lakes / Otago again posted record highs of $631,656, and $707.510 respectively in May. In contrast Marlborough asking prices again fell 0.8% from April to a record low of $350,649.

In total 11 regions reported asking price increases from April, the most significant rises was seen in the Manawatu / Wanganui region, up 11.9% to an record asking price of $279,009. Of the 8 regions witnessing asking price falls on a seasonally adjusted basis there was just one reported a fall of greater than 5%, Wairarapa fell by 10.5% to $254,461.

Regional Summary – Listings

The picture for new listings across the country continues to show that there is a reluctance to bring new properties to the market. There were 13 of the 19 regions that reported new listings down on the prior year, with 3 of these reporting falls of over 20%.

The most significant drop in listings was seen in Gisborne, falling 45.7%, and West Coast, which fell by 26.4%

Of the 6 regions reported higher new listings than May last year Central North Island was the region to report the highest increase of 15.2% when compared to May 2012, followed by Coromandel who saw an increase of 7.6%.

Auckland listings were down 3% in May to 3719 listings. The lack of new listings coming to the market puts further pressure on Auckland market, resulting in a record low available inventory of just 7557 homes (27% down from May 2012)

Regional Summary – Inventory

The inventory of unsold homes on the market tightened to a all time low of 25 weeks of sales in May.

Both Auckland and Canterbury hit record low inventory levels in May. With Auckland falling to 12 weeks, 59% below its long term average. And Canterbury falling to 14 weeks, 52% below its long term average.

Market sentiment continues to favour sellers in 18 regions, with the greatest strain being felt in the 10 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.

Just one region (Southland) showed an increase in inventory of homes on the market taking them above their respective long-term average.


New lifestyle property listings rose across the country in May. A total of 964 listings came onto the market, showing an rise of 23% when compared to April, and a fall of 1.4% when compared to May last year. The truncated mean asking price for these listings was up by 0.3% as compared to the recent 3-month average to an asking price of $679,142 (up 3.6% when compared to May 2012).


New listings for apartments in May were up 12.9% on a year on year basis, and up 18.9% from April, with 559 being brought to the market. The truncated mean asking price of new apartment listings fell 4.6% to $383,953 in May from $402,364 in April, but was up 3.3% on a year on year basis.

The Auckland apartment market had 296 new listings coming onto the market, up 33% when compared to May last year. The truncated mean asking price of new listings in Auckland fell to $348,476 (May) from $366,355 (April). When compared to the recent 3-month average, this represents a fall of 4.6%.

For Media Enquiries, please contact: Paul McKenzie, Marketing Manager, | +64 21 618 537


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, 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 1,000 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 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 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 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: 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 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 3,000 listings for all types of farms and agricultural land as well as over 10,000 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 25,000 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 3,500 listings for all types of businesses – retail, tourism, wholesale as well as franchise opportunities.

The web business of 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 May 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 The next NZ Property Report for June 2013 will be published on this website on 1st July 2013 at 10am.

By Paul McKenzie, Marketing Manager,

If you have any comments or enquiries about the NZ Property Market or about marketing your property online, please contact me via EmailGoogle, or Twitter

Article Discussion

  1. Prices in most central suburbs of Auckland City are up around 40% compared with the lows of 2008/2009. Very strong equity increase for anyone who purchased during the worst of the recession. Pt Chevalier increased a further 9% in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the median for the whole of 2012! Looks like low stock levels, record low interest rates, not enough new builds and migration gain will see strong price increases over the next year or two.

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