The January 2012 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 95% 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 2012 is published below and is available for download (1.5MB) and distribution.
Summary of the market – January 2012
The new calendar year starts with low levels of inventory of properties for sale on the market which is matched by a sluggish flow of new listings, which is then meeting a rising demand in the rate of sale which is up 22% for the past 3m months as compared to the same period last year. This scenario is most extreme in the 3 key regions of Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury which this rise in sales has driven the inventory levels to the lowest levels of the past 4 years – spanning a period when the property market has seen very lackluster activity.
Historically the supply side of the property market tends to lag the demand side as measured by sales and it is likely that the coming two months of February and March will see heightened activity in new listings as the property market hits the peak of activity over these summer months.
The data for this month’s report and going forward all future reports reflects the seasonally adjusted data for asking price expectation and inventory. The seasonal adjusted data better presents the true trends in these key metrics as it removes the inherent seasonality of the property market. The computation of this seasonally adjusted data is provided with the assistance of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) and uses a X12 ARIMA methodology to calculate seasonally adjusted data.
The truncated mean asking price of $417,740 for all new listings in January now calculated on a seasonally adjusted basis fell 0.5% from December. The past 3 months has seen a progressive easing from the peak in October of $425,936 – an adjustment of 2%.
Despite this recent fall the long term trend is showing an increasing asking price albeit at a rate of just 1% per year.
The level of new listings coming onto the market in January fell on a seasonally adjusted basis by a significant 12%. A total of 8,542 new listings came onto the market representing a very modest 3% year-on-year rise.
The continuing trend of the past 12 months is to a lower level of new listings – the past 12 months has seen just under 125,000 new listing as compared to 137,000 in the prior 12 month period.
The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of January was up slightly as compared to December at 46,967 as measured on a seasonally adjusted basis. This total includes houses, apartments and lifestyle properties on the market. However as the rate of sale has picked up over the past 3 months leading up to the end of 2011, the inventory as measured in weeks of equivalent sales has fallen from 37.5 weeks in December to 36.4 weeks in January
Regional Summary – Asking price expectations
Despite this national easing in asking price there were just 5 regions across the country that reported a fall in seasonally adjusted asking price. Most noticeable was the Central Otago/Queenstown Lakes and Nelson region which both showed double digit falls. Against this backdrop all of the price rises were of a smaller scale and reflect in the other 14 regions.
Auckland, the largest region of the country saw asking price fall by 1% to $540,187 – a consecutive 3 month fall since the peak of October 2011 at $560,327. Wellington asking price rose 2.9% to $444,900 and Canterbury up 0.6% to $374,123 – this latest asking price is fast approaching the peak of $374,952 last seen in January 2008.
Regional Summary – Listings
New listings movement across the country between December and January was in most regions fairly modest. There were 6 regions from the 19 that showed falls with Gisborne and the Wairarapa showing the biggest falls 21% and 20% respectively. Both of these regions have been experiencing high levels of inventory and this market reaction may well edge them back towards a more balanced market.
In contrast across the 13 regions that saw increases most saw modest single digit growths.
The Taranaki and Central Otago/ Queenstown Lakes both showed significant double digit growth in listings – the latter being a region which is beginning to see a buyers’ market emerging as inventory continues to rise.
Regional Summary – Inventory
The majority of regions still favour sellers – 9 of the 19 are seen as sellers markets, with just 3 regions being categorized as buyers markets – Gisborne, Wairarapa and Central Otago/Queenstown Lakes .
The physical inventory of property on the market as measured on a seasonally adjusted basis is the lowest for the month of January since 2007 and as such represents a clear view of the tightness of the market. The market for the coming months will be very interesting to watch as transaction levels growing as the market hits the peak period of February and March.
Lifestyle property listings in January at 634 listings was the second lowest month of the past 5 years – only marginally beaten by July of last year with 628. This level of new listings represented a 25% fall from December and a 13% fall from January last year. On a seasonally adjusted basis listings recorded a 34% decline from December.
The truncated mean asking price for lifestyle properties rose 13% in the month of January to $620,831 and represented a 15% year on year growth. Peak prices were seen in both Canterbury ($661,237) and the West Coast ($553,375).
New listings for apartments fell to their lowest level in the past 5 years in January that despite a record low in December. Just 286 apartments coming onto the market, this reflected a 21% year on year fall. The truncated mean asking price of $349,736 was down 3% from January last year and 12% down on December.
The Auckland market which dominates the apartment market saw a record low level of new apartment listings with just 179 new listings in January which was down 9% on prior month and down 25% down on last year. The asking price was $314,757 which was down 8% on last year and 13% down from December.
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, 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 95% 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.
In analysing the details of the 8,542 new listings in the month of November, a total of 292 listings have been excluded due to anomalies. The land area of the property defines the categorisation of Lifestyle property. The criterion is a property having in excess of 0.3 hectares and being situated outside metropolitan areas.
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 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:
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 400,000 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 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.
Zoodle is a specialist property information website providing very detailed data on all residential properties in NZ. The database comprises over 1.6m 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 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 95% of all listings from licensed real estate agents in NZ.
The full NZ Property Report for January 2011 can be downloaded here (1.5MB 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 2012 will be published on this website on Thursday1st March 2012 at 10am.