The Unconditional Blog

The impartial voice of the industry

 
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Nelson Property Pulse factsheet – November 2011

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 | Filed in Nelson Property Market Factsheet

The Nelson region property pulse factsheet for November 2011 is published using data from Realestate.co.nz and REINZ (Real Estate Institute of NZ).

Property sales in the Nelson region at 154 in the month rose on a seasonally adjusted basis in November and was up 13% as compared to a year ago. The inventory of unsold houses on the market picked up to 31weeks to lie just above the long-term average of 30 weeks of equivalent sales.

Median sales price of properties sold in the Nelson region at $342,075 was in-line with prices of a year ago, but down slightly from the prior month. The asking price expectation of new listings was up 14% as compared to a year ago at $464,911.

The level of new listings coming onto the market in November at 330 was up significantly from October and up 24% as compared to a year ago.

 

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Marlborough Property Pulse factsheet – November 2011

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 | Filed in Marlborough Property Market Factsheet

The Marlborough region property pulse factsheet for November 2011 is published using data from Realestate.co.nz and REINZ (Real Estate Institute of NZ).

Property sales across the Marlborough region at 70 in the month fell very slightly on a seasonally adjusted basis in November and was down 9% as compared to a year ago. The inventory of unsold houses on the market fell back to 61 weeks to remain above the long-term average of 52 weeks of equivalent sales.

Median sales price for properties sold in the Marlborough region at $275,000 was down 8% as compared to a year ago and also down on recent months. The asking price expectation of new listings was also down 4% as compared to a year ago at $364,848.

The level of new listings coming onto the market in November at 193 rose significantly as compared to the prior month and was up 8% as compared to a year ago.

 

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Canterbury Property Pulse factsheet – November 2011

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 | Filed in Canterbury Property Market Factsheet

The Canterbury region property pulse factsheet for November 2011 is published using data from Realestate.co.nz and REINZ (Real Estate Institute of NZ).

Property sales across the Canterbury region at 771 rose in the month on a seasonally adjusted basis in November, but were up a significant 19% as compared to a year ago. The inventory of unsold houses on the market fell further to just 23 weeks, well below the long-term average of 33 weeks of equivalent sales. This signifies a significant shortage in the region and certainly favours sellers in the market.

The stratified mean sales price for properties sold in Christchurch at $367,025 was up 11% as compared to a year ago, and up from the prior month. There has certainly been a strengthening of prices through all of 2011 in the region as inventory and listings have dropped. The asking price expectation of new listings was up by 4% as compared to a year ago at $375,836.

The level of new listings coming onto the market in November at 1,460 was well up on prior month but down 1% as compared to a year ago.

 

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West Coast Property Pulse factsheet – November 2011

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 | Filed in West Coast Property Market Factsheet

The West Coast district region property pulse factsheet for November 2011 is published using data from Realestate.co.nz and REINZ (Real Estate Institute of NZ).

Property sales on the West Coast of the South Island at 45 in the month rose significantly on a seasonally adjusted basis in November and was up 25% as compared to a year ago. The inventory of unsold houses on the market remains stable at 77 weeks, well below the long-term average of 106 weeks of equivalent sales.

Median sales price of properties sold on the West Coast at $198,000 was down just 1% as compared to a year ago and down on the prior month. The asking price expectation of new listings though was up a significant 25% as compared to a year ago at $315,993.

The level of new listings coming onto the market in November at 105 was up slightly as compared to prior month and was down just 1% as compared to a year ago.

 

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Queenstown Lakes / Central Otago Property Pulse factsheet – November 2011

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 | Filed in Queenstown Lakes Property Market Factsheet

The Queenstown Lakes district region property pulse factsheet for November 2011 is published using data from Realestate.co.nz and REINZ (Real Estate Institute of NZ).

Property sales across the Queenstown Lake and Central Otago region at 85 rose on a seasonally adjusted basis in November and were up 13% as compared to a year ago. The inventory of unsold houses on the market at 105 weeks rose slightly but still remains in line with the long-term average of 105 weeks of equivalent sales.

Median sales price of properties sold in the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago region at $405,000 was down 4% as compared to a year ago, this continues a steady fall in prices through the year. The asking price expectation of new listings fell by 13% as compared to a year ago at $507,028.

The level of new listings coming onto the market in November at 293 fell as compared to prior month and was up just 8% as compared to a year ago.

 

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Otago Property Pulse factsheet – November 2011

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 | Filed in Otago Property Market Factsheet

The Otago region property pulse factsheet for November 2011 is published using data from Realestate.co.nz and REINZ (Real Estate Institute of NZ).

Property sales in the Otago region at 253 in the month rose slightly on a seasonally adjusted basis in November but were down 3% as compared to a year ago. The inventory of unsold houses on the market slipped slightly 28 weeks, this level remains in line with the long-term average of 28 weeks of equivalent sales.

Median sales price of properties sold in the Otago region at $245,000 was up 7% as compared to a year ago, and continues a slow but steady rise through the year. The asking price expectation of new listings remained steady as compared to the prior month as shows a 3% rise as compared to a year ago at $280,378.

The level of new listings coming onto the market in November at 481 was well up on October, and was down just1% as compared to a year ago.

 

 

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Southland Property Pulse factsheet – November 2011

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 | Filed in Southland Property Market Factsheet

The Southland region property pulse factsheet for November 2011 is published using data from Realestate.co.nz and REINZ (Real Estate Institute of NZ).

Property sales in Southland at 139 in the month were when seen on a seasonally adjusted basis flat for the past 4 months. The sales were up 11% as compared to a year ago. The inventory of unsold houses on the market remained stable at 39 weeks of equivalent sales, sitting steady above the long term average thereby indicating a slight favour towards buyers in the market, The long-term average inventory is 32 weeks of equivalent sales.

Median sales price at $196,000 slipped slightly from October, and was up 4% as compared to a year ago. The asking price expectation of new listings was down 2% as compared to a year ago at $223,790.

The level of new listings coming onto the market in November at 327 rose steeply as compared to October and was up 11% as compared to a year ago.

 

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Mobile usage for finding property reaches a new milestone

Posted on: December 14th, 2011 | Filed in Featured, International, mobile

All of us here at Realestate.co.nz are delighted to see the mobile apps for both iPhone and Android blast through the 50,000 download mark this week.

It was just over a year ago when we launched the iPhone app – the first in NZ and the only app with GPS location based property search. A year later and we continue to be surprised and delighted by the uptake and usage which now approaches 14% of all visitor traffic to our listings from the mobile platform.

The appeal of this method of property discovery has been turbocharged in the past couple of months as the summer peak property season has arrived. The month of October saw the highest ever level of downloads with over 6,000 in the month, greatly assisted by the new Android version of the app (another first) in late September. The level of downloads continues with over 200 new downloads per day providing the users with the experience of discovering the convenience and addictive appeal of this app.

Not only are people downloading the app in ever increasing numbers but they are engaging with it more often. Over 2,000 visitors a day check out property for sale and rent whilst on the go – at the cafe, in front of the TV, at open homes.

The app is so comprehensive and so appealing. With the largest selection of listings by licensed agents, usage appeals to the serious property hunter keen to be better informed and in control of the property searching process. Over 90% of users are returning users and unlike the web which is very heavily focused to casual image based browsing the mobile app is all about property information and insight in the palm of your hand.

We have been interested to see just how keen kiwi’s are relative to other countries in regard to uptake and usage of property apps on the the smartphone. Instead of comparing downloads by country (which is tricky as not many other websites publish their data) we chose to use the ranking of the various apps in their respective iTunes app store. Clearly this just seeks to identify the iPhone platform, but this has been the consistent largest platform across all international markets for property apps.

We chose six countries to compare against NZ from Australia and the US / Canada as well as Europe. What we found was very interesting. The Realestate.co.nz property app is the 16th most popular free lifestyle app in NZ, and the 209th most popular free app. Out of interest if you exclude the free “gaming” apps from the rankings the Realestate.co.nz property app jumps up to be the 41st most popular free iPhone app in NZ.

By comparison to NZ; Sweden appears to have the most popular iPhone property app from Hemnet coming in as the 8th most popular free lifestyle app in Sweden, and the 104th most popular free app overall.

Next comes Australia where the Realestate.com.au app comes in as the 11th most popular free lifestyle app and the 127th most popular free app. That then places NZ in third slot amongst these 7 countries. Next comes Canada almost equal to NZ with their Realtor app ranked as the 16th most popular free lifestyle apps and 239th place overall for free apps in Canada. After these four come the the French app from Seloger, the US app from Zillow, and the UK app from Rightmove.

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Floorplans add a true sense of a virtual open home to the website

Posted on: December 7th, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Featured, Website news

The presentation of property online has radically transformed over the past 5 years.

Back in 2006 when the new website of Realestate.co.nz emerged to provide a much improved user experience, the content provided on the site was by today’s standards pitiful. On average a listing had only 3 photos. The property seldom had an address, and the description was often copied from the newspaper advert. At the time the real estate industry in general judged the web as an after-thought, with the central focus being on print advertising in newspapers and magazines.

Skip forward 5 years to today and so much has changed. Today the first destination for almost all property seekers is online, on average property seekers spend over 3 hours a week on property websites. Their intent is to spend even more time in the future with more than a third of them say they will check out property online more frequently. (This data comes from the recent Nielsen online intercept survey carried out in July this year).

As this exponential growth of viewing property online has transformed the real estate industry; so at the same time the industry has adapted and recognised the need to provide more information with each listing. The average number of photos per listing has shot up to 16. The photos have got bigger, and to accommodate these we have added full screen viewing. Today more than 65% of all listings now have an address which allows property maps to be included on the website providing great context to the property location.

These improvements fit perfectly into the wish list of users of real estate websites as identified in the Nielsen survey – the table below tracks the most requested information presented on a real estate website:

Nestled firmly below the expected critical information on property listings – the address, the large portfolio of high quality images and maps is the desire for floor plans. 89% of those surveyed stated that they would like to see floorplans for properties on the market.

That request has now been answered on the realestate.co.nz website. Working with partners such as MyAgent and Open2view we have enabled the integration of interactive floor plans for properties on the market today on the website. These solutions which go further than just static image based floor plans adding in the context of the location for each images matched to the part of the house really add engagement to these listings which is so important for getting the maximum impact for the vendor’s property.

At this time this service of interactive floorplans on the realestate.co.nz is the unique in NZ and with several hundred listings already on the site featuring these floorplans, and more to come in the near future, we certainly see this as a compelling appeal of the website. Check out the example of a few current listing:

Click here to see the full listing on realestate.co.nz

 

Click here to see the full listing on realestate.co.nz

 

 

Click here to see the full listing on realestate.co.nz

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A New Zealand housing bubble?

Posted on: December 6th, 2011 | Filed in Featured, International, Money Matters

The question has been posed today in the media that NZ properties are overvalued by 25% – according to a report from the Economist entitled “House of Horrors“. It should be pointed out that this report was reported by Interest.co.nz a couple of weeks ago.

The Ecomomist’s report is certainly worth reading, as well is the data which lies behind the report for it shows that the headline of a 25% overvaluation for NZ property is hard to identify. The full table of data is presented here. It should be noted that The Economist cites Statistics NZ as the source of the data for the report.

The report states that “Based on the average of the two measures (analysis of value to rents & value to income), home prices are overvalued by about 25% or more in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, New Zealand, Britain, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden“.

The specific data for NZ shows that when assessed on the value to rents NZ is 66% overvalued, whilst when assessed on value to income NZ property is just 4% overvalued. Australia by comparison is 38% overvalued when assessed to income and 53% overvalued to rents.

The UK is judged to be 20% overvalued when assessed to income and 28% overvalued to rents, with the US 22% undervalued when assessed to income and 8% undervalued to rents.

The chart also highlights that NZ property is showing a 0.1% increase in price as compared to last year and a 4% fall since 2007. Whilst the countries cited in the headline such as Belgium, Canada and France have seen year on year increases of over 3% up to 7.7% and increases since 2007 of between 6% and 22%.

The Economist provides as part of the data report an excellent interactive chart. This has given me the opportunity to analysing some great comparatives of both property prices and value comparatives which I have detailed below.

Comparing property prices on an index basis since 2000 shows the relative position for NZ matched to Australia and the US. All three countries enjoyed rapid growth through the first 6 years of the decade before the US started its spiral down, over the past 4 years NZ has flatlined whilst Australia has forged ahead.

The analysis of property prices based on real terms rather than actual price as in the index chart is very illuminating – this chart which shows NZ and Australia highlights the fact that the current property prices in real terms are back to where they were in the Q2 of 2005 – over 6 years ago – such is the inflation impact on property prices.  By comparison Australian property prices in real terms are 20% up as compared to Q2 of 2005.

 

 

The Economist report made comparison of valuation to both income and rental and these next 2 charts present the data for NZ and Australia against these two measures. Based on income NZ Property prices are now around 17% overvalued compared to the status in 2000, by comparison Australia is 42% overvalued. NZ and Australia were tracking on a comparable basis up until the last 2 years when NZ has fallen as a ratio of price to income.

 

 

 

The comparison of property prices to rents for NZ and Australia shows a chart where the two markets are exactly aligned comparing Q1 2000 with the current data – both are showing a 60% appreciation of prices to rents over the period, with both markets tracking in line through the period.

 

 

As a final analysis it is interesting to compare NZ with two markets that has fared the worst in the property crash of the last decade – the US and Ireland. In this chart showing property prices in real terms the NZ property prices in real terms are up just over 50% in the 11 years, by comparison both Ireland and the US have seen the bubble followed by the crash which in both cases shows that property prices in real terms are back to 2000 levels – a lost decade for these property markets.

 

 

 

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