According to the latest REINZ report, the New Zealand property market had a strong start to the year, with the most residential properties sold in four years.
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The number of properties sold was up 3.2 per cent
Including Auckland, the number of properties sold increased by 3.2 per cent year-on-year, and by 0.9 per cent excluding Auckland.
The “city of sails” had its best January performance since 2016, with a 9.7 per cent year-on-year increase in sales volumes. Numbers were particularly strong in North Shore City (+29 per cent YOY), Waitakere City (+28.6 per cent) and Rodney District (+21.1 per cent)
Among the top-performing regions were Nelson (+42.6 per cent year-on-year), Manawatu/Wanganui (+15.3 per cent), Bay of Plenty (+11.5 per cent), and Marlborough (+11.3 per cent). On the other end of the spectrum were Tasman (-29.3 per cent), Southland (-27.2 per cent), and Otago (-17.1 per cent).
Increasing confidence drives sales volumes
According to REINZ chief executive, Bindi Norwell, “Much of the increase in sales volumes is being driven by increasing confidence in the housing market, which has been underpinned by a relatively strong economy, good employment rates and the low interest rate environment.”
Median prices hit new records
Across New Zealand, median house prices saw an annual increase of 11.8 per cent, with seven regions hitting new all-time records:
- Waikato: +8.9 per cent to $599,000
- Bay of Plenty: +17.8 per cent to $683,000
- Hawke’s Bay: +22.2 per cent to $550,000-
- Manawatu/Wanganui: +24.5 per cent to $411,000
- Taranaki: +9.1 per cent to $420,000
- Otago: +19.9 per cent to $570,000
- Southland: +28.7 per cent to $359,000.
As for Auckland, median house prices increased by 8.7 percent to $875,000, compared to $805,000 in January 2019.
“This time last year, only the Auckland region had a median price over the $600,000 mark and now the Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Tasman and Nelson regions all have median prices at or over that figure,” said Norwell. “If things continue in the same manner, before long we wouldn’t be surprised if the Waikato, Otago and potentially Hawke’s Bay regions also have median prices over the $600,000 mark.”
Low inventory trend continues
Norwell pointed out that the pattern of low inventory and increased urgency from buyers will likely continue in 2020, pushing up prices.
Her comment echoes a recent report from Realestate.co.nz, according to which there aren’t enough listings to meet buyer demand. Housing stock was down in almost all regions, with the notable exception of the middle of the North Island (Waikato, Central North Island, Manawatu/Wanganui and the Hawke’s Bay), where new listing activity increased year-on-year.
“When we see new listings increase, it tells us that there is more activity in those areas than there was a year ago – this could be a clue that the tides might turn on the current seller’s market,” said Realestate.co.nz spokeswoman Vanessa Taylor. Could this create a ripple effect in other North Island regions?
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Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.