Early spring market yet to thaw

 
New Zealand Sheep Farm

Data released by REINZ shows there were 187 less lifestyle property sales (-9.7%) for the three months ended August 2019 than for the three months ended July 2019. Overall, there were 1,745 lifestyle property sales in the three months ended August 2019, compared to 1,700 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended August 2018 (+2.6%), and 1,932 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended July 2019.

6,915 lifestyle properties were sold in the year to August 2019, 275 (-3.8%) fewer than were sold in the year to August 2018. The value of lifestyle properties sold was $5.56 billion for the year to August 2019.

The median price for all lifestyle properties sold in the three months to August 2019 was $700,000 and was $55,000 higher compared to the three months ended August 2018 (+8.5%).

Brian Peacocke, Rural Spokesman, at REINZ says: “Sales figures for the 3-month period ending August 2019 show a distinct easing in volumes from the previous period, but nevertheless not too dissimilar to the equivalent time 12 months ago.

“Again, the stability of the median price at $700,000 still indicates a healthy market from a national perspective.

“It would appear most regions are experiencing a similar tightening up of criteria from the financial sector, very much in line with that being experienced by the rural sector,” he concludes.

Points of Interest around New Zealand include:

  • Upper North Island - volumes remain steady in Northland but results show the Auckland market has dropped approx 25% from the previous month of July; Waikato volumes are under pressure with reports of the market being lack-lustre, a shortage of purchasers resulting in a good supply of listings; some vendors appear reluctant to reduce prices but others who accept more conservative appraisals are generally achieving a result, particularly under the $1m price range

  • Central North Island - a very good month for the Bay of Plenty particularly in both the Western Bay of Plenty and Whakatane regions with more consistent prices in the latter district; Gisborne is holding par but activity has eased during August in both Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki

  • Lower North Island - steady results with Manawatu/Wanganui experiencing a slight uplift and Wellington holding par, particularly in the Horowhenua district

  • Upper South Island - a slight easing in sales volumes in Nelson/Marlborough albeit Tasman continues to hold well; West Coast remains steady; Canterbury has dropped 18% from the previous month with districts to the north and south of Christchurch faring better than their mid-Canterbury counterparts

  • Lower South Island - Otago volumes are just holding with the central regions dominating but the Dunedin districts appear to have come up short for the month of August; Southland continues to experience roller-coaster results with a better outcome in July but equally lower volumes for the months of June and August.

Six regions recorded an increase in sales compared to August 2018. Waikato recorded the most substantial increase in sales (+61 sales) in the three months to August 2019 compared to August 2018. Compared to July 2019, two regions recorded an increase in sales.

Nine regions saw the median price of lifestyle blocks increase between the three months ending August 2018 and the three months ending August 2019. The most notable examples were in Hawke’s Bay (+65%), Otago (+29%) and Manawatu-Wanganui (+28%) and the most notable exceptions were Gisborne (-21%) and West Coast (-10%).

The median number of days to sell for lifestyle properties was two days longer in the three months to August 2019 than in the three months to August 2018, sitting at 70 days. Compared to the three months ended July 2019 the median number of days to sell was six days longer. Wellington recorded the shortest number of days to sell in August 2019 at 54 days, followed by Manawatu/Wanganui (56 days) and Hawke’s Bay (58 days). Southland recorded the longest number of days to sell at 89 days, followed by Northland at 88 days, West Coast at 87 days and Auckland at 82 days.


Editors Note: The information provided by REINZ in relation to the lifestyle real estate market covers the most recently completed three-month period; thus references to August refer to the period from 1 June 2019 to 31 August 2019.