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17 Sep 2015

Housing Market Steady in August

According to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), the national housing market remained largely steady in August. While new listings were recorded in many areas and construction activity continued to pick up pace in Auckland, supply increases were more than matched by an increase in sales activity. The national median selling price remains unchanged on a month-by-month basis, with prices in Auckland easing from their record high in June.

There were 7766 homes sold across New Zealand in August, down 4.4 percent from July but still up a massive 41.7 percent from August last year. 3002 homes were sold in the Auckland market alone, down 5 percent compared to July but up 40.5 percent compared to August 2014. The national median selling price was $465,000 nation-wide, unchanged from the month before but up 10.7 percent compared to August 2014. The median selling price in Auckland was $740,000, up 0.7 percent compared to July but still below the record high of $755,000 from June.

Data across the rest of the country was mixed, with sales volumes high but median selling prices down compared to July in all regions except Auckland, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough, and Otago. According to REINZ chief executive Colleen Milne, "Activity right across New Zealand continued to be very strong through August, with wintry conditions apparently no deterrent to sales being concluded... A rise in the number of new listings matched by the number of sales, shows that with more properties available for sale, buyers have emerged to take up the additional supply... However most regions still face a shortage of listings going in to spring,"

The median selling price in Wellington was $402,550, up just 1.3 percent compared to a year earlier. The number of sales was healthy, however, up 28.7 percent compared to August last year. In Canterbury the median price was slightly more at $412,000, up 3 percent compared to August last year with a 16.3 percent increase in sales volume. The median selling price for all regions except Auckland was $348,500, down 1 percent compared to July. The rural market also saw mixed results, with sales volumes down 4.9 percent over the quarter and the median price per hectare up 4.8 percent. 

While supply levels are continuing to rise and price increases seem to be easing, sales activity continues to heat up the New Zealand market. According to Colleen Milne, demand for property continues to exceed supply, especially in Auckland and other key areas: "Demand remains strong from both first home buyers and investors right across the region. Listings remain in short supply, and even though the number of listings is up over 35% compared to 12 months ago, the number of sales is up over 40% continuing the shortage of stock available for sale."