Sales recover while residential property median treads water
Residential property sales recovered in October but low volumes continue to distort residential property statistics, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand Inc (REINZ).
October sales recovered by nearly one thousand to 6854 in October compared with 5894 in September, which was the lowest since the 2001 sales of 5550 and almost half the September 2003 sales of 10,686.
But October sales remain 2000 sales lower than the October 2006 sales figure of 8857, causing ‘price static’ in some regions according to REINZ national president Murray Cleland.
The national residential median price eased from $ 351,500 in September back to the August figure of $ 350,000, nevertheless showing a degree of determination in the face of a slowing market, Murray says.
“ Some of the regional statistics are being unduly influenced by low volumes and generally areas where prices are holding up are the likes of Auckland region and Auckland metropolitan where the regional price is up from $ 441,500 in September to $ 445,000 in October, while the Auckland metropolitan prices, which might have been expected to fall, hung on steadfastly with an unchanged median of $ 445,000.”
Murray says that Northland and Hawkes Bay are examples of areas with ‘price static’ where low volumes were skewing median prices.
Northland’s median was down from $ 320,000 in September to $ 310,000 in October but of the two components, Whangarei City had an unchanged median of $ 305,000 while Whangarei County saw its median fall from $ 482,000 in September to $ 376,500 – but on respective monthly sales of just 17 and 20 transactions.
In Hawkes Bay the median was down from $ 285,000 to $ 262,000 largely because of transactions of less expensive properties, with the Hawkes Bay Country price down from $ 400,000 to $ 282,500, but on just 16 sales in October.
And while Hastings City saw an increase from $ 283,250 to $ 289,500, Napier City, just a few kilometres up the road, saw its median fall from $ 306,000 to $ 272,900.
“In other words our advice is don’t read too much into these medians in this current market,” Murray says.
However, it was clear that the rate of annual growth in property prices was now slowing markedly with the annual percentage growth rate down to 8.02 per cent for the 12 months to October, compared with the rate of 12.30 per cent to September.
Murray Cleland says that the annual percentages were heavily influenced by those areas which had seen price growth in the earlier part of the cycle, such as Hawkes Bay, which registered a 5.15 per cent decrease in year on year prices, while Southland was at the tail end of the cycle and was still showing a 24 per cent year on year percentage increase.
He says the beginning of spring helped the market to regain some volume and there appeared to be no great pressure on prices, but with days to sell lengthening nationally from 32 to 34, it was clear that real estate agents were having to work hard for vendors to get buyers across the line.
Of the 12 regions, eight experienced falls and only four saw rises in median prices.
Auckland’s performance was largely supported by the North Shore market, which despite lower sales saw its median up from $ 520,000 to $ 545,000 and Manukau City up from $ 430,000 to $ 447,000.
Auckland City was down slightly from $ 480,000 to $ 479,000 but on sales up from 641 to 778.
The Waikato and the Bay of Plenty was up from $ 322,750 to $ 329,000, with Tauranga up from $ 358,000 to $ 406,000, while Hamilton City and Mount Maunganui/ Papamoa were down.
Manawatu/ Wanganui was another region to experience a fall in medians, from $ 240,000 to $ 233,250 while Taranaki fell from $ 265,000 to $ 262,250.
Swelling eased back from $ 380,000 to $ 365,000 in Wellington, but Nelson/ Marlborough was up from $ 330,250 to $ 347,000.
Canterbury/ Westland region was down from $ 315,000 to $ 310,000, but Central Otago Lakes lived up to its reputation for big prices and big fluctuations with a median up from $ 477,500 in September to $ 545,000 in October as a result of the Central Otago median rising from $ 408,000 to $ 445,000, and the Queenstown median rising from $ 584,000 to $ 614,000, but on low volumes.
Otago was back slightly from $ 236,000 in September to $ 235,000 in October while Southland experienced a fall from $195,000 to $186,000 after a stellar year.
The median sales price for a house in Auckland rose to $ 445,000 in October, from $ 441,500 in September. In total, 2240 houses sold – well up on the 1956 sold in September. In October 2006, 2991 houses sold with a median price of $ 415,000.
The median sales price for a North Shore City home rose to $ 545,000 in October from $ 520,000 in September and $ 507,250 in October 2006. 331 houses sold in October ( September 2007: 341; October 2006: 570).
Sales volume increased in Waitakere City in October with 340 houses sold (September 2007: 264). The median price eased to $ 365,000 from $ 375,000 in September. In October 2006, 406 houses sold with a median sales price of $ 343,000.
The median price for a house in Auckland City fell slightly to $ 479,000 in October ( September 2007: $ 480,000; October 2006: $ 445,000). 778 houses sold in October ( September 2007: 641; October 2006: 917).
483 houses sold in Manukau City in October, up on the 434 sold in September (October 2006: 646). The median price rose to $ 447,000 from $ 430,000 in September and $ 391,000 in October 2006.
Sales eased in Papakura in October with 63 houses sold ( September 2007: 67; October 2006: 101). The median price also fell to $ 342,000 from $ 363,500 in September (October 2006: $ 313,000).
The median price for a Metropolitan Auckland house remained steady at $ 445,000 in October, the same as it was in September (October 2006: $ 415,000). In total, 1995 houses sold ( September 2007: 1747; October 2006: 2640).
133 houses sold in the Rodney District in October, up on the 98 sold in September (October 2006: 187). The median price eased to $ 475,000 in October from $ 490,750 in September (October 2006: $ 425,000).
The median price for a house in the Franklin District eased to $ 380,500 in October, from $ 385,000 in September. 78 houses sold during the month, up on the 67 sold in September. In October 2006, 110 houses sold with a median price of $ 343,250.