Prices hold up as buyers cool off
Property buyers hung back in every part of the country last month, new data shows.
Figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) reveal that in each region the number of properties sold was down on August 2016. That has only happened at three other times in the past seven years.
Overall, the number of properties sold across the country fell by 20 per cent during August, a reduction of 1472 properties, when compared with the same time last year. This is the equivalent of 47 fewer properties being sold each day in August 2017.
Regions with the biggest reduction in volumes were Southland (37.3 per cent), Northland (29.4 per cent), Taranaki (25.9 per cent), Waikato (25 per cent) and Auckland (21.5 per cent).
REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said it was a sign that tougher lending criteria from the banks and the loan-to-value (LVR) rules were still affecting buyers.
‘‘If you looked at the number of properties sold, without looking at the bigger picture, one might assume that the market was showing significant signs of slowing.
‘‘However, as prices are holding up, and even increasing, then it suggests that people may be holding off from selling their property unless it’s absolutely necessary.’’
Residential property prices across New Zealand rose 8.2 per cent year-on-year to $530,000.
Nationally, excluding Auckland, median prices increased 10.9 per cent year-on-year.
Auckland median prices fell by 1.2 per cent, year-on-year.
Gisborne, Tasman and the West Coast also had price drops on an annual basis.
Southland, Nelson, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu/Wanganui and Marlborough all experienced record prices.
Nelson – with a median price of $518,000 – now joins Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Wellington and Tasman as a region that has had a median sales price over $500,000 at least once historically.
The REINZ House Price Index, which measures the changing value of property in the market, showed that the value of dwellings in New Zealand overall increased by 0.5 per cent.
The median number of days to sell a property nationally rose by seven days, from 30 to 37, when compared with August 2016.
Regionally, Waikato saw the biggest increase in the number of days to sell, up 11 days to 39, followed by Northland, which was up 10 days to 47.
The number of properties sold by auction continued to decline across New Zealand. Auctions now only represent 14 per cent of all sales nationally.
Meanwhile, Trade Me’s data showed Aucklanders were the most worried about the election.
The average asking price for the city’s properties listed on the website dropped 2.1 per cent yearon-year. Outside Auckland, it rose 10.5 per cent.
Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said he expected prices to pick up after the election.
‘‘Typically we’ll see a resurgence in the market once sellers and buyers know which way the political winds are blowing.’’