Prices hold up as buy­ers cool off

The Southland Times - - BUSINESS - SU­SAN EDMUNDS

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.’’

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