PHOTO: Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) JULY 2023 REPORT. SUPPLIED
The July 2023 data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) reveals a rise in activity within the real estate market, while the number of listings remains limited, causing a decrease in total stock numbers. In certain regions, median prices have shown little change.
According to Jen Baird, the CEO of REINZ, although July typically sees a slower pace in the property market, there’s evidence of buyers reentering the market with varying outcomes across different parts of New Zealand.
Baird indicates, “This month’s statistics indicate increased market engagement, with sales counts slightly surpassing those of July last year in many regions. The diminishing year-on-year decline in median prices suggests a resurgence of confidence.”
Comparing July 2023 to July 2022, the total property sales in New Zealand experienced a modest uptick of 1.6%, totaling 4,903 properties, yet observed a 15.6% month-on-month decrease. Excluding Auckland, property sales in New Zealand decreased by 2.5% year-on-year, declining from 3,343 to 3,258.
Several regions, including Auckland (10.8%), Waikato (9.4%), Bay of Plenty (13.7%), Nelson (3.9%), West Coast (31.0%), and Canterbury (10.1%), saw year-on-year increases in sales counts. Additionally, Bay of Plenty experienced a 7.8% month-on-month increase.
By the end of July, the total number of properties for sale in New Zealand was 23,090, showing a 12.4% decrease (3,268 properties) compared to the previous year’s 26,358, and a 6.4% drop month-on-month. Excluding Auckland, the property count decreased by 7.8% annually, from 15,732 to 14,497.
Baird remarks, “With this month’s heightened sales counts, the national inventory is declining. More competitive prices and a sense of urgency are prompting more buyers to engage prior to this year’s election.”
On a national scale, new property listings dropped by 17.6% year-on-year, sliding from 7,470 in July 2022 to 6,156 in July 2023. This marked a 1.0% decrease from June 2023’s 6,218. Excluding Auckland, listings decreased by 19.5% year-on-year, from 4,778 to 3,847.
Baird notes, “Despite our agents reporting increased activity across the country, the looming election and ongoing economic constraints are causing sellers to hold back, leading to similar listing reductions as the previous month.”
Nationally, the median sale price for July 2023 decreased by 4.9% year-on-year to $770,000 from $780,000. Median sale prices exhibited significant regional variability. Auckland, the nation’s largest property market, saw its median sale price decline by 8.8% from July 2022, falling below the one million dollar threshold. It also decreased 1.0% compared to June 2023, dropping from $1,000,000 to $990,000.
Other regions, such as Waikato (down 8.9% year-on-year), Bay of Plenty (down 7.0% year-on-year), and Wellington (down 8.9% year-on-year), experienced declines. However, Marlborough (0.3%), Southland (1.2%), and Central Otago (4.6%) displayed year-on-year price increases, reflecting more resilient markets throughout the year.
The national median days to sell remained relatively steady at 48 days, although this metric varied across regions. The shortest median days to sell were observed in the West Coast at 28 days, while the longest were in Tasman at 80 days.
Baird comments, “The ongoing impact of governmental policies, economic conditions, and global factors will continue shaping New Zealand’s housing market. As the general election approaches, we typically witness a slowdown in activity. Nevertheless, with increasing buyer engagement and reduced supply levels, stronger demand could emerge in the upcoming months.”
While there was a slight upswing in the House Price Index (HPI) compared to the prior month, the market still grapples with a decrease in value over the past year.
In July 2023, New Zealand’s HPI stood at 3,551, reflecting a 0.7% increase compared to the previous month. However, in contrast to the same period in the previous year, the HPI demonstrates a decline of 6.9%.