Northland Property Investors' Association

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16-04-2012

REINZ March 2012 regional review

Landlords.co.nz

Auckland sales up almost 40%, Wellington sees second lowest sales increase, Northland retains longest days to sell in country and sales volumes more than double in Canterbury.

Auckland

Sales volume in the Auckland region increased by more than 37% compared with February 2012, with North Shore City and Auckland City recording the strongest increases in sales. Compared to March 2011, those parts of the region outside of the metropolitan area and Waitakere City performed best.

The median price across the region increased by almost 6% in March to a new record high of $495,200 compared with February 2012. Price increases were also strongest in North Shore City and Auckland City, with Auckland City's median price up almost 10% compared to March 2012.

Auckland's days to sell improved by seven days, from 37 days in February to 31 days in March, and improved by four days compared to March 2011. Auckland's days to sell for March are equal shortest with Canterbury/Westland for March 2012.

The Auckland region continues to see strong growth in sales by auction, with almost 30% of all sales in March completed by auction. The Auckland region accounted for seven of every ten sales completed by auction for March 2012, underlining the increasing popularity of this method of sale.

The Auckland region trends show rising monthly volumes, with a recent surge in the median price to a new record high. The trend on days to sell continues to improve, with the Auckland region overall showing a strong overall trend.

Wellington

The median price for Wellington increased by $5,750 (+1.5%) compared to February, although it fell by $21,250 (-5.1%) compared to March 2011. Hutt Valley and Eastern and Western Wellington recorded the largest falls in price, although Upper Hutt recorded the largest increases in price, with a 15% increase in median price compared to March 2011.

Volumes increased by almost 12% compared to February, but that has come after a very large increase in sales volume in February, with Upper Hutt, Southern, Eastern and Western Wellington all recording strong sales increases. However, compared to March 2011, the region has the second lowest increase in sales volume across New Zealand.

Wellington's days to sell improved by 6 days compared to February, from 40 to 34 days, and improved by 3 days compared to March 2011.

Agent reports suggests that there is increasing activity from first home buyers with Kiwisaver accounts increasingly being used to fund deposits on houses, although other buyers in the market are still cautious.

The trend in volume continues to move sideways, as does the trend in median price. The days to sell trend is improving, leading to an overall steady trend for the Wellington market.

Northland

Sales across the Northland region were up by almost 20% compared to February 2012 and March 2011, with strong sales growth being seen in Kerikeri and other parts of the region outside of Whangarei.

Northland's median price was stable in March compared to February 2012, although it fell by almost 5% compared to March 2011. Pricing trends across the region are mixed. Agents reports good activity in the middle of the price range in Whangarei, with open homes being well attended.

Northland's days to sell measure remains the longest of any region in New Zealand, although it eased in March with a one day increase in the number of days to sell compared to February. The March result was 72 days, compared to 71 days in February and 94 days in March last year.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that there are plenty of new listings in the Northland region, with first home buyers active in the Whangarei market, although overall the market is still being characterised as a buyers market.

The overall trend in prices for Northland continues to track sideways, although volumes are steadily improving. As with the price trend, the trend in the number of days to sell is also moving sideways. The overall trend for Northland is steady.

Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Sales volume growth eased in March across the region after a strong performance in February, although the total number of sales, at more than 1,000 for the month is the largest number of sales since November 2007. Sales volume growth has been strongest in Eastern BOP Country, Tauranga, and Waikato Country.

The region's days to sell measure improved by a marked 16 days in March compared to February, from 65 to 49 days. Compared to March last year the days to sell for the region improved by 15 days, from 64 to 49 days. The trend in days to sell continues to improve across the region.

The increases in sales volumes being seen across the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region are not yet being reflected in the median price, with the overall price trend still tracking sideways, although in some parts of the region the 'mood of the market' is improving with increasing attendances at open homes and more

Anecdotal evidence suggests the increase in buyer interest from Christchurch in the Tauranga and Mt Maunganui parts of the region continues and is helping to underpin the more positive outlook in those two markets. Overall the trend in the region is steady.

Hawkes Bay

Compared to many other regions, the increase in sales volume for the Hawkes Bay region seem relatively modest with a 7% increase compared to February 2012 and an almost 8% increase compared to March 2011. This compares with 18.8% and 25.2% nationally for the same time periods

Hastings City has shown relatively strong sales volume growth compared to March 2011, although sales growth in other parts of the region has been relatively weak. Agent reports suggests that there is plenty of buyer enquiry in the region but buyers remain cautious.

The median price across the region fell by $6,750 (-2.3%) compared to February 2012, but is up $21,000 (+8.1%) compared to March 2011. Prices have been stronger in Napier than other parts of the region, with the increase in Napier $26,000 (+9.2%).

The trend in the median price continues to track sideways, although there has been something of a lift in the median price in recent months. Volumes are trending up ever so slightly and the days to sell trend is also moving sideways.

Overall the trend in the region is steady.

Manawatu/Wanganui

The median price across the Manawatu/Wanganui region increased by $3,550 (+1.6%) compared to February 2012 and by $12,550 (+5.8) compared to March 2012. Price increases were mixed across the region, although Palmerston North had the most consistent increase in prices.

Sales volume across the region was mixed with Palmerston North recording the best overall increase in the number of sales. Other parts of the region were mixed. Agent reports suggest that buyers are increasingly active in the market, although they remain somewhat circumspect.

The number of days to sell for the region improved by an impressive 19 days between February 2012 and March, falling from 56 days in February to 37 days in March. Compared to March 2011, the number of days to sell improved by 12 days, from 49 days to 37 days.

Agent reports suggest that there is a reasonable level of listings available in the region, with most of the activity at the lower price points; it could be characterised as a sellers market at the lower end and a buyers market at the upper end.

The trend in volumes continues to improve, as does the trend in the number of days to sell. However, the trend in the median price continues to be flat. Overall the trend for the region is steady.

Taranaki

The median price across the Taranaki region was almost unchanged in March compared to February and March last year, with a $3,000 increase compared to February and a $4,500 increase compared to March 2011. Price increases were highest in Hawera, though this was on relatively low volume.

Sales volume across the region fell by 1 sale compared to February, although was up 14.5% compared to March 2011. This suggests the market has paused after a strong increase in sales in February, although anecdotal evidence suggests buyers are still active in the market.

The region's days to sell measure improved by 15 days in March compared to February, from 64 to 49 days. The number of days to sell in February last year was also 49 days.

Although there are more buyers active in the market in Taranaki anecdotal evidence suggests an emerging shortage of listings.

The trend in volumes continues to move higher, although the trend in median price and number of days to sell both appear to be tracking sideways. This suggests that the overall trend for the region is steady.

Nelson/Marlborough

The median price for the region increased by $500 compared to February 2012 and by $1,500 compared to March 2012. Nelson recorded the strongest overall price trend, followed by Richmond.

Sales volume in March eased back 2.4% after a very strong increase in February, although Motueka recorded a 23% increase in sales compared to February and a more than doubling of sales compared to March 2011. Nelson City and Richmond eased back, due to the strong uplift in February.

The number of days to sell across the region improved by 2 days in March compared with February; the number of days to sell in March was 35 compared to 37 in February and 56 in March 2011.

The trend in the median price continues to move sideways, although the trend in volume is rising more quickly compared to three months ago. The trend in the number of days to sell is continuing to improve.

Overall the trend of the region is improving modestly.

Canterbury/Westland

Sales volumes in Canterbury/Westland increased by just over 7% in March compared to February, although this comes after a strong increase in February. Sales volume growth was still strong in Mid-Canterbury and Timaru, although it eased back in other parts of the region.

Volumes more than doubled compared to March 2011, although this is largely due to the impact of the February earthquake on last year's results. The median price for the region eased by 3.2% compared to February, although is up over 10% compared to March 2011.

Christchurch City and Mid-Canterbury recorded the largest increase in median price compared to March 2011. Anecdotal evidence suggests that auctions are being used more frequently in Christchurch, particularly in the northern and western suburbs of the city. In Mid-Canterbury and Timaru there are reports of rental shortages which is also putting pressure on house prices.

The median price for the region is trending up strongly, although there has been some easing of the median in recent months. Volumes are also trending upwards and the number of days to sell is also continuing to improve.

The overall trend for the region is up, with all three trend measuring improving.

Central Otago Lakes

The median price for the region was unchanged between February and March at $395,000, though this is almost 11% lower than for March 2011. Prices have been generally rising in Central, but falling in Queenstown. The median price is near the bottom of its trading range over the past five years.

The number of sales eased slightly in March compared to February, after a noticeable increase in sales volume in February. Compared to March 2011, sales volume is up over 40% with most of the sales increase occuring in Central.

The number of days to sell improved by 3 days in March compared to February; with the number of days to sell at 60 in March and 63 in February. The number of days to sell in March 2011 was also 60.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that buyers are starting to become more active in the market, noticeably in Central, although they remain cautious.

The trend in sales volume is lifting, although prices are trending weaker and the days to sell trend is essentially ruler flat. Overall the trend for the region is steady.

Otago

The median price continued to improve in March, with a $7,000 (+2.9%) increase compared February and a $31,750 (14.8%) increase compared to March 2011. Otago had the largest increase in the median price over the 12 months to March 2012, with North Otago seeing its median price increase by more than a quarter.

Sales volume rose by over 16% compared to February with the increase shared around the region. However, compared to March 2011 the increase in sales was only 4.2% and was the lowest increase across New Zealand. Dunedin had the best sales growth performance across the region.

The number of days to sell improved by eight days compared to February, from 43 to 35 days, and improved by 15 days compared to March 2011. Anecdotal evidence suggests that buyers are becoming increasingly active and there is an increasing shortage of listings across the region. Buyers from Christchurch are also becoming more noticeable at open homes.

The trend in the median price is continuing to lift, although the trend in volumes remains somewhat flat. The days to sell trend is also improving.

Overall the trend for the Otago region is modestly improving with upward trend in prices running ahead of the trend in volumes.

Southland

Overall the trend for the Otago region is modestly improving with upward trend in prices running ahead of the trend in volumes.

The increase in the median price for Southland at 9.7% was the strongest across New Zealand, although this comes after a noticeable fall in February. Compared to March 2011 the median price has increased by almost 8%, with most of that increase coming from sales outside of Invercargill and Gore.

The number of days to sell for Southland improved by 18 days from 51 to 33 between February and March, and compares with 36 days in March 2011.

The trend in the median price continues to move sideways, with any push through $200,000 quickly reversed the following month. The upward trend in sales volume continues to improve. The trend in the number of days to sell continues to move sideways.

Overall the trend for the Southland region is steady.

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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