Auckland lifestyle block sales plummet 62% in year to July
20th Aug 08, 3:37pm
Lifestyle block sales volumes in the Auckland region fell 62% in July from July 2007, indicating that the lifestyle property market has been hit even harder than the broader residential property market. In Gisbourne sales fell by 56% and in Waikato 51%. Three other regions (Wellington, Nelson and Canterbury) also had falls of more than 40%. In the Auckland region, 138 lifestyle properties were sold in the three month period to July, 62% less than the 361 sold in the same period a year ago, data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) rural market report shows. The median price for Auckland lifestyle blocks fell 17% in the year to July, far outpacing the 8.5% fall in Auckland house prices from their peak in November."Lifestyle property sales started to mimic the trend of the residential property market," said Peter McDonald of REINZ. "Having previously looked quite resilient, the lifestyle property market showed signs of weakening in this latest period," he said. Lifestyle block prices remained stable, however, at a national median price of NZ$450,000. This was NZ$5,000 less than the median price in the three month period to June. The median sale price for the three months to July 2007 was NZ$445,750. Regionally, the West Coast lifestyle block median price fell 29% in the three months to July from the June period. There were slight median price falls in Auckland, Hawkes Bay, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago. There were slight increases in Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisbourne, Taranaki, Manawatu/Wanganui and Southland. The number of farm sales fell to 601 nationwide in the July period, down from 711 in the June period and 669 in the three months to July last year. There were also significant changes in farm prices, with two regions experiencing significant increases in median prices. While Northland experienced a 30% median farm price fall, Nelson/Marlborough and West Coast experienced significant increases of 48% and 42%, respectively. The median sale price throughout the country for a farm was NZ$1,800,000 in the three months to July. This was down from NZ$1,805,000 in the June period but still up from NZ$1,270,000 in the July period last year, indicating that there is still strength in the rural market. "Demand for dairy farms continues to exceed supply and milk solid prices are underwriting the sector's confidence, with the falling dollar contributing to the positive outlook for dairying and indeed farming as a whole," said McDonald. Median dairy farm prices remained strong at NZ$4,200,000 in the three months to July up from NZ$4,025,000 in the June period. The median price for Arable farms fell 52% from the June period to the July period. The Northland median farm price fell to NZ$1,660,000 from $2,370,000 in the three months to June. Median farm prices also fell in Auckland, Waikato, Gisbourne, Hawkes Bay, Wellington, Canterbury and Southland. Median farm prices in Nelson/Marlborough increased to NZ$1,715,000 from NZ$1,156,500 in the period to June. The median price in West Coast increased to NZ$3,467,000 from NZ$2,450,000. Median farm prices also rose over the month in Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Manawatu/Wanganui and Otago.