Auckland house prices largely flat but prices are continuing to rise in other regions, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand says

Auckland house prices largely flat but prices are continuing to rise in other regions, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand says

The residential property market remained buoyant in February, with the number of sales at a four year high and prices remaining firm.

According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, 6694 homes were sold in February, up 9.2% compared to February last year and the highest number of sales in the month of February since 2016.

The growth in sales was mainly driven by a surge in the Auckland market, where 1968 homes were sold, up 41.6% compared to February last year and the highest number of sales in the month of February since 2015, which was at the height of the last property boom.

For the rest of the country excluding Auckland, February sales were up a marginal 0.3% overall compared to February last year and there were significant regional differences.

Regions with significant increases in sales compared to February last year were Gisborne +35.7%, Tasman +17.5%, Hawke's Bay +11.9% and Bay of Plenty +11.7%.

Regions with significant declines in sales compared to February last year were Nelson -24.2%, Taranaki -20.7%, Southland -17.9% and West Coast -13.0%

"February saw mixed results across the country in terms of sales volumes, with some regions seeing their busiest February in a number of years and some seeing their quietest February in a number of years," REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said (see the interactive volumes sold chart below for the full regional trends).

Prices were also firm with the national median selling price hitting a new record of $640,000, with most of the price growth occurring outside of Auckland. The previous national record median high was $630,000 last November.

The median price for all regions combined but excluding Auckland, set a new high of $550,000 in February, while prices remained reasonably flat in Auckland.

Auckland's median price was $888,000 in February, up marginally from $885,000 in November and $886,000 in December but still below the peak of $900,000 set in March 2017.

That suggests prices in Auckland remain within their recent range, but are near the top of that range (see the interactive median price chart below for the full regional figures).

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Volumes sold - REINZ

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Tasman
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Marlborough
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Median price - REINZ

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Gisborne
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Hawke's Bay
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Manawatu
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Taranaki
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Wellington
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Tasman
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Nelson
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Median house price growth

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Days to sell - REINZ

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We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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109 Comments

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19
up

Congrats to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for successfully pumping some more money into the Auckland market.

August 2019 - RBNZ delivers a surprise cut in the OCR to 1.00% from 1.50%

Check out the chart and rapid rise from that point on: Median House Price Growth – NZ Total %

Coincidence?

And congrats to the sellers. Excellent timing, intentional or not.

There is a freight train coming and traffic cones are not going to stop it. Get out of shares, get out of debt, get out of excess property. Be safe. Wash your hands. Tell you relatives you love them.

13
up

Those 6,694 sellers? Smart fella's them....

. . . yes and 6,694 of them bought another house.

Not necessarily. For example, there are stories of foreign owners selling to use the cash proceeds back in their home countries. Also there are property traders who are selling and may wait for a while.

CN
. . . . yes, but each one of those was replaced by someone else (no doubt including some of your "property traders") who thought it a good idea to buy and were prepared to stump up the money. :)

OK, got you. Like a game of musical chairs. Same chairs (i.e properties) but different people sitting on them (i.e owning the properties).

Certainly will be interesting when the music stops ...

I wouldn't rule out a general fall in house prices, definitely not a crash scenario. Wellington will come out as the the clear winner at the other end of this slowdown period.

Why do you say that regarding Wellington?

Public sector jobs in the capital will grow in numbers as a result of any fiscal easing measures introduced by the central government, which will keep the demand for housing more or less stable.
Agricultural export businesses contribute a small proportion to the regional economy and are mostly concentrated in the South Wairarapa region. Also, the hospitality and tourism sector in the capital region has always relied heavily on domestic customers.

Just for clarity's sake thats the basis of your opinion, and you don't own any property in Wellington?

Genuine question.

Not a homeowner yet. Saved up a decent deposit and now waiting for clarity while these events pan out.

Makes sense, and good luck!

Thanks for clarifying.

Advisor
As a potential FHB I feel sorry for you.
No doubt your "decent" home deposit over the past couple of years is either now tanking in your growth KiwiSaver fund, or if a conservative KiwiSaver fund or term deposits, been leaving you further behind due to recent movement in house prices.
I actually do feel sorry for people in your situation.
Posters on this site are quick to talk about the pending house price crash but forget to mention how home deposits are currently tanking or losing purchasing value (especially after one has paid the tax).
I gave a relation a hand to move into their first home a month or so back. They rang last night (true story) as to how glad that they had purchased their property as their deposit would have taken a hit in KiwiSaver. They are able to readily meet their mortgage payments, looking to paying this down, and were not in the least bit worried about any short term drop in the house prices as they were there for the long term. They are enjoying the benefits of home ownership rather than dead money renting.

The whole basis of your view is an assumption. You don't have the slightest clue where his house deposit is invested.

Mine has been in silver and gold for the last 6 months - feel sorry for me?

Masher
What about Bitcoin - surely a really clever lad like you must have some there too.

There you go making assumptions again....... now try attacking what I said.

The reality is you don't have the slightest clue what you are talking about, and as opposed to acknowledge it when someone calls you out on it you're resorting to petulance.

Zero human beings have choked to death from swallowing their own pride. Perhaps give it a go sometime...

Sorry masher
There I go again, continuing to make false assumptions - fancy thinking you are clever . . . or in fact you don't tell porkies.

Masher - the vast majority of FHB are young and tend to have limited financial knowledge and are conservative in their savings - in fact there is widespread criticism that due to their poor financial knowledge too many are incorrectly in default conservative KiwiSaver Funds to the extent that the Government is looking at legislation moving default funds to being balanced funds.
The reality is that the majority of young saving as FHB are currently in a situation where they are facing a doubly whammy - affordability issues which have not got better and either over the past year returns are low on conservative investments or in the past month their growth KiwiSaver accounts being hit.
What I challenge as far as you are concerned is, you come in claiming that you are so so, so clever. You need to look at your ego and seemingly desperate need for pride claiming that you have been invested in silver and gold which for most young FHB savers smells heavily of BS. The vast majority of those saving as FHB are struggling and hence the sympathy I expressed in my initial post.

Way way over your head mate. But nice try.

If you're acknowledging that I am able to invest my house deposit in gold and silver then your initial comment is absolute nonsense, and has been disproven by, funnily enough, YOU!

Queue the usual ad hominem......

Masher
"Mine has been in silver and gold for the last 6 months" your porkie.
If you are going to debate, at least bring a degree of honesty to the table - otherwise you look desperate.

Thats where it is. You said thats not possible, which it clearly is.

Do try and keep up mate. Over and out.

To counter that, also as potential FHBs, my wife and I are SO relieved we don't own a home right now. The panic and FOMO have completely gone, and it's freeing. Though to add, our deposit isn't sat in Kiwisaver or shares.

This is true to an extent. But in NZ we are past wages determining property prices a long time go. Wages do help you borrow more but dont have an affect on the availability of credit. NZ is so far out in terms of property prices to wage ratio from comparable countries (Australia included) that the indication is it isnt the defining factor. After the last 5 years of Wellington property booming, i see the bubble bursting there along with everywhere else.

A District Plan review is kicking off. It's likely that the council will zone quite large areas of land for higher density housing. As per Auckland, that is likely to lift land values in certain locations.

17
up

Everything must be done to boost house prices! More drugs for the money junkie Banksters.

The Fed just pumped another $125 Billion into the repo market this week. Since September 2019 they have pumped over $500 billion into the repo market so the banks can balance their books.

Disgusting!!! Either we have a free market or we do not? If you want socialism for the banks then at least make them offer affordable housing loans with cheap housing.

Like Banks and lawyers, dentists etc you have socialism for them and free market capitalism for the poor and semi skilled.

14
up

Don't worry, all it takes is a change in expectations. Asset prices are no longer tied to incomes or cash flow or fundamentals. They are tied to expectations and credit availability. When either of those turns into negative, a crash will follow. I think the former is already on the brink of turning really sour.

12
up

Yip, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a 40-50% drop in house prices across NZ (and AUS).

You what?
So in ChCh we will be getting 15% rental returns, sounds good!

Ok - rents may fall...

The capitalist/democratic system is quite possibly more corrupt than we are willing to admit.

What you're on about? - here's your big clue - tell me how many in those Orr's team member that decided the OCR, which doesn't have their owned properties.
We know something got to give, but we're talking about the biggest money investment/commintment in individuals life time. You really expect them to give up that easily? - Here's what going to change it; at least a 12 months, continuous strain on our economic resources, imagine when Covid19 start to spread quickly this winter in NZ, because all their wages tied up to pay rents: there're wave upon wave of work strike from Healthcare professionals (doc, nurse, hca, orderly, admin staff), cleaners, teachers, police force, rubbish collectors, truck drivers, Engineers, Pilots, Chefs, Waiters, Orchard workers, dairy workers, The arm forces etc. But don't worry this has been thought over.. negative OCR, OBR - Really? - This remind me of French revolt, it's either you with us or with them, It's now getting clearer worldwide - it's between the Banks... and the rest of humanity.

Death Kick?

With 1% OCR, Auckland's median price still hasn't been able to reach its peak of $900000 in 2017? Then better stop dreaming about that it will be doubled after 7 years unless your salary would be doubled...

Only 3 and a half years to reach $1.8 million median price... the Church might need to pray a bit more.

He's going to look very stupid in a few yesrs

Unclear if company of heroes is being sarcastic. Perhaps if the comment is intended to be sarcastic, we should end the comment with (sarc), so it is clearer to readers.

FYI, some maths to illustrate and consider.

1) Current median house price in Auckland: 880,000
2) Median Auckland house price in 3.5 years time: 1,800,000
3) Required price rise: 22.4% per annum.

Now is that realistic and likely to happen?

Some people believe the story / narrative without realizing or thinking what numbers are implied in their story / narrative.

17
up

Am I living in a different dimension? Can people not see the collapse that is just about to happen? The spruikers have a lot to answer for... I don't know how they sleep at night.

"Am I living in a different dimension?" - I've been asking the same question many times since Trump got elected. These are strange times indeed. The movie Idiocracy used to be thought of as a comedy... but it was actually a serious warning.

Yep, I know. I hope they fully understand their abilities and what situation they've got themselves into. You know sometimes some people need to bang their heads hard on a wall to know it's a wrong path...

People do crazy things in crazy times - just look at those who followed a certain leader in the 30's/40's.

I agree with you but what im wondering is, have we got to the point now that governments and central banks know they have to literally anything to keep the bubble from bursting. MMT next? In this case then maybe it is a good time to buy? Throw out all the old rules that made sense. There is no sense any more its just madness. Maybe just jump on the debt train that has no brakes.

"The spruikers have a lot to answer for... I don't know how they sleep at night"

They sleep well at night due to:
1) they are getting financially incentivized for their property promotion activities, and this pays their mortgage, pays their costs of living or increases their wealth. They prioritize their personal survival (i.e. need to pay the bills & put food on the table for the family) over any concern they might have for their customers long term financial well being.

2) the other reason is that they genuinely believe that property prices will continue to increase without falling by much. They are property price increase zealots.

The latest from Tony Alexander.
https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120149519/housing-mark...

Everything is a wealth transfer

There will be a collapse but life will go on and many will prosper. The middle class however will be wiped out.

Our population will be like Brazil with mass crime and poverty. Our population and culture has been altered to remove cohesion and the ability to question our leaders or work together in crisis.

Diversity is our strength Just look at the toilet paper scenerio? If there was a real crash there would be riots and mayhem.

NZ is stuffed and it is never returning.

Nah, Bindy says it's all good.

Young Kiwis just need to buckle down, work for a wage and pay their taxes to fund the landlords' accommodation supplement and pensions.

Agreed

That is fascism as the corporate sector will get bailed out at the expense of our hardwork..

"There will be a collapse but life will go on and many will prosper. The middle class however will be wiped out"

FYI,RBNZ commented that 8% of households,owe 40% of debt.

Lets put the 41.6% growth in February sales into perspective. February 2019 was historical lows (1381 sales). That is the lowest number of sales for any February since 1992. Thats 28 years. (as far back as that graph goes).

It is busier for sure i've been in auction rooms. Hopefully, the market it just returning to normal stable activity. But lets not sensationalize headlines to get the FOMO cranking and call it what it is. (One of the reason I don't understand why our property info is driven by an organization with a vested interest)

Good point.
Lets see what next months look like.
I guess not many auctions now so they will have an excuse to fudge numbers for a month or two.

I will be curious to see Mikekirk's breakdown of what has been selling. His analysis last month suggested a lot of new builds with relatively high debt / small deposits.

Seems like the NZ housing market is still healthy. I wonder how the virus is going to affect the NZ housing market in next few months. It will be good to pick this month as a baseline as it normally peaks around this time, and the global breakout just started.

11
up

Property is immune to the coronavirus.

We should be injecting ourselves with house prices to protect ourselves.

DGM very frustrated: resorting to sarcasm to cope with their plight.

TTP

TTP

Are you for corporate bail outs and bank bail outs and supportive of the fed and it's repo operation?

The reason people are angry with the property sector is the rules do not apply to them as the banks can just keep this going. It is not within the principles of price discovery or a free market.

let it fail if the banks can not balance the books. If society collapses then too bad,

TTP = JOHN KEY perhaps?

Very unlikely. John Key is much more financially savvy.

Does TTP understand what a repo operation is? or of its relevance to residential real estate in New Zealand?

Wrong again, TTP. DGM concerned that there is still a good number of misinformed people who don't see that things are going to go really sour in the next few months.
But you're a man of hindsight so you wouldn't understand. You're lucky you don't practice what you preach. You are the loudest property spruiker in the world who doesn't actually own a property.

DGM remain obsessional about TTP.......

See their persiflage above and below.

TTP

And you remain obsessed with DGM's. See your persiflage above and below.
It's all so romantic.

CourtJester fails to restrain herself.......

She needs to practise self-restraint, as well as self-isolation. (-;

TTP

Wrong *again* TTP, for the nth time today. I'm a gentleman, not a lady.

Either way, allow me to thank you both for the wonderful addition of "persiflage" into my vocabulary. I like it, and intend to use it frequently in conversation, henceforth.

I think it's the only useful thing either have added to the conversation in a long while.

Just make sure to present yourself as a poor, need to be look after & subsidised.. when you need to be in public health sectors, equally even on the private care.. you still should show some modesty of civil behaviour, as if you keep on boasted about your property wealth. Most of us will just nodded & pass you on with smile and pretend to look at our chart.

Research shows that healthy home humidity levels of between 40 and 60 % relative humidity are the conditions viruses etc. thrive in the least, in fact almost can't live.

THE average NZ home is between 70 to 90% RH. which is just the area viruses love.

Our houses are just oversized Petri dishes.

show me your research. Ill show you mine:

https://www.livescience.com/27533-flu-transmission-humidity.html

Winter = cold dry air.

Healthy homes has bad science behind it and is a government rort

Winter = cold dry air? I take it you don't live on the North Island.
https://www.weather-atlas.com/en/new-zealand/auckland-climate#humidity_r...

You might want to google the definition of relative humidity (RH) and see how it differs from amount of moisture per unit air.

Cold air holds less moisture and RH is a measure of % of max moisture holding capacity NOT a measure of actual amount of moisture in the air.

As the cold air enters your lungs its warmed and RH drops (air may have high RH but is holding little moisture) - in lungs/airways it heats drys out airways which is 1 reason why cold dry air of winter leads to seasonality in most viruses. Same thing happens when you heat your winter house - cold air (with high RH, but low absolute humidity) become warm dry air with very low RH.

Thanks for the explanation, makes sense when you put it like that.

Your link is showing relative humidity and it is averaged so June for example at 89% can get to almost 100% on some days. And Auckland is not that cold.

Plus poorly built houses, causing condensation, leaky homes, mold growth, weakens immune systems, any bacteria or viruses about making you more susceptible to catching something.

It's too high.

Simon's explanation about absolute vs relative is correct but is thinking if some humidity is good, more must be better. Not so.

And it has to be linked to temperature. The best temperature is around 20 to 23C and RH at 40 to 60%.

People would be best buying a temp and humidity monitor, they are cheap enough.

Have you heard about relative non-conform bias? - Science & Engineering can fall into that, in the end? it's about a stats result. You could be a damn expert specifically in your area.
But gezz, more Europeans scientist/engineer with more combine brain cells that visited NZ do comparisons and then can say otherwise. NZ can't even produce it's own car, aeroplane, weaponry, X-ray gears etc. - Why do we need to even heard of such these days on this planet.. climate denial, housing/poverty denial, .. member of 'flat earth society' or 'antivaxx party club' by any chance? - you have got the message.

https://www.condairgroup.com/humidity-health-wellbeing/scientific-studie...

And its Conclusion:

'The majority of adverse health effects of low relative humidity can be minimized by maintaining indoor levels between 40 and 60%. This requires humidification during winter in areas with cold winter climates.

Humidification should preferably use evaporative or steam humidifiers, as cool mist humidifiers can disseminate aerosols contaminated with allergens, bacteria and fungi.'

Can't get link for main Stirling Study et al as it is behind paywalls. But you can see the stirling Graph in above link.

Even your link says:

'However, humidity levels should not be too high, because mold starts to grow, Noti said.'

Plus this link https://microbe.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/MANUSCRIPT.V2.pdf

And they comment:

269 Increasing evidence indicates that humidity can play a role in the survival of membrane-bound viruses, such as SARS-CoV-259,60
270 . Previous research has found that relative humidity above 40% is detrimental to the survival of many viruses, including coronaviruses in general 59,61
271 , and higher indoor relative humidity has been shown to reduce infectious influenza virus in simulated coughs59
272 .
273 Maintaining a relative humidity between 40%-60% within the BE may help to limit the spread and
274 survival of SARS-CoV-2 within the BE, while minimizing the risk of mold growth, and maintaining hydrated and intact mucosal barriers of human occupants62
275 . Indoor humidification is not common
276 in most HVAC system designs, largely around maintenance concerns and the risk of over
277 humidification increasing the potential of mold growth.

Covid19 - won't live in most of NZ housing stock, the current cold, damp & mold. Difficult for RNA viruses to hibernate/stay dormant. They need a clean warmth, modern places to replicate - The current govt. don't understand it, only the current housing investors/landlords that understand this phenomena very well, leave it to them - they knew after years of practices which one works for NZ general public, even the landlords family living on the same situation, and no respiratory illness ever recorded. Media should stop beating wrong drum propaganda here.

Wow, who could have known, it's been a cunning plan all along by NZ Landlords to keep us safe from viruses by keeping our houses cold, damp and moldy.

You need to go public with this, it could save thousands of lives.

Heres another: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227183456.htm

So from what you say, NZ houses are actually massive anti-viral machines that actively kill viruses and greatly reduce transmission. No wonder NZ house prices lead the world, talk about safe havens!

Better send your link to PM. It stops Covid-19 and saves the planet(no more heating). Two birds with one stone.

You should read your own link:

I said it needs to be ideally between 40 and 60 % RH, and your link says: 'The study concludes that maintaining indoor relative humidity at levels greater than 40% can significantly reduce the infectious capacity of aerosolized flu virus.'

What the study does not cover, which is pretty poor of them, is that too much humidity can be bad as well, ie over 60% RH.

That is why decent warm and dry properties are always sought-after and in short supply. The market is paying its price of bad building standards and quality ages ago.

DP

We won't see the affect on house prices for 4-6 months. By then there will be a vaccine and everything would have turned back to normality. 10-20% dip in the regions. 3-10% in Auckland

You think that, or you hope that?

How are you sleeping mate?

Iran already has a different strain of the virus. This is a mutant virus. Get a vaccine for one and up pops another. This looks endemic and I fear that if its not stopped soon then the great depression will look like just a hair cut.

The main concern i see is after the GFC house prices dropped around the 10% mark in Auckalnd. With the unprecedented increase in house prices since the GFC it would make sense that the drops are proportionally larger now. Your prediction doesnt seem outlandish to me though. I would say that is the likely at the lower end of the scale though.

Let's not forget the MASSIVE cut in interest rates then that saved the market.

Nothing left to cut this time.

Some have described it as a bubble on a bubble (given we didn't reset fully during GFC like other property markets, AUS the same).

Good time to take spec profit.

The headline "Auckland house prices largely flat" seems just wrong to me. Auckland's HPI was up significantly. At a whopping 3035 it is 7% higher YoY and even 3.9% higher than the previous month.

Am curious about REINZ's seasonally adjusted median house price. As in, what meaning this actually provides. I see this is what they have for it:

Down 3.1%, up 0.3% on February 2019

Why are the other two measures up in Auckland and their seasonally adjusted median down? (marginally up on last year)

Yep, noticed this a year or so ago. It doesn't make sense to seasonally adjust YoY comparisons.

Clever & brave investor will do just that, buy more houses when others a bit scared due to current economic news. So? why waiting.. it can only go up, trust us .. there's nothing can beat wealth, with proper upward RE. The people will surely can afford health without questions, with sufficient wealth. My advise is? - Turned off TV/Radio/online/social media news - click that buy now button, via online property purchases. You won't regret it, so don't just panic buying of essentials, you need to do quick due diligence then buy now, If you can touch the wall after buying it - then you'll be fine, just make sure to wear gloves & OCD clean that wall first with hand sanitiser.

Your Grammar is ghastly

English must be his second language, but I agree. Always get a chuckle from his comments, I usually read them in Mr Miyagi's voice.

just make sure to wear gloves & OCD clean that wall first with hand sanitiser.

I can't help but picture Keen Observer running around the house like a mad man using a Hand Pump Sanitiser to clean the walls.......

Yvil, was your March 2020 prediction for Auckland or NZ? If NZ you picked it; if Auckland it looks like you will fall short.

Either way he's probably right on this one, at least if you use the HPI. And provided prices don't drop back this month

Thanks Fritz, very noble of you to acknowledge my prediction was right despite our differences.

From the REINZ report:
"The REINZ House Price Index for New Zealand, which measures the changing value of property in the market, increased 8.7% year-on-year to 3,013 – a new record high
"The Auckland HPI increased by 6.9% year-on-year to 3,035 – the highest annual percentage increase in 35 months and the first time the Auckland region crossed the 3,000 mark"

Credit where credit's due!

I think we need to be accountable for our predictions, because it's business website and making a correct or incorrect predictions can make a real difference in our back pocket, that's why I hold other commenters (Cowpat and others) accountable too

Cool.
Are you humble enough to admit when you are wrong too?
Because no one is on the money 100%. If you are right 80% of the time you are doing very well...
I am happy to be held to account if prices aren't 'flattish' this year....let's see at the end of the year.

I'm sure you'll find out one day or another

Yeah no worries.
Opinions are opinions but facts are facts.
A plug for myself though - I was one of the few people two years back predicting a mild slump in the Auckland market, and I was right. Most people were predicting small but steady increases, or a crash.

Spot on, well done

You may just squeak in there with the March prediction, Yvil, assuming Covid-19 in the auction rooms doesn't impact it.

Sales evidently doing v well in Auckland in last 3m (up 32% on same 3m a year earlier.)
Bear in mind that 14,000 extra stock of dwellings were consented in that year.
Also, that the 3m in 2018-19 were artificially depressed sales by the OBB and AML law, meaning that Auckland sales were 18% down at that time.
Because 22% less OTM at any point of the month than a year ago, those that are have far more competition esp among FHB but also above $1.3m.
Medians restrained by extra small places being consented and sold cf the reluctance of those over 45 to sell or buy.
Question is what next? Confidence bound to get hit as NZ virus gets a hold. And it will.

Similar News Last Month : Stock Market All Time High

After One Month : Stock Market Falls And Is Crashing

AND

News Today : Housing Market All Time High

After One Month :????

Any Similarities

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