Housing sales dived in Auckland last month but were setting records in the rest of the country - REINZ

Housing sales dived in Auckland last month but were setting records in the rest of the country - REINZ

The housing market remained reasonably buoyant in December, especially outside of Auckland according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

Throughout the country 7313 homes were sold in December which was down 9.1% compared to November but up 3.5% compared to December 2014.

But Auckland went against the trend, with just 2225 homes selling in December which was down 11.5% compared to November and down a whopping 18.6% compared with December 2014.

It was the third consecutive month that the number of sales in Auckland has declined (see chart below), suggesting the market there is definitely quietening.

The downturn in sales numbers was particularly severe on the North Shore, where they were down 27.8% compared to December 2014, and in Manukau where they were down 26.7% compared to a year earlier.

There was also a sharp decline in the number of Auckland properties being sold at auction, with just 705 going under the hammer in December compared with 1073 in December 2014.

However REINZ chief executive Colleen Milne said the decline in Auckland sales was probably transitory as investors  adjusted to new, higher LVR restrictions on mortgages that apply to investment properties in Auckland.

Prices held up well, with the national median selling price of $465,000 being up 1.2% compared to November and up 3.3% compared to December 2014.

However the biggest growth in prices is now coming from outside of Auckland.

The median prices for all homes outside of Auckland hit an all time high for the fourth consecutive month in a row, coming in at $379,000 in December which was up 8% for the year.

In Auckland the median selling price was $770,000 in December, up 0.7% compared to November and up 13.6% for the year.

New record median prices were also set in Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough and Otago.

In Wellington December's median price of $436,000 was up 5.1% compared to December 2014 while sales volumes were up 18.4%.

In Canterbury/Westland December's median price of $421,150 was up 5.3% compared to December 2014 but sales volumes were virtually unchanged from a year earlier.

To read the REINZ's full report for December with prices and sales volumes for all regions, click on the following link:

PDF iconREINZ Residential Regional Commentary - December 2015.pdf

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?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

19 Comments

Comment Filter

Highlight new comments in the last hr(s).

Auckland lol

tale of two stories, lack of overseas buyers to keep pushing up auckland, auckland (NZ born) buyers moving out and pushing up the regions
this will not end well

what do you mean 'lack of overseas buyers to keep pushing up auckland'? Auckland median is up 0.7%. That's 8.4% annualised - quite a respectable increase in normal times.

The problem with median is that it doesn't account for the types of houses being sold (i.e. less "cheap" houses being sold = brings median up). This can be seen with most of the sales volume drop in the year being in North Shore and Manukau (on average cheaper than your "Auckland Central" area) - just this change in sales volume by area will result in median price changes.
That's why the indexed price was good - which they no longer report as it doesn't tell the story they want us to hear.

They still produce the index. You just have to pay for it now.

Yeah normally rely on someone like tony alexander mentioning the index move in a newsletter a few days after results out. Auck index down 6% over oct nov. Probably dropped another percent in dec I'm guessing

Nice theory, but North Shore values are actually higher and Auckland Central (910K vs 867k)

And Manukau volumes (vs same month last year) are down more than Auckland Central:
north shore 72% of Dec 14 volume, manukau 73 %, auckland 85%

30% rule cutting out investors. Investors generally buy cheaper property. Median up on lack of sales to investors. Index down as prices actually falling due to 40% buyers taken out of market

"this will not end well" - for whom?

if the price goes up it's good for sellers; if the price goes down it's good for buyers. Whose side are you on and why?

Aucklanders go home

a lot are , they are returning to the country from where they came from or where there parents are from

In these turbulent times market wise buying property anywhere in NZ seems to be the safest thing to do.

herd (flock) mentality....though seemingly correct to date. But is it new pasture or a cliff that awaits?

Most likely a new pasture. Until the next recession or interest rates go back up. Then a cliff. Who knows.

I hear agents are being flooded with properties here in Auckland for next month.

This property in Remuera was sold in Oct-2015 for $3.74m and now in the market again (< 3 months later). Chinese buyer...go figure!
http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-...

Hi David - am I right that you stopped updating this index around 2014?

http://www.interest.co.nz/charts/real-estate/housing-stress-index

Any property bulls out there willing to bet $10,000 that Auckland median property price will not double in the next 10 years (ie your position is that it will, mine that it will not)?

The signs are that the global asset bubble is on the cusp of bursting. It was driven up by cheap money and then driven to excess by large scale investment by sovereign wealth funds and other commodity related sources.
The rapid fall in the oil price means that sovereign wealth funds are now having to offload assets quickly and there are no obviously large scale buyers to take the assets whether equities,bonds or property off their hands.
The most important thing right now is not to be over leveraged in what is going to be a very tricky year as we enter a new cycle.
I hear top end London property has become very illiquid(and prices starting to fall)over last 9 months and Far Eastern property speculators are unable to fund the deposits for high end property developments such as Battersea Power Station.