Barfoots' December sales -9.4% lower than a year ago; average price falls -$20,000 from November; increasing inventory takes steam out of price growth

Barfoots' December sales -9.4% lower than a year ago; average price falls -$20,000 from November; increasing inventory takes steam out of price growth

Auckland house prices fell for the second month in a row in December, while the number of houses sold slumped 9.4% from December the previous year.

New Barfoot and Thompson data shows the average sale price in the super city was $913,703 last month - down from $933,130 in November. The median price was $840,000 - down from $850,000 in November.

“While prices definitely eased there was certainly no suggestion that current prices are under any great downward pressure and normal sales numbers are being achieved,” Barfoots’ managing director Peter Thompson says.

However, year-on-year, the average sales price only increased by 8.6% (to $886,816) - the lowest in four years.

The median sales price increased by 8.9% (to $821,666), compared to 17.4% in 2015, 11.1% in 2014 and 12.6% in 2013.

The number of residential properties sold also fell to 721 - a 9.4% drop from 796 in December 2015.

The number of houses sold was the lowest since 2011.

Increasing inventory taking steam out of price growth

ASB economist Kim Mundy says: “December is typically a quiet time in the housing market as both buyers and sellers tend to take a step back during the holiday period.

“However, recent trends of lifting inventory remained evident over December, as new listings continue to outpace sales following the most recent Loan-to-Value ratio (LVR) changes. 

“Seasonally-adjusted inventory in Auckland has now been rising for eight consecutive months and is 34.5% higher than in December 2015.”

At 776, the number of new listings made last month were the highest in a December in five years.

Thompson says: “At year end we had 3,270 properties on our books. While this number is down on those at the end of October and November, it is the highest number at year end for four years, and more than a third higher than it was at the same time last year.”

It would take 23.3 weeks for all the properties listed in December to sell, if the December sales rate was maintained. This is the greatest length of time since 2012, as shown in the graph below.

Mundy concludes: "It appears increasing inventory levels could be taking some pressure off Auckland house prices."

A ‘typical December’ or not?

Thompson says: “It was a typical December trading period with sales numbers and new listings in line with those for the previous year, and prices being not far off the record prices of October and November.

“Signs that the rate at which prices were increasing was declining has been there since mid-year, and that decline showed in the prices achieved at year end. 

“In December the average price declined by 2% when compared to the average price for the previous three months.

“December’s modest price retreat is similar to that which occurred last December and it took until March for the upward price trend to re-appear.”

However, since 2001, average Auckland house prices haven’t fallen in both November and December. During this time, they have only fallen five times in December.

Higher portion of sales worth $1m+

As for the values of Auckland houses sold, more than half (52.9%), went for over a million dollars in December.

There has only ever been one other month (November 2016), when a higher portion of sales were worth more than a million dollars.

Over the year, 49.4% of houses were sold for over a million dollars. This is up from 45.3% in 2015, 31.9% in 2014, 26.6% in 2013 and 19.9% in 2012.

Meanwhile throughout the year, only 11.1% of properties were sold for under $500,000. In December alone, 52, or 7.2% of houses were sold for under $500,000. 

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It's just a little drop! It's still good! It's still good!

February remember! Last December and January 2016 it droped and then took off to a record rise in February.

February as all the economists stated in the Herald the only way is up!

come on ted where are all your buyers to keep the ponzi going

you mean Ted Stanton aka "Mark Stansfield" aka "Paul Cranston" aka "David Sumner" aka "Paul Stevens" aka "John Prentegast"...

The RE troll seen here, there and everywhere...

Surely they can block multiple log-in's from a single IP address.... he or she is getting tiresome :)

or his friend Blue meanie
by blue meanie | Fri, 06/01/2017 - 17:49

House prices going to fall... now!
Ok... now!
Dang... wait for it, wait for it... NOW!
What the ...
Ok, any second now...

Why block me, Sharetrader? You have been wrong for the last three years... so house prices have dropped by $20000... right? What's that in percent off a 600k (2013) house that has doubled in the last three years (2017) $1,2 million now. Good grief, even a stopped clock is right twice in a day... you my friend, are almost right once...
clearly my... house price dropping in three, two, ONE... smarts just a little? When prices are down 40%, then I'll agree there is a collapse...
so... prices to collapse in three, two, one... what?
Ok now! Blast!
what the?
Oh they've dropped... 2.5%... celebrate good times, come on!

Ps I feel just a little fizzy that you remembered my post... thanks

House prices in Auckland will rise in February. You guys are celebrating prematurely before the real party for property owners and hard working families starts to rock.

Rock on Auckland and give the Reserve Bank Governor the middle finger in Feb!

This sentiment is exactly what is wrong with this country. The care for capital gains at all other expense, families displaced, record homeless, people with massive debt all teetering on record low rates. What do you have to say of these things?


Excellent news , the market has gone way too far and a correction is way overdue .

Anyone thinking this unearned windfall from a rampant market was the natural order of things, needs to have their head read

If prices did not correct , then it would suggest the market is not functioning efficiently .

Quite simply there are various factors that will help the correction , Viz:
Interest rates are on the march north making affordability at current prices unaffordable
Immigration numbers are likely to start going south which will reduce demand
Affordability ratios will influence Bank lending criteria (more so than previously) which will all take the heat out of the market
Auckland seems to be getting its act together w.r.t. land supply issues , which means that asking "from" $800,000 for a waterlogged swampy section in a new subdivision is not an option
Builders rates should start coming down as the Chch rebuild plateaus

3 month sales October/ November /December y/y down 16.5 percent. Its all in line Peter.

where do you see that?

Sleepy, I add up 3 numbers for 2015 and 3 numbers for 2016 , and from those 2 totals I work out a percentage difference in sales.

I see that clearly too... yoy 15% down, prices down 3 months in a row,
Median price 780k by March... if not earlier..
Listings adding up and up... sales dropping and dropping...

Down 300k in a 8 weeks, Anonymous? Pretty big call... what will you publicly do if they don't?

Thank you. These article writers won't say this stuff will they!

Sleepy , My reply may have come across a little terse , no offence was meant. NY resolution.

no it was not terse!


I was talking to a Merrill Lynch trader in Tokyo a few weeks back. I asked him if he'd heard about the Auckland housing market, he said "everyone's heard about the Auckland housing market". He added "everyone knows its going to come down except the Kiwi public".

Food for thought.

Then he obviously don't know that we are letting in over 100k per year into NZ and we are the only market that has ZERO restrictions on foreign buyers (even tho they are only 3% of the market)

... he obviously doesn't understand the Kiwi way ... that bricks and mortar is the one and only investment to get into ... that it only goes up , mate !

Still a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG way to go before they become affordable.


This is true Goldie , it has a long way to go down still , but trust me , markets can fall precipitously and far faster than when they went up

Have you ever seen an 45 gallon drum go over a waterfall , slow at first ...............

Just open trademe, search properties, you will see a couple of things
Many more now with Prices being listed, than "under auction"
Saleagents saying "This one must go" "Vendor is listening to offers" and lots like these...

I have also never seen a 45 gallon drum only go half way over a waterfall.

Prices will never go back to 2011..
but to Dec/2015 could be a possibility!

I dont know what basis you used to make this assumption , and you could be right purely on guesswork , but nothing brings home the reality of a forced sale when you cannot afford the mortgage payment .

And woe betide those folk who have bidded damp wooden- box houses in Glenfield and other blue-collar suburbs to over $1, 000, 000. 00 with mortgage payments of over $1,000 a week based on two incomes and a 4% mortgage rate .

You cannot say they were not warned.

Honestly, mine is guesswork of course.
but I disagree, these mortgages are paid from Rental income, while more people keep coming to NZ and AKL, rental prices won't drop a bit, and will keep paying investor's mortgages.

I'd suppose that Rental income cannot cover even the interest payments on a house purchased recently if the equity <50%.

Yes, $1000.00 per week, every week, for THIRTY YEARS - say that real slow!!

Actually, the $1000 will be the lowest they pay :) Rates up.

How much has the price fallen by? They never say this, its always double speak

Prices could fall a lot , especially if buyers desert the market in the expectation of further price drops .

as a FHB I'm holding off now.

we are doing the same now.

Does it do this every year. seems to drop over Xmas then pick up again. How is this different?

@sleepydog , You may be right , there have been 70,000 new arrivals year to date , and God only knows where they are all living right now , but you can be sure the demand for housing is still out there

China bought in controls to stop people there buying lots of houses. Why the hell does NZ not do this!

Because, luckily, thank god, we're not China! and never want to be!

Because we are not China , and we run a free-market economy and dont do social engineering by telling people what they can and cant do with their money .

I prefer it this way , frankly , but I would support a move to stop foreigners buying up our homes , similar to the Australians


Not really no, everything is skewed to benefit housing investors and speculators in NZ. Its not really a free market when one portion of "investing" gets taxed less and negative gearing.

On y/y basis , over past 4 months, using median prices Barfoots have sold $ 0.383B less real estate than comparable period 2015.

Or something like circa $19m less in RE agent commissions!

Stop messing with the headline!

I make a point these days of never reading any article/comment/opinion from a Real Estate or bank economist source!

Auckland's property prices are going to fall a lot lower, a LOT LOWER! Well all know that Foreign Investors were far more than just 4%. And think about it, this is not just seasonal changes as the Estate Agents would have you believe. So sales and therefore property prices have started to decline over the last two months.

Ok so what has changed in the Investment market over the last two months? That's it China has switched from encouraging their state owned business from investing in overseas assets to now massively restricting them. And why, China has to protect it's currency from devaluing beyond its control.

Remember as part of their Capital Flight Controls, they're not allowed to purchase foreign property.

This situation isn't going to go away over the short term, not with Mr Trump throwing his tariff toys around.
The Auckland property market is in for a very bumpy ride and about time too!

If you're a First Time Buyer or a Property Investor. Do NOT buy now, wait for a few months for the market to bottom out, prices will need to drop to 2012/2011 mark for new immigrants and kiwis in general to be able to afford a home without massively over stretching.

If you want more information have a listen to this recent BBC article: China's Capital Flight

What happens to the regions?

Here is an example of whats happening in my region Hamilton.
Sep 2015 sold for 495k
oct 2016 sold for 535k
now back on market asking 549k.

lmao by the time they sell it's hardly worth it, even if they got asking prices less 33%....i wouldn't get out of bed for that.

They might actually make a loss on it!

Back on market for only $14k more than last time... selling costs would be more than that = loss. That's worrying sign of overpricing and/or under ability to service!

Could be a meth house... last buyers could have panic purchased without doing due diligence... one house is hardly a sign of a collapse...

The Regions will start to fall too, as the pressure starts to lift since Auckland's property prices will fall further.

Look for the really big indicators i.e; lack of property auctions in that region. I see even Queenstown has very few recent auction listings.

IDK a region doesnt have to have auctions to be still rising in price, just multiple buyers will do that wont they.

Well Queenstown did have mostly auction listing up until a few months ago, so did Tauranga. Now they're listed mostly as negotiation or with a sale price.

If this forms into longer trend the long breath for the specuvestors will start. Fix for as long as poss and wait it out. Those that can will, those that cant will get sold up. Buyers will sit on the fence and wait to see how low the next start is. Specuvestors...dont loose your job.

I am so lucky, I almost bought a home in late November for 700K, big 3 BR house 600SQM section very near to pylon in Mt.Roskill.

Wasn't this one by any chance was it?

Check out the overhead high-tension power lines and power pylon

then check all the rooms, could hardly swing a cat in the dining area and nearly every room has furniture covering or intruding into window space

Not this one but very close to it, it is 3 Anita Avenue. It was initially advertised for high 700 and was on trademe for almost 3 months. The owner was willing to take offers in low 700. There is pylon right in front of the property, check google maps.

And now has it as possibly worth $1,270,000 at their mid point range - up $570,000 - 81%. Possibly not the same property as land area is 789 sq.m. But certainly directly under the power pylons.

No 3 Anita is at $995,000 up 42% on November then; might have been a "steal'!

That speaks to the accuracy of
If it was "worth" $1.27 or even $995k , but couldn't shift at low 700s....
As my dad used to say, it's only worth what someone will pay for it.

I don't think checks every property out individually. It's just working on some algorithm or something. That house is a bit problematic and cannot be used to draw any important conclusions.
That's a lot of pylon!

Precisely - the issue is with the algorithms... compare and/or QV data with actual sales data (e.g. Barfoots) and notice the disparity. Similar thing on these e-vals was all over the news in Oz.


It seems that there is a bit too much excitement over what might only be a blip.
AKL is a ponzi, and prices are unsupported by income or the prospect of income, so a turndown is a matter of time.
However, banks are still unconstrained by any regulated DTI limit, and banks are still lending up to the 60% LVR limit: - when AKL rental yields can only support an LVR of about 35% (allowing for capital repayment and opex).
Until either a DTI for investors is applied, or the LVR limit is lowered to less than 50%, the circus will continue until the inevitable crisis.

Ponzi schemes need the vital ingredient of confidence. I love interesting times.

that depends if you believe overseas buyers form a certain country only makes up 4 % of sales.
when have seen what they have done to other markets once they turn and they all try to get out at once

those %4 from a foreign country are prone to panic and liable to all head for the exit at once.

There are times when the illusion is understandable, if still an illusion. On days like today, it surely seems like the PBOC’s power and influence has been established and displayed. The overnight HIBOR rate (CNH) was pushed to a ridiculous 38.335%, the second highest on record.And given that “drain” of RMB from offshore Hong Kong, sure enough CNY rose sharply. Where last week the PBOC was very publicly denying it had ever fallen below 7 to the dollar, today it was as high as 6.8711 (no word yet on whether the PBOC will refute that the currency could trade that far that fast, if in the other direction).

Yes and that's not all, just take a look at what's been happening to Bitcoin since the increase of more controls.

Bloomberg article: Bitcoin Extends Loss After China’s Central Bank Warns Investors

I was reading somewhere today that 9 out of ten bitcoins are being bough in China, gotta be a winner ;-)

That I do believe

do you believe they buy 4 out of every 100 houses sold in AKL?

will you take bitcoin?

Aw, shucks, I'm not silly

it's actually 3 out of 100. LINZ data says so

@ Andrewj: Yes in that it helped them to get their money out but now that they're being watched by their Officials, so hence the big drop in usage.

Forget this morning's news, the boom is back!
* 10 Matariki St, Omaha: Sold in August for $3.3m with a CV of $990,000 (three times CV)
* 2/66 Arawa St, New Lynn: Sold in November for $1.376m with a CV of $460,000 (three times CV)
* 2/156 Coates Ave, Orakei: Sold in February for $2.05m with a CV of $800,000 (two times CV)

How could I forget the news today?! The second lead story on Stuff was about some punters who found their lost bees.

Omaha sold in August, Orakei sold in Feb .. a lot has changed since then. As for New Lynn, there will always be the odd exception, even in a declining market. Get a better idea of what's going on by by looking at all the houses which have been languishing on trademe for months.

Queenstown one sold in april, why include it, if so sure plenty more sucker buys out there to dig up and include

Note that depending on the council ratings cycle, CV nay be up to 3-4 years old.
eg ... 1 July 2014. So I'd expect it to be different to a CV of that era. There were also heavy renovations (improvement value in 2014 was only $100k) which arent reflected in CV...And to top off,as others mention, that sale was 11 months ago, so not too relevant.

If house prices fall/flatline between now and the Election then National will romp home. If not it will be a close call.

I'm sure people will realize what's been going on once the property prices drop significantly, remember it's not just NZ that is being effected it's pretty much every large popular city.

Zachary we all know that you're and Estate Agent! And I guessing that's it's really hurting you that our property market is starting to fall, and it's all down to your beloved Mr Trump.

Keep kidding yourself Zac, you've got to keep those property prices up at all costs. Even if its beyond reason!

Plus I was right about Vancouver's property prices falling wasn't I, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

And your links are out of date try this one for size as it's more recent and relevant: Chinese locked out of Oz

Try and keep up!

If Zac didn't shill the property market so hard, he would be quite based. We both love TRUMP.

This is true and when I was younger I would be pretty much the same as NissanGTR. It is quite a confused situation. Now I believe high property prices will be the only thing keeping Auckland moving in the right direction if there continues to be rampant immigration. I would totally support some sort of housing assistance programme for those born and or educated in New Zealand even if it suppressed prices. Something along the lines of what Singapore has. I have huge faith, which is backed up by survey after survey, in the desirability and livability of the English speaking Commonwealth nations as well as the UK and NW Europe. Retaining the character of these nations will actually increase their value. Trump's wall will have a positive effect in the long run.

Not going to happen, people would call that racist.

We need to stop all this immigration. It's beyond screwed. And let things come back to equilibrium.

Vote NZ First, the most based party in NZ.

But I though you only dealt in facts not speculation....

True, I'm just responding in kind to CJ099's speculation to provide a bit of balance.

If you read any of Zach's arguments you soon discover his penchant for contradicting himself...

@nymad: Oh I know it's hilarious.

Nebel des Krieges

Also I actually do read people's comments and think deeply about them. Nymad taught me that I can't self select a new system from within the system. This has been quite liberating and allows me to sit back and enjoy things just the way they are.

I never said you couldn't. I said you couldn't advocate self selection in the context you were trying to make an argument for.
You were using evolution/laws of nature as an analogy for determining the master language. I said self selection is completely illogical in such a proposition as the balance of success is weighted on optimal attributes in this context, not an arbitrary self selected decision.

Hmmm, my theory is that all human artifacts including languages are essentially created using the same three processes that nature uses to create biological structures and that humans simply possess a powerful selecting and replicating ability resulting in accelerated human development.

...Except, you specifically refer to "self selection" of the 'best'.

Couldn't someone compare current foreign languages and select the best one in terms of utility? This was what I was getting at. The Syrian asylum seeker would be wise to become fluent in English because of its greater utility. Countries like Estonia and Botswana are wise to select English as their preferred foreign second language for business reasons. Pinker was wondering about how wealth was generated and I was answering, in layman's terms, "by selecting the best tools available?". At least I took a shot at it.

By all means.
However the laws of nature aren't on the basis of self selection. That was the fatal fault in your argument (Theory?).

Thanks, noted, yeah theory, I have hundreds of them.

Just keep your hundreds of theories & Tell Will Robinson✅ Frankly if you had any sense you'd be living elsewhere than new China

#NATEXIT needs to happen

What's your logic behind your statement Penguin ?

When was the last time you saw "URGENT" in the title of a property listing?

interesting on QV that building has no three bedroom apartments only one and two

Something dodgy about it all

Issues with the building

Getting Money Out of China: The Reality Has Changed
We first wrote about China’s newish foreign currency restrictions in Getting Money out of China: What the Heck is Going on? In that post (written on January 14), we wrote how “in the last week or so, our China lawyers have probably received more ‘money problem’ calls than in the year before that. And unlike most of these sorts of calls, the problems are brand new to us. It has reached the point that yesterday I told an American company (waiting for a large sum in investment funds to arrive from China) that two weeks ago I would have quickly told him that the Chinese company’s excuse for being unable to send the money was a ruse, but with all that has been going on lately, I have no idea whether that is the case or not.”

We then said that the common theme we were detecting was that “China banks seem to be doing whatever they can to avoid paying anyone in dollars.” We then listed how the following examples we were seeing and hearing about:

don't forget to read the comments, melt down time?

udo • 2 months ago
I also live in China and enjoyed the explosion of properties prices, i own two flats here which worth around 1.5M USD. How to send this money out before everything collapse here?? Still possible to send to HK? Any other way?

I was asked at a party last night (not kidding) what the China lawyers at my firm saw as the biggest trends/issues for China in 2017, and my answer was the following:

Getting money out of China. This will be THE big issue for 2017. It will be a big issue for both Chinese companies and for foreign companies that are doing business in China.

Noticed a few RE commenting on the herald and stuff stories saying the market feels like 2008 and the GFC personally would like to see a flattering or small wind back over a number of years.
But we will see the trend in 3 months then it will slow for winter then the election
Looks like a few BMW will be returned

Not too sure anyone can predict likely property market performance for 2017 however in the GFC Auckland prices only dipped around 10% whereas many of the provinces were down a more serious 20% to 30%. So what is different this time - interest rates are still very low - 4.95% fixed for 3 years pretty damn cheap historically, migration continues to break records so pressure on that front and not sure many of these migrants choose anywhere other than Auckland. Reports indicate that new construction is nowhere near likely to meet demand over the next few years and of course foreign offshore buyers only make up 3% or 4% of the market LOL! Probably see many more transactions over the next three months as that is what usually happens in the first quarter - then the election bribes will start to flow. Perhaps still a 5% increase in prices in the Auckland region and maybe a drop of 5% to 10% for the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Manawatu and Whangarei areas.

Bring in the Vancouver TAX (15% stamp duty) on all NON CITIZEN buyers to limit any February Bounce

- Best Case scenario is works and reduces house price inflation
- Worst Case Scenario it doesn't work and the government collects huge stamp duty revenue

Irrespective of whether the foreign buyer (non citizen) numbers are high or low this policy seems like a no brainer.

Remember foreign buyer = non citizen buyer. ie students and temp visa and foreign buyers despite what MSM/Govt of NZ may tell us.

"What is clear is that the tax is producing significant revenues, which the province has promised to reinvest into affordable housing projects. In the first four months of the new levy, the province brought in more than $49 million in extra revenue from foreign buyers. About half of that — $24 million — was in November alone."

Last paragraph

Revenue from tax on Foreign Buyers - that's the information Zachariah Smith was looking for last week

Thanks two other guys.

What is clear is that the tax is producing significant revenues, which the province has promised to reinvest into affordable housing projects. In the first four months of the new levy, the province brought in more than $49 million in extra revenue from foreign buyers. About half of that — $24 million — was in November alone.

In all, the government projects that about $2 billion in property transfer taxes will be paid in the 2016/17 fiscal year, up from $1.5 billion last year.

From that I read that 49M has come through in the last few months and the projection is 500M a year extra. Interesting that foreign buyer activity ramped up significantly in November.

The ballpark figures would be:

49M = 15% of 325M. Approx 300 properties have sold to foreigners since the tax started?
500M = 15% of 3300M approx 3000 predicted properties sold to foreigners a year?

The next bit of data to find is the total number of sales to work out the approximate percentage of sales to foreigners overall in BC.
At first glance it does appear that the tax is not as devastating as first thought.

Wow it's amazing the lengths that an Estate Agent will go to to paint a rosy picture. So you're in favour of a Foreign Buyers Tax for Auckland are you Zachary? Yes I think that's an excellent idea, How about also getting your clan to drop their extortionate fees and commission rates?

You know even in the London property market, Estate Agents usually only charge between 1 to 1.5% and that includes the marketing costs with no up front fees. See you'll need to get more competitive as the market falls.

I feel like I am drowning in this sea of bad news about property prices and interest rates. Treading water, how long can I stay afloat I wonder. What's that I see within arm's reach?

Foreign buyers trickling back to Metro Vancouver

Foreign buyers are like the Xenomorphs in Alien movies. Just when you think you got rid of them they leap out at you from another hiding place.

That article is based on sales data from October to November of last year which is before the strengthening of China's Capital Flight regulations. So I think you'll find that that 'trickle' of foreign buyers for Vancouver will have turned in to less then a smudge.

Try again Zachary :P

I'm not sure what he was so excited about in that link. I guess one can pull what one wants to see/belive from any article..

"Residential sales totalled 1,714 last month, down 39.4 per cent from December, 2015, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said Wednesday".

I didn't intend to depict excitement. The image was of a drowning man grasping at a straw. However the explanation for the low sales is this from my next link:

“We are still beginning to deal with that but we still have an inventory issue in Vancouver. We have no product to sell so it’s tough to tell whether buyers have cooled because there’s not much product to choose from,”

Toronto's looking like it's going gangbusters:

No December slowdown in housing sales as search for homes expected to extend through Christmas

This is very reminiscent of last Christmas when everyone on here was predicting doom and gloom for Auckland except now we seem to have gone global. Are Australia, Canada and New Zealand heading into bad real estate weather or are they going to keep on going up?

(The most interesting thing about the previous article was the graph which showed a distinct upswing in foreign buyer activity. It interests me because I see the foreign buyers have faith in a city like Vancouver. It is more than just a city to them)

So with such 'wonderful' news about Ak house prices crashing from Oct - Nov of last year, should we average JAFA's with a family home and a few rentals be celebrating, mourning, jumping up and down, or life goes on? Go figure...*Yawn*

You should've SOLD for big $$$ as with all markets sell the upside Buy the downside

Trickling ? Why then have the Chinese RE websites switched focus to Alberta Calgary oil country ?
That's another "media article "
Fact is Auckland is not immune to housing sales drop
anymore than the DOW must remain at historic highs either. We are entering the Trump paradigm & nobody
can predict with accuracy it's ultimate worldwide outcomes. Already NZ has lost its TPP agreement with USA which was to reduce reliance on China trade

They may have switched focus on to Alberta Calgary as it's just outside of the British Columbia foreign buyer tax zone and property prices have been dropping there over the past year or so due to a fall in oil prices which lead to significant job losses.

Though now they have the problem of getting their capital out of China as they have really locked down on Capital Flight recently.

I read with interest and amusement comments of doom around Auckland Property, most comments appear to be wishful thinking/envy from those who have missed out/put off making a decision to buy. Emotional statements don't alter reality. I'm a reality person and encourage anyone to understand the drivers of any market to be able to make sense of why they change. Tony Alexander Chief Economist of the BNZ offers a FREE weekly overview of our economy and trading partners with easily understood rational of movement of interest rates, mortgage rates, house prices etc etc. If all parties that comment on here took time to follow him or someone as astute and proven there really won't need to be ridiculous statements on here. Learn what the market is doing and alter your reality to participant in the real world.
Prices certainly won't continue rising and may plateau or fall slowly over the next 3 years but this is a longterm asset class that will always come out on top.
Cities around the world that have the best affordability rates are all cities with falling population rates and all the employment/social decline that goes with that. Greece is a wonderful example of this in real time.
Auckland is part of the new order, our agglomeration centre where talent/ideas/new technologies/new jobs/city of choice for the apportunities and services both business and leisure happen.
The world is changing fast particularly from new technologies so understanding what that is all about has probably never been more important so we as individuals can work out how we can participate in the new economy. It is a very human failure to rubbish things we really don't understand, wise up or get left behind.
There has never been a more exciting time in NZ'S history in my life time born 1957 for choice and opportunities.
Not everyone at any point in history enjoys success fortunately as a developed country we have a well working social services agenda, not perfect perhaps but very organised from pensions/unemployment/sickness free hospital health care, ACC, stable governance etc etc
People this is it if you complain at what this country is and has to offer try travelling the world it's hard to find a better fairer place than right here.
So take on your own individual responsibilities, participate in the new world because change is with us, there are no such things as the good old days only the wonderful day we have right here today to make your choices and built a life you chose.


A few points occur to me,the least important being the observation that your post would be much more readable with better punctuation.
As part of your case,you cite Greece,but you do this in the context of cities with falling populations. Greece is,as i am sure you are aware,a country and its problems lie with its admission to the Euro. You may wish to read Greekonoics by Vicki Price on this,or Boomerang by Michael lewis.
On Auckland itself,I wonder where the next generation of support workers will live? I refer to; teachers,nurses,retail staff,firemen and others.
I agree that this country has much to offer-I chose to come here 13 years ago-but that does not blind me to its problems.

'.....but this is a longterm asset class that will always come out on top' - are you sure about that?

Taking nothing away from Tony Alexander (who by the way would never hold a bias when the people paying his salary make money by encouraging droves of NZ'ers to borrow large sums from the bank), but Robert Shiller (Nobel Prize winner in Economics so for arguments sake we could perhaps hold some value in his work - and I can't recall if Tony Alexander has won this prize for his work in encouraging NZ'ers into extreme debt?) examined this in his book Irrational Exuberance. In the US at least, housing over the last hundred years was in fact a terrible investment when inflation adjusted. Around about 1% average p.a. from memory - compared to shares that were around 5-7%. So long term, housing isn't the asset class that comes out on top as you say - quite the opposite in fact, and perhaps the worst by a good margin.

But then again it sounds like you've done your research, and from an unbiased and reliable source. Well done.

I'll see you and raise you another Nobel prize winning economist:

Eugene Fama, the Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at The University of Chicago and co-recipient with Shiller of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics, has written that Shiller "has been consistently pessimistic about prices," so given a long enough horizon, Shiller is bound to be able to claim that he has foreseen any given crisis.

I think Fama and his efficient markets theory completely miss the point that humans are irrational.

His theory perhaps works after the point (when attempting to make sense of an event because it is then that you can see the black swan), but are the general public aware of all the information all of the time? If they were, and we all knew all of the information all of the time, why would people be so stupid and get burned so regularly? Why would I buy houses or stocks in the US in 2008 if I knew they were so over-valued? Why would I buy houses in NZ right now when historically they are incredible overvalued? Everything eventually regresses to the mean - and the historical mean for US housing is only about 1%, why should NZ be any different? Do we build special houses or have different interest rates or get paid 10 times more? (what's the story going to be to make sense of the current anomaly in the market? - that afterwards we realize was a fallacy). The world was flat for a while and witches were real and NZ property is just worth more than the rest of the world...haha

Fair point. A distribution of Individuals can act irrationally.
However, that is not in contradiction of the theory.

What's the alternative to the rational expectations theory..?
Assume that participants will only ever act irrationally?
Assume that participants will act completely randomly?
They seem like bad alternatives to me..

For me, listening to an economist explain efficient markets resembles a Christian attempting to explain god using the bible. It doesn't quite feel right. Ask them about Islam or Buddhism and they say 'impossible', this one good book explains everything you need to know and don't worry about the rest.

I think the theory is close, but appears to be missing something to take into account human behavior.

That doesn't mean that it is wrong, though. It simply means that you don't understand it.
Various uninformed persons would say the same about the understandings of theoretical physics.

"I think the theory is close, but appears to be missing something to take into account human behavior."
How could the theory possibly be close if, as you say, the fundamental underpinning is wrong..?

Nymad... Just study some psychology... and some history, in regards to manias and hysteria/contagion of crowds/groups.
We are emotional much as we are rational... We have all sorts of "biases"...which blind us to relevant "information"..
I would guess that the economist who came up with the theory of rational mkts......was an academic economist.
How about the theory of.... " Animal spirits."... Was it Keynes who came up with that term..??
Assume that there is an emotional component to mkt moves, which can take over..... and that , that emotion can truly drive prices to mind boggling extremes.. ... In that environment it is price itself that generates/creates the demand...and NOT the underlying fundamentals...

No one is discounting the fact that irrationality occurs.
What is irrational about the Auckland Housing market, though?
Do we have full knowledge of the intentions of participants? How is it irrational for them to be buying property, currently without that knowledge?
As far as I can tell, there is ample evidence for short term welfare gain. How is that irrational?

I'm pretty sure Keynes was no less academic than any liberal market economist..

I'd suggest that Keynes was far more than just an academic...

On the basis that he worked as a civil servant?
Friedman worked as one, too..

Daniel Kahneman's book (Thinking Fast and Slow) is pretty good I thought on this topic, as was Shiller/Akelof's book 'Animal Spirits'.

I laugh out loud when you say 'what is irrational about the Auckland housing market'. When the P/E ratio is so out of wack and the price to average income of the buyers is also so out of what, how could you conclude that it's not irrational?

You say, that there is no irrationality in short term welface gain - but when the market becomes driven by everyone looking to do that exact thing, its' no longer coupled to the fundamentals of supply and demand. The market is now irrational and is being driven by animal spirits, not longer term investment fundamentals that some classic economic theories appear to be based upon. Its now based upon human emotion (primarily of greed and also of the fear of missing out).

If history tells us that houses are deemed affordable at 3-4 times incomes (and have typically been that for a 100 years), and now we have a market that is 10 times incomes, we start telling ourselves stories to justify the anomaly. But the anomaly is irrationality.

"I laugh out loud when you say 'what is irrational about the Auckland housing market'. When the P/E ratio is so out of wack and the price to average income of the buyers is also so out of what, how could you conclude that it's not irrational?"
That doesn't make it irrational. I trade forex leveraged 50:1 - on the basis of that am I irrational? People buy non dividend buying stocks - are they irrational, too?

"You say, that there is no irrationality in short term welface gain - but when the market becomes driven by everyone looking to do that exact thing, its' no longer coupled to the fundamentals of supply and demand."
Of course the fundamental supply and demand condition is maintained. If it wasn't, we would have no increasing market price and hence no incentive for arbitrage seeking...The only time the supply/demand condition fails is in the exact opposite environment that you specify - zero demand or zero supply. We have both demand and supply, though.

I'm not saying the prices are sustainable. I firmly believe there is going to be a substantial adjustment.
What I am saying is that we can't conclude irrationality in the market on the basis of the numbers and incomplete information on the strategy of participants.

'I trade forex leveraged 50:1 - on the basis of that am I irrational?'

Is this John Key on holiday in Hawaii?

I'm not sure if you've read any books on behavioural finance so not sure where to start or end in trying to explain this. This comments section certainly isn't the place. Good luck speculating on FOREX and Auckland house prices.

And I'll quote you again...
"For me, listening to an economist explain efficient markets resembles a Christian attempting to explain god using the bible. It doesn't quite feel right. Ask them about Islam or Buddhism and they say 'impossible', this one good book explains everything you need to know and don't worry about the rest."

Yet, now you advocate behavioural economics as the solution?

Do u trade FX Nymad..???

Here was I assuming u are an academic economist..!!
All the power to u.. !

We are seeing a vast migration from East to West and South to West. Capital and humans, mostly skilled and middle class, seeking out the best spots in the West. It's never been easier for them to establish themselves in Western cities with developed infrastructure catering for their needs. Where are the best spots? Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

India and China are mostly pretty horrible places to live in comparison.

Zachary Smith analysis = rational behaviour.

Fair analysis.
If the west had any guts, they would turn off the immigration spigot.

Jeez last time we had such an event was in the 1860's during the Gold Rush. Can't recall exactly what happened, but pretty sure most left when all the money had been made?

Surely that won't happen again...

Things were different back then...yes really. The Chinese encountered extreme hostility from the people and from Governments and were often punitively taxed. A Chinese man had to pay something like twenty years wages to stay in New Zealand or Canada. In the US they worked them to death on the railroads. The Chinese and Indians today are much more Westernised and educated. It is almost inconceivable that history will repeat although still a bit of working to death going on.

It is this history that sort of worries me because even with the disincentives many stayed. It worries me in the sense that we will lose the essential characters of our nations that make them so desirable. If NZ became like India then migration would stop naturally but not in a good way.

Certainly no cases of cheap foreign labor (below min wage) being reported in this country right now...!

And now a NZ born first home buyer needs something like twenty years wages as a deposit to buy a house in their own country!

It's all working out really well..

Rational & Zach Smith is a Oxymoron

"Auckland is part of the new order, our agglomeration centre where talent/ideas/new technologies/new jobs/city of choice for the apportunities and services both business and leisure happen."

I have to admit there is a certain leisure with being stuck in Auckland traffic. Not sure why you want to compare Auckland to Greece though. I've seen an estimate that 10,000 have left Auckland in the last year because living costs are too high, and that is something that (as you've suggested) would have a negative impact.

Either way I recommend that you value free advice at its cost.

Auckland has turned into a dog to live in✅
I lived there more than 50 yrs but no more

Not much point listening to too many economists as they all,tell,you different things.
Not going to name names on here, but we all,know the economists who get regular TV time making predictions on the NZ housing market, and if you followed their predictions then you would be a hell of a lot worse off financially!
NZ is one of the best countries in the world for making money on investments if you are prepared to get off your butt and make logical decisions.
Moan about everything all the time and wishing that the NZ housing market would crash is hardly going to do a lot for your own financial position.

Yes THE MAN 2 Forbes rates New Zealand as #2 for best countries in the world to do business in 2017.

Forbes - Best Countries for Business 2017

Umm... Just has a quick look at TradeMe's Auckland Northshore latest listing and now starting to see property being listed as "Overseas owner wants this sold!" and "Price Reduced - Make us an offer!".

Looks like Auckland property market has much further to fall as the Overseas Investor panic sets in!

Expect to see more of this

Read the comment from AndrewJ up-thread

Foreign buyers who have leveraged into a property on the North Shore with a local mortgage based on overseas income, expecting to use that overseas income to help pay the mortgage outgoings are now in serious trouble - because they can't get the money out of their home jurisdiction

Yes I was quite shocked at how much influence the People's Bank of China (PBOC), had on the cryptocurrency bitcoin. It plunged recently driven by concerns that China will introduce new measures to stop its citizens moving money out of the country. China accounts for over 90% of reported bitcoin trades.

Over the new year, the People's Bank of China, China's central bank, said that banks will be required to notify it of all cash transactions over 50,000 yuan ($7,100), down from a current ceiling of 200,000 yuan.

It said the move was merely aimed at improving the monitoring of money-laundering and tax fraud. Meanwhile, the State Administration for Foreign Exchange (SAFE) imposed onerous new reporting requirements requiring people to explain why, where and how they intend to use their annual quota of foreign currency.

Article: How a China Crackdown Caused Bitcoin’s Price to Plunge

Come on CJ099 I just went to TradeMe and searched up North Shore properties and am up to the 250th listing and haven't yet come across this "Overseas owner wants this sold!" one yet. I am resting my scrolling finger now as I don't want to get RSI.
There are a lot of prices I will grant you that.

Just for you Zachary; how could you miss it it's the first one on the new listing next to the Price Reduced - Make us an offer! Perhaps you were searching in the over a million price range.

* Overseas owner wants this sold!

* Price Reduced - Make us an offer!

Also checked out East Cost (Manukau city) too and lots of; Priced, Negotiations and also "Price Reduced".
Tip: Try using the keyword search.

I was looking using the default "Featured First" LOL, although, you know, it is the only listing I have seen so far that talks about an overseas owner however it's not an unusual thing even in a hot market. I remember writing this last year in response to one of gordon's dire predictions, "one swallow does not a summer make".

It is interesting how that house with the 'Price Reduced - Make us an offer!' tag is still asking for more than the estimated price.

Got to love that rosy Estate Agent perspective of yours Zachary. Well we all know there are much bigger forces a large and far beyond little NZ control.

It's not like last year when the IRD regulations were introduced that caused Foreign Buyers to be excluded from the property market for a few months, remember the Auckland property prices dropped by -8% in just a few months. We're looking at a long stay of absence from Foreign Buyers by the looks of things which is likely to cause a domino effect with Investors liquidating their assets.

Here's a few more overseas Investors liquidating for you to chew on:-

* Overseas Owner - Must Be Sold!!!

* Overseas Owners Say Sell Now!

* Freehold apartment! Sea views! Overseas vendor liquidating

* OFFSHORE EXIT - Oaks on Hobson

* Overseas owners want action

And the list goes on.... Some quite motivated Sellers there.

Raywhite seems to have a lot of overseas owners that are selling when I go to open homes

Why are overseas owners wanting to sell?

A very good question! If the market is so buoyant, and there are 70k people to be settled in Auckland each year, and there is still a shortage of houses being built, and the overseas buyers/speculators are supposed to be astute property investors, why are they wanting to get out of the Auckland market if it has so much more growth and capital gain just around the corner?

I question whether it is a good question.

Begging the question, sometimes known by its Latin name petitio principii (meaning assuming the initial point), is a logical fallacy in which the writer or speaker assumes the statement under examination to be true. In other words, begging the question involves using a premise to support itself.

Evidence for the assumption is, at this stage, in short supply.

Good question Sleepydog: Why overseas Investors wanting to sell?

Auckland's property prices are going to fall a lot lower, a LOT LOWER! Well all know that Foreign Investors were far more than just 4%. And think about it, this is not just seasonal changes as the Estate Agents would have you believe. So sales and therefore property prices have started to decline over the last two months (So I would advise ignoring Zachary and Ted as they are Estate Agents).

Ok so what has changed in the Investment market over the last two months?

That's it China has switched from encouraging their state owned business from investing in overseas assets to now massively restricting them. And why, China has to protect it's currency from devaluing beyond its control.

Remember as part of their Capital Flight Controls, they're not allowed to purchase foreign property.

This situation isn't going to go away over the short term, not with Mr Trump throwing his tariff toys around.
The Auckland property market is in for a very bumpy ride and about time too!

If you're a First Time Buyer or a Property Investor. Do NOT buy now, wait for a few months for the market to bottom out, prices will need to drop to 2012/2011 mark for new immigrants and kiwis in general to be able to afford a home without massively over stretching.

If you want more information have a listen to this recent BBC article: China's Capital Flight

The regions are reported as rising though.

I'll buy back my old home ✅ For less in next few yrs
Would I want to live in it in Auckland today ? Maybe not. The only thing Auckland has left is it doesn't snow


New Zealand has reached a point where it's simply not worth it to live here for skilled people. And no, it's absolutely not justified.

I am not talking about Asians tired of pollution, low skilled immigrants wanting to live better than in their country or running away from poverty, etc.
I am talking about skilled people: Engineers, doctors, nurses, firemen, teachers, etc. who, despite having a good salary, cannot afford to buy a normal house or are being squeezed by high rent prices. What's the point of becoming a better professional, spending more in education or working harder if the derived income increase is irrelevant when deciding to buy a house or even compared to rental increases in many areas? Eventually people get tired of the situation and put things in perspective.

What you do is not important anymore, now it's about what you have. Sitting on unproductive assets and waiting for its value to increase. Speculation, pyramid schemes at the expenses of newer generations and migrants without assets.

This is my opinion, but I also put my "feet" where my mouth is. Next month we are leaving NZ and moving to my home country (Spain) with a job offer I got. we're taking our kiwi daughter with us, of course.

My salary will be lower, but according to my calculations we will be able to save more money than in NZ (cheaper cost of life) with an additional benefit: with a skilled job we will be able to afford a quality house if we want to (no rush to buy though). I'm talking about good apartment/houses 3 times the annual household income (not 10 times like in Auckland).

That has been enough to make the move and, hopefully, not regret it.

Also, if the bubble in NZ bursts the whole economy will take a hit so the situation won't be better either.

My point in summary is that NZ is destroying its present and future for short time gains and from now on it will attract mainly lower skilled people since the highly skilled people (or students that don't want to get too much debt because the investment is not justified) are better off somewhere else if they're capable of putting things into perspective. You can see that in Auckland where many cannot even afford to live there anymore. It will spread to other parts.

It's like a gentrification, only that the ones pushing others out are assets-rich baby boomers and property speculators (including many mum and dad investors).

It's also a tragedy for many parents like us, who end up with no children in the country.

Absolutely, if I think of young NZers who have to get indebted to get a mediocre tertiary education and who have to take on huge mortgages to buy a bungalow because they're told the market is a "ladder", or who have to pay overprice rental prices... they're better off leaving NZ and going to Europe, north-America or even Australia.

I hope Spain works out for you, my daughter loves the place and tells me the quality of life is much richer. How is the Spanish banking crisis and house price collapse working out in Spain?

Thank you! Your daughter is right. Lifestyle in Spain is great ..if you have employment (still more than 20% unemployed and young people with very low salaries).

Banking crisis in Spain (derived from our huge property bubble and massive private indebtment) has translated into bailouts with public money that requires a huge increase in public debt. The whole financial economy is sustained by the ECB as long as Draghi keeps being "generous" helping Spain (or Portugal or Italy) increase their debt at abnormally low interest).

It's unsustainable, it will have to end badly, especially when considering that the recent years of low oil prices and low interests when selling debt have been exceptionally good for the country and won't happen again..

The house price collapse is still ongoing. There are some places where house prices are recovering (gains of around 9-10% in some areas of Barcelona, Madrid, Ibiza and Costa del Sol). Despite that prices in those areas are still around 30-40% lower than on the peak of 2007.

In other areas (most of the country) the house prices keep falling (up to 60-70% cheaper than in 2007) but the falls have stabilized more.

Cement consumption at levels of 1960's. Construction sector dead, lack of newly built houses but plenty of stock of "new" houses never occupied.

Nothing has really changed in the productive economy in Spain. Still the same corrupted politicians consented by EU (because they can modify the Constitution and set the debt-repayment as a national priority, and that's good for the European "stability"), still internal demand and tourism/services being the engine of the economy, still not enough industrialization..

But infrastructures are brilliant in Spain, plenty of talented people and potential, just not being used..

That's why I don't think of buying a house yet over there and prefer to keep my savings at a ridiculously low 0.5% interest in banks where, at least, deposits are guaranteed.

Hopefully NZ's bubble bursting doesn't destroy the country like it happened to us..

Where is your daughter living Andrewj?
I'm moving to Malaga (Costa del Sol), plenty of expats there, especially Brits (and British companies too)

she is in London with her husband but they miss the sun. So they head to Costa del Sol where they have friends whose flat they can borrow, it's his last year at uni , after that I suspect they will move somewhere else in Europe.
They absolutely love Spain but as he is Norwegian they may have to get used to living in colder climates. Another daughter is in Stockholm and loves it, her study at Uni is free and rent is cheaper, she had no problem getting jobs, she also makes use of Ryan air flights to Spain.
This next election could be very interesting, i don't know anyone who is voting for the status quo.

Costa del Sol is an excellent place.
Seriously, try the paella. One of the best lunches to enjoy.
Beats NZ cuisine by a long mile.

remeber the brain drain, i do, we the children who had to go.
and now its even worse, there is nothing to return to.
so many people already had their children leave, and maybe those kids would have returned, but they wont be now.
there is literally nothing to return to, except family, but property is just insane, jobs are not better than they were 10 years ago.
its really sad. we want to come home, but i dont think we can now.
it really breaks my heart. people miss their families. what is wrong in wanting a reasonable priced house. And then I see homeless people on the news. what is wrong with this country. its horrible.
I miss my family. I want to come home but theres nothing to come home to.
I really hate NZ right now, I hate the politics, I hate being told "just move to the country where its cheap" there are no freaking jobs there!

I agree. What is also happening now with high migration of especially international high fee paying students, they get preferential placement at universities. This results in locals that has the necessary potential and talent to study, not to be given a chance as they are not "worth" as much to uni's i.t.o. tuition fees. The chances of these international students taking their skills with them are far greater than locals using theirs for the better of the country.


You're right. Education in NZ is a profitable export business, same as property is a profitable speculation business.

Eventually many will rather go to places where education is about acquiring useful productive skills and where property is about housing people and providing stability and safety.

Sad but true. Not a bright future ahead with this mindset.

Even immigration in NZ is more about increasing the internal demand than increasing productivity. It's all absurd.

Can you suggest any places to go to? I ask in all seriousness as this does seem to be the next stage of globalism. The third world is coming here and many of us may go elsewhere as well. The world will become much more fluid for more people it seems. It is actually something that New Zealanders have been doing for sometime now. The main concern I have is that globalism may end up with a global culture where you will find the good jobs are in the high house price places everywhere you look.

This may help, i think we are going to see some big changes.

Congratulations, muntijaqi, on a great move.

I'm also emigrating back to my own Olde Country in a couple of months. I'm taking my family with me. I'm also taking with me all the money that the State ever spent on us for education and healthcare. That investment in tax receivable is lost to the State. All for want of an affordable, safe and healthy home.

Toodle Pip, NZ.

Best of luck to you. I think im packing my bags in a few months now. We were wanting to come home for good but this is just crazy. I came back and I have been house hunting during the insane periods and now it feels like that again in certain parts. It feels insane, crazy prices for houses that were already crazy prices to start with. I dont care for it. I can go and I will I think. Its sad cause I liked NZ to come home to. But this is insanity and I dont see it ending well.

Good luck in Spain ✅ you might need it

All the best, as well, to Muntijaqi, this was a very, very telling thread to read through.

NissanGTR I shouldn't worry you'll have the car wrapped round a tree before you buy a house