The volume of homes being sold has slumped in the upper North Island, more buoyant elsewhere: REINZ

The volume of homes being sold has slumped in the upper North Island, more buoyant elsewhere: REINZ
Image: ilovewhatido Media

The number of homes sold throughout the country slumped to its lowest level for the month of November since 2011 last month, according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

The REINZ recorded 6893 residential property sales last month, down 9.2% compared to the 7593 properties sold in November last year.

In Auckland 1910 homes were sold in November, down 16.7% compared to November last year and the lowest number of homes sold in the region in the month of November since 2010.

A similar pattern was also evident in the Waikato where November's sales were the lowest for that month since 2014 and in the Bay of Plenty where they had the worst November for sales since 2013.

However, November's sale numbers were well up compared to previous years in Wellington, Canterbury, Otago and most provincial centres.

That suggests a market of two halves, with sales levels increasingly subdued in the upper North Island and more buoyant in the rest of the country.

However median prices have generally remained firm, with the national median price increasing to $540,000 in November, up by $10,000 compared to October and just below the March peak of $542,500.

In Auckland the median increased to $880,000 in November from $848,149 in October, and was just $25,000 below its March record of $905,000.

Record median prices were set in seven regions; Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu/Whanganui, Wellington, Marlborough, Canterbury and Southland.

However the relatively low level of sales activity in the upper North Island is casting a shadow over the market as its heads towards the Christmas/New Year break.

A downturn in sales volumes is often followed by a decline in prices and there are increasing signs that sale numbers remain particularly low in Auckland where buyers are being extremely cautious on price.

That suggests the market could start the New Year with an overhang of unsold properties, giving potential buyers more choice but putting increasing pressure on vendors to reduce their asking prices.

That picture was reinforced by declines in auction sales numbers, and rising levels of inventory.

In Auckland the number of homes sold by auction in November was down 34% compared to November last year, and although overall sales in the region were down 16.7% compared to a year ago, inventory levels (the total stock of homes listed as available for sale) were up 23.1% compared to a year ago.

Inventory levels were also well up in Waikato +15.1%, Canterbury +10.3% and Wellington +9.1%.

Here is the REINZ's full regional report: PDF iconREINZ Monthly Property Report - November 2017.pdf

Volumes sold - REINZ

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After 2010, came a massive run up in house prices. Get ready for history to repeat!


Not likely Skudiv, Remember there are global market forces far beyond our control and it looks like the next property wave won't arrive quite some time. The tide has well and truly gone out.

Objectively the global market forces are all pushing house prices up, supply and demand.


Oversupply and bugger all demand = price drops!

Houses are not oversupplied.


Why then do we have unsold inventory?

maybe , because thats the nature of the housing mkt.
There are not so many "immediate need to sell sellers". ( these are the ones that sell, "at market prices" )
Also... the "shit" properties only sell in a boom mkt, so they accumulate when things go flat. ( who would want to buy them when they have time and choice.?? )

The above has been my experience of things.

( I have a friend who hung out for 10 yrs , so he could sell a beach section he had bought 10 yrs ago, for a profit... He was not interested in hearing about the "opportunity cost" of doing this. )

over time, alot of inventory is comprised of unrealistic potential sellers...
( all things being equal.. ie.. the economy is ok, unemployment is low..etc. )

I dont think that inventory, in itself, reflects housing oversupply/undersupply.

If the growing inventory was all new houses , then it would be different.., and there would be heavy downwards pressure on prices.. ( developers are serious sellers of inventory )

I'd suggest demand is there, but there may be less cash buyers and less people are getting Mortgages?

Despite an average house price increase of 4% nationally:

October 2016 - $5,360 Million in New Lending
October 2017 - $4,605 Million in New Lending

I also watch total credit creation...
With NZs' preference for Real Estate, it does not matter where new credit enters the economy... it can end up in real estate..

eg.. Infrastructure spending ends up getting capitalized into the locational value of land..etc..etc..
eg... govt deficit spending... "one mans spending becomes another mans income"..

Here is an interesting article on the impact of monetary inflation. ( credit growth ).
He Talks, mainly, with reference to stock markets, but it especially applies to NZ House prices.

" it does not matter where new credit enters the economy... it can end up in real estate.." Bingo!

How bank credit helps to finance rising property prices.
As explained here - watch until the 27:32 minute mark.

"Locationally specific real estate is in somewhat inelastic supply ..... So that means when we extend more credit, to finance a competition for that ownership of it, the only thing that can really give is the price."

So what happens when banks reduce credit for real estate? ...

If you have an understanding of economics - with NZ household debt to GDP at about 95%, NZ could be reaching the peak of the long term debt cycle, after many many decades.

If you look at other countries which are deleveraging from their peak of the long term debt cycle, these countries had household debt to GDP which peaked in the range of 75-118% household debt to GDP - Ireland 118%, Japan 75%, US 95%, Spain 80%, Portugal 92%. Some of these countries had property prices which were vulnerable and fell significantly.

Here is the explanation -

within the context of a population growth in Auckland of 40000+ this yr.
What do you think..???

It might be a sign of a soft mkt, and/or a stressed developer... BUT it seems like poetic licence to argue its a sign of oversupply..
ps.. Real estate marketers love to use the words." price reduced".. ( I dont find the term meaningful , when it comes from them )

Yes, the better lead indicator is probably the number of mortgagee sales. More of the "priced reduced" advertising is good, as it implies a voluntary willingness to clear and this is sound financial management from those needing to sell. Hold out for capital gain is the worst thing anyone who needs to sell could do. We need to start thinking that break even is a positive thing - otherwise losses are the result.

Sure hope the sales pick up soon.

Some developers may go pop, but I think most ma and pa investors faced with a loss will try to ride it out. Extend and pretend, “house prices always go up in the long run”. So I expect to see a lot more rentals. So long as rent (barely) covers debt service, so good. But if and when we see incomes and rents drop as people lose their jobs, that won’t work anymore. But that surely is 6-12 months down the track. When I say loss I mean true loss, not just a diminution in capital gain.


no poetic justice, maybe a bit of plagiarism.
Your words "If the growing inventory was all new houses , then it would be different.., and there would be heavy downwards pressure on prices.. ( developers are serious sellers of inventory )"

Oversupply of sellers for sure. This reminds me of the way the finance sector collapse played out previously -'s "Deep Freeze" list just snowballed almost overnight.

kate... what is the "deep freeze list" ? thks

11500 for sale - 1900 buyers

half the auctions with no bids... seems like an over supply and low demand situation to me

Like tightening of credit supply from unwinding of QE?

CJ... at what point would you say you might have got it wrong.??

I'm not attacking you, its a serious question, and which I ask myself all the time.
ie. "What has to happen to disprove my paradigm".... and I often have to revisit my view of things.
If Auck prices rebound and go up a little... would you revisist the basis of your paradigmn..??

ie.. as far as I know, your view is simply based on house prices being unaffordable, and Chinese buyers no longer in the mkt., and also your experience in London post GFC..???

(Disclosure: I'm a property bear) While I can't speak for CJ I can say what would make me revisit my opinion. Current house prices are not justified by rents in terms of the yield they offer, If rent prices were to go high enough to offer a reasonable yield after expenses then I would consider buying. Also for me in my situation renting is far cheaper than the interest on a mortgage and other costs of owning, if this was to change I may consider buying.
Of course if rent starts going up, that will likely be due to high inflation which results in interest rate rises and dropping asset prices.


Skudiv; is this just a flippant unsubstantiated comment or one from a hopeful Auckland property owner?
One needs to look at the factors which drove property price increases over the past seven years or so; a global flood of cheap money as a result of quantitative easing, lack of constraints to borrow (i.e. no LVR) until recently; an influx of immigrants; high likelihood of capital gains for property speculators, good rental yields, etc. Most of the factors are no longer present to suggest a booming market in the foreseeable future.
Although no longer an Aucklander, in 1982 my first house was four times my salary. Looking at the latest RV and knowing the salary for the exact same position, that house although now 37 years older, is 12 times the same salary.
Same house, equivalent salary for same position, but ratio of house to salary three times more. I find it difficult not to believe that houses are overpriced for Joe Bloggs whether it be FHB, someone moving up, or prospective landlord.
At best, on this basis I see a flat market for the foreseeable future and hope that recent FHB are not severely stung by being undercapitalised on a falling market.

NZ population 1982 around 3,226,800
2006 around 4,027,900
2017 around 4,793,700
Population increase from new migrants over past several years has resulted in most residing in Auckland
The ratio per capita of population of new migrants into UK recently was 0.5% yet NZ was 1.5% per capita of pop increase !
I do not wish to indulge arguments over exact figures suffice to say that NZ and Auckland in particular has experienced extreme population growth.
What is also significant is the extreme level of household debt
It will only require a catalyst either internal or external which may trigger a slide in local markets
The present state of play is volume for sale increasing with lower sales in many areas but not all areas
Central Auckland rising slightly Coastal NthShore down a mere 1%
We will see over coming months where the market is ultimately headed.

NorthernLights, the population growth is certainly a valid argument to most. It's worth noting that population growth is not just an Auckland story. A steady stream of people are also cashing in equity and heading for the provinces.

Towards the end of 2018, I think it's a distinct possibility that the labour markets could turn downward quite quickly. Correct me if I'm wrong, it's largely construction driven employment growth in the first place. Note there is a considerable casual element to contracts now. Ireland lost 10% of its young population after 2008. If the young had stayed and not sought work elsewhere, their unemployment rate would have been more like 25% instead of the reported 14%.

One could argue that we have a shortage of affordable houses. Ireland did for a while there too, thats why they soared in value - right?

Credit is tightening up.

I take your point about Aucklanders moving to the provinces for a better life. I moved hemispheres myself. Ireland attracted young talent from all over during its boom which was again built largely on EU subsidization. I have a UKPP myself
Ireland actually built large amounts of housing units ( trades came from all over for the well paying jobs) during the boom which were totally speculative during their boom and resulted in large vacant developments of unaffordable housing after the crash.
I totally agree Retired Poppy that the prime issue in Auckland is actually affordability However how do you get housing affordability when section prices are ridiculous & there’s a building materials duopoly along with a lack of experienced trades people to say nothing of the now over regulation of builders requiring constant reassessment like the poor plumbers which adds more costs

printer8, I would not compare property prices to the average wage. Property prices need to be compared to the average/ median household income of property owners. As the home ownership rate falls, property is skewed to higher income earners, the income of renting households is irrelevant if examining affordability.
Also need to adjust for lower mortgage rates. Best formula would be based on median household income of owner occupiers, with reference to the 10 year average of the 2 year fixed mortgage rate.


There is a ominous pattern starting to form here....

Quote from Ben Bernanke Feb 15, 2006; 'Housing markets are cooling a bit. Our expectation is that the decline in activity or the slowing in activity will be moderate, that house prices will probably continue to rise.'

On March 23, 2017, the RBNZ said this; "house price rises had moderated partly due to lending restrictions, but warned price increases in the housing market could resume.

Quote from Ben Bernanke, October 31, 2007; 'It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve -- nor would it be appropriate -- to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions.'

On Dec 3, 2017, the RBNZ said this; 'It's not our job to protect you from the housing market'

Quote from Ben Bernanke Dec 5, 2010; 'I wish I'd been omniscient and seen the crisis coming.'

If Fairfax were honest: "Housing market has lost it's spring and continues to sag, subside, soften, slump, slide, sink on slow shriveling sales".

Great selection of quotes

But it's different this time!

Its always different until reality arrives then it surprises by being exactly the same as before.

It's different this time in NZ, until you have vast tracts of houses being built in secondary locations with minimal interest from owner occupiers. In conjunction with a supply of homes vastly exceeding population increases eg USA, Ireland. US states that did not have an overbuild, and had an increasing population, had negligible declines in house prices. States like Nevada, Arizona and Florida got the headlines, as this appealed to the large segment of population who delight on schadenfreude.

Then why were 6 of the biggest 10 falls recorded in California, the most under-supplied state?

Because California had/ has non-recourse mortgages. Max mortgage on buying ie 95-100%. If property falls in value below amount owing, leave, send keys back to bank and they cannot come after you for deficit. Left banks with many houses on the books, with even minor fall from peak. Banks had to off load swathes of houses, hence fall, and banks were back-stopped by Federal govt. Hence falls in prices.

Because people left California.

The house prices...

... are too damn high!

Agreed. The delta between tax paying kiwis and prices is to simply to big. Rocket boosters of speculator cash are long gone and gravity is having and a tual impact.

The few kiwis who are actual net payers of tax, can easily afford these prices.


Are you not good with numbers? Ok, didn’t think so

Careful Bobster
Skudiv might be tripping

He certainly tripping over his own logic

Skudiv often talks about our monkey brains. It seems it is a high target he/she should aspire to.

What is 'few'? Are you accounting for taxes other than income tax? I'd be interested to know your data source - without context your comment doesn't convey much meaning.


At 10x or more earning to price....Id suggest those that can afford to buy at the bubble prices are smart enough not to...?

Absolutely right

Rubbish Brock, the weather is too .. .damn ... hot!

The house prices... ... are too damn high!

That's exactly what my dad said 25 years ago... ... and what my grandad said 50 years ago...

Past performance is no indicator of future performance

@ Evil. "The house prices... ... are too damn high! That's exactly what my dad said 25 years ago... ... and what my grandad said 50 years ago.." Yes, at a time when it was easy to pay off a mortgage on a single salary and enormously faster than today.


If you want some laughs, have a look at the Stuff article on the report!

Amazing how one can "interpret" the data...


Their “reporting”, if you can call it that, is disgraceful. That of the NZH is just as disgraceful, again swallowing the press release of REINZ hook line and sinker. Apparently these figures represent a “buyer surge” after October and show the health of the market. The facts sales are at the lowest monthly equivalent level since 2011 was apparently not something deemed worthy of comment. We could be seeing the start of something quite significant but yet NZH would rather play its usual role of mouthpiece for the RE industry. Disgraceful.

3.25% 2 years fixed must be on the way to 'save' the market......

This article is on the other side of the spectrum in contrast to the NZH article here

Oh god, so it's the largest "October to November" increase in 6 years. I was trying to get my head around what they were talking about.

This year we also had the biggest March - April decline in 6 years, a staggering 56% reduction. The next biggest March - April decline was in 2012 of 33%.


Yes, I know. Complete and utter spin and BS from our largest newspaper. It isn’t even subtle, it’s a blatent attempt to mislead

Real Estate is the majority of their advertising revenue, so of course they will do whatever they can to support their paymasters.

Wow a big difference with herald headline - “house sales hit 6-year high”

They said “record” not high. I can’t get over how misleading that is given it’s the month to month growth that is a record while the actual sales numbers are dismal.


It’s abolutely disgraceful. You really have to check your brain in at the door to conjure up a headline like that.

Or have a PR brain focused on communicating a message RE advertisers like.

As opposed to news, which traditional readers of a newspaper may have expected.

If it was labelled as advertising, I would have no issue with it. But this is pretty far short of the level of intelligence I would expect from NZH

Funnily enough down the bottom of the article is a break where it says "Paid Promoted Content" I thought that was referring to the article above and not the click bait below!

Just another example of the fragmentation of media like other newspapers with declining ad revenues The NZ Herald is forced to go lightly on the facts so as not to hurt their RE advertisers
Same applies to a lot of media struggling to survive as the advertising dollar is ever more split between different media
You know this Rick anyway

Common Bobster, the Herald headline is no more "disgraceful" than's. Both are telling the truth and both headlines choose to focus on only 1 side of the data. A balanced headline would be "high prices and very low sales volumes", how about that ?

No, I think it's fair to say the Herald headline is a significant distortion of the truth. They are attempting to display the record October->November increase in such a way that a casual eye would read it as sales numbers being at a record high, which is far from the truth (lowest November figures in 6 years in fact).

A strong bounce from poor October figures has still left us with poor November sales numbers. There is no attempt to place the October -> November rise in context.

Given the choice between 2 facts (“biggest increase in sales October vs November”, or “aggregate sales at lowest level for 7 years”) it is pretty clear to me which is the more newsworthy. I think that would also be pretty clear to most intelligent bystanders (but apparently not you). This former as a headline and talking point was a positive piece of news in the latest REINZ figures. Unsurprisingly, it was the piece of news put front and centre by REINZ and NZH. It was left to Greg (as it often is) to dig deeper and identify the facts that REINZ didn’t really want to talk about. That both statements are true isn’t the point, the issue is which of the conclusions are the most important and newsworthy. To me, and surely to most rational people, the latter statement is what really matters. What I think is most disgraceful is not that NZH missed it but the reason they missed it: they have no interest in assessing the information the RE industry gives them because they are a paid schill for that industry. I think “disgraceful” gets it about right. It they want to have advertorial content in the property pages, fine by me but don’t label it as news or “analysis”. Ffs, many people read the NZH and actually believe what they say to be honestly held editorial views prepared with some degree of skill and care and integrity. They shouldn’t publish garbage like this.

You're still only focusing on number of sales and you totally ignore the values of the sales, you choose to look at the data which is poor (sale number).

The number of sales is the critical point. REINZ seemed to agree, as they focused on the “record” but ultimately inconsequential increase from october to november. They were clutching at straws, just as you are clutching at straws to defend the indefensible “journalism” that is the NZH property section. I’ve got no problem w the rest of NZH, their op ed contributors can be v good, but their property section is at best out and out laziness, at worst payola

Bobster, you say: "The number of sales is the critical point" OK so when you buy or sell a house your main concern is "how many other houses sold" ...interesting. For me it's more how much is the house going to cost or sell for

Agreed. So spinny that its laughable. Good in a way - really exposes the lack of integrity at both rags.

This kind of thing is why the psychology of fear/panic might take hold. Because by the time sellers realise that the market has softened and start adjusting expectations it might be too late to take a decent offer. If the NZH keeps fluffing the market when it is clearly softening, if the market then goes on to actually slide, it will be a sudden shock and a rush for the door. And people who could have sold sooner, and received a better price, will rue the day they ever read NZH.

Although the Auckland market isnt at a standstill it is going at snails pace. Its definitely not surging ahead as TTP would have you believe now the election is done and dusted

I suspect the median price is being driven by low sales in the lower half of the market where i believe the real slow down is happening.

Holding pattern for now and i reckon that Dec will probably be a continuation of what we have been seeing although I do note that trade me listings for Auckland have dropped back to 11500.

So lets see what the new year will bring us, could be a hangover....

'I suspect the median price is being driven by low sales in the lower half of the market where i believe the real slow down is happening'.

exactly. The median price is being held up by the low volume of sales in the lower half of the market.

Hi thegic,

What you say about me above is completely false.

My view has been that there will be a period of stability in the property market.

Specifically, I'm on record as saying that the market is likely to remain soft for the foreseeable future - with sales volumes down and prices fluctuating around their current levels.

It would be helpful if you actually read what I write.


TTP says,

House prices never drop
House prices in Auckland will rise towards the end of 2018.
House prices in Auckland will oscillate around current levels for the foreseeable future.
House prices in Auckland will continue rising in the long term.
For first home buyers it's never a bad time to buy property.

Now the very latest doozy, the market will remain soft for the foreseeable future.

Why not start with a comment for the FHB like "it's NEVER a bad time to save for a property. It's just not the right time to buy when we're at the very beginnings of a credit tightening, sales are low and inventory is not clearing". For most FHB's, it's most likely the biggest purchase of their lifetime. Unfortunately due to the timing of speculative behavior of the greedy, it's now all about timing when buying.

At least my "doomster" comments and views are consistent. If time proves my views to be wide of the mark, I will be more than happy to admit I was too (consistently) pessimistic. For the good of our great country, I sincerely hope I am.

Hi Retired-Poppy,

I have NEVER said that, house prices never drop or that house prices will rise towards the end of 2018 (though the latter can't be ruled out).

Many who buy their first home now will prosper in the medium/long term. If you find a home you really like, my advice is to buy it.

As for the other statements, there's an obvious consistency flowing through them.

Seems you've become disaffected that the crash you predicted for 2017 never eventuated. Tough luck!



a number of times you told us all how the market would surge ahead after the election. "Wrong"

you recently mentioned how robust the market is after 30% clearance rates "Wrong"

In Nov 2003, 3687 in Auckland, in Nov 2017, 1910 hmmmmmm

Hi thegic,

Neither of your two comments above are credible.


Theglc, the REINZ index is stratified, so adjusts to the composition of sales by property type and location. And will not be distorted by changes in sale patterns. It is the most up to date representation as it is based on unconditional contract date rather than settlement date. My interpretation would be that people are prepared to pay the prevailing prices, but obtaining finance is an issue, hence high prices and low sales rates. I would not buy in Auckland/ Hamilton/ Tauranga, but unless immigration drops below 30K per annum, we are unlikely to see sustained falls in property prices. Interest rates will be the key, but I would take the under regarding whether interest rates will be lower or higher in 2 years.

According to Bill English on TV the other night it's the government's job to talk up confidence in the economy.


Then he’s an idiot. He deserves a long spell in opposition. Hope he’s got a comfy chair.

Bill's right ( forgive the pun!). It is the job of the PM or CEO or whoever is in charge to 'talk' the situation up. But that doesn't stop you going into Opposition; going broke or whatever if the fundamentals you're 'talking up' are against you....And in the local property market's case, they are....

Neville Chamberlain also did a fine job of talking the situation up in the face of some rather different looking indicators. I guess we all look back favourably on PMs who have talked things up and papered over problems.

Bill English judgement is out of whack
It is not a governments job to “Talk Up The Market “ It is a governments job to provide a policy framework to implement a successful strategy for the nation.
National failed miserably at that.

Yes & it was Bill English genius to falsely claim accommodation expenses
and it was John Key genius to hand the young woman a bottle of his own wine as an apology
You have to have a level of conceit way off the scale to think that a bottle of JK wine will make everything alright.
As for RE it was National policy to pump the housing market using foreigners money creating a illusion of vibrant prosperous short term gain


Price will drop 2018 in Auckland. Had a vendor approach me couple of weeks ago on an offer which I made on his property 7 months ago which he refused to even negotiate on. Now he wants to know if I am interested at 70k below my offer. This time I refused in the same manner - within minutes and with no reason. The tide is turning

Got a chuckle out of me.

As in comments like "...its (the govts.) job is to support the confidence in the NZ economy, not talk it down." From interview with Lisa Owen on The Nation.

There is no "Housing Crisis" let alone a housing shortage. On Trade me right now there are 11,500 houses fpr sale in the Auckland Region. Of that 5500 are under $800K and of those 3400 are under $650K. There is even 1700 odd under $500K :
If there was really a housing shortage there would be virtually no houses for sale .
Then we see at the auctions, success rates struggling to get over 35% of what's on offer.
It's not a housing crisis at all.
It's a crisis in confidence.
Can you blame the average working couple shying away from having a $700K mortgage?
It frightens the hell out of them. No wonder renting is the preferred option for most.

Is there really a direct correlation between number of houses on the market and the presence of a housing shortage? I suspect a large proportion of houses on the market have people living in them already and the act of putting a house on the market does not affect the physical supply of houses.

If a house is on the market for sale it is or will soon become vacant ready for the next owner.
No matter how to play it, there are plenty of houses to go around. Everyone who really wants a house can have one.
Trouble is they dont want the debt that goes with it..
Then of course the banks are not helping with tight lending rules not to mantion the LVR regulations.
It seems crazy to me that a working couple are locked out of the market because of tight rules and regulations, while at the same time the same couple can buy $100K or more worth of furniture and appliances, no money down, interest free, no payments for 2 or more years, all virtually worthless when they leave the shop. Then they can go down the road and buy a car on similar terms which loses 30% the moment they drive it away. This is nuts. The amount on HP and credit with little or no secuirty is staggering and may be the straw that breaks the camels back.

Yes, it will be temporarily vacant while people shuffle around the houses. This is just churn though, I'm not convinced it relates directly to whether there are enough houses to go round. Everyone could list their houses on the market tomorrow, buy from each other Friday and switch houses on Saturday - none of this has any effect on there being a housing shortage or not. The number of people sleeping in sub-standard conditions or in cars, on the streets etc. is a better measure.

"It's a crisis in confidence".
Yes, it is. The confidence that they will have a job next week; that the price of what they buy today will fall; that the Laws that they were taught to obey are no longer being obeyed; that they will ever be able to have a family as their parents did...the list goes on, and all of it would be far less daunting if we had not let the property market 'escape the pen' back in 2012. It should have been held in check; stabilised, back then and we could have 'recovered' and used our next lot of debt on capital ( and so job) creation. But we didn't Now? "Lack of confidence' is all we have, and all we will have, until Kiwis can remove the aforementioned fears. And not going to come easy....

We are where we are.
Looking back solves nothing.

I agree. But the answer is now twice as hard. It could have been a 'soft' resolution to our excesses. Now? It's going to be catastrophic for many. There's a deceased estate auction going on right now, next door. I wonder how many of the buyers really know what's going on? If they've read today's dailys they are in a for a nasty shock. And that's my concern Many, many good New Zealanders who were entitled to protection by our Government have been let down; worse, deceived. And it's going to ruin many of them and their families. where we are!

Looking back gives us answers about how NZ addressed crises in access to home ownership in the past. E.g. government builds, public-private partnerships, Housing Corp loans etc. All things that helped generations get into home ownership and achieve NZ's once high rate of home ownership.

Until a couple of generations' politicians decided everything should be about their investment portfolios and no longer about homes for NZers, abandoning a long history of the opposite that supported they themselves into ownership of their own homes.

Well I think the fact that there are people living in cars / garages / hotels / streets would imply that there is a shortage. But I agree the shortage is probably a lot less than official estimates.
But yes at the moment there seems to be no shortage of houses for sale, and if that number keeps growing, house prices can only go down.

As someone who spends a lot of time in central Auckland, it's staggering how many more people are sleeping on Auckland's streets these nights. So many more than in the past.

Yes I agree. You have my sympathies, I find my trips to central Auckland a depressing experience that I avoid if at all possible. I don’t quite know how we ended up with a central city that is such a soulless dump, but we did

...depressing alright. had the misfortune yesterday...bought the family a round $52 paid for parking $40. So i get 1 beer for $92 bucks out of it. (not to mention the hours parked in traffic getting from a to b) Partner paid for dinner....but to avoid me bursting a valve or two didn't show me the bill. What a rip off dump... a day of hell.

Have to admit $40 is pretty shocking, even for central Auckland. That'll get you valet parking at some of the hotels. Sounds like a Wilson or Tournament reaming.

And yeah, in the wrong type of bar in Auckland you'll pay $11+ for a mere Heineken.

As a born n bred Aucklander in my opinion the good times of Auckland CBD started to decline before The Farmers Dept store closed in the 80s
The suburban fully enclosed style shopping malls starting with St Luke’s in the early 1970s reduced its street foot traffic and thus eventually eroded its retail offering
There has been no workable strategic plan and can never be as long as the city receives revenues from the waterfront operation and thus nothing will change much along the waterfront.

It’s such a shame, many decades ago we had the makings of a lovely late Victorian / Edwardian heritage city. Then it all got pulled down and replaced with....garbage. I agree the future of the city is along the harbourfront. It could be a really lovely harbourfront city w a great connection out to the eastern bays. But the port is now a blight on the city

Eastern Bays' residents opened the champagne bottles 13 years ago, when the Eastern Transport Corridor was canned as it was a real threat to the Bay's lifestyle. I can't see it ever being suggested again, although I am still concerned that at some stage the Unitary Plan zoning will result in apartment blocks when the economics are there. A good property crash would put it so far out that I would pop my clogs before seeing it happen.

Actually it was pretty soulless back in the mid 2000's but all the new migrants have re-energized it - always lots of people about nowadays all times of the day and night - street people are a given with big cities - I don't drive in but its not that bad as long as you can stay away from the motorways and peak traffic - loving it.

Agree that there is no “housing” crisis. Its a bit like saying there is currently a bitcoin crisis. I wouldnt describe a reluctance to sign up to a $700k mortgage a crisis in confidence though. Common sense may be a better description for that.

Nobody is sleeping in their car because they can't afford a bitcoin.

@ CM That is merely a semantic issue.

This confirms a speculative run up in prices resulting an affordablity crisis

Wow. No matter how many times I see that headline, it never loses the capacity to shock. An act of absolute desperation

Confusing a rate of change with an absolute number is pretty abject innumeracy from the subeditor. Or outright dishonesty.

the newspaper are most likely seeing a dip in RE advertising affecting the bottom line.

I think the regions are not totally a different beast apart from Auckland. Like the backend office folks here would call it- a virus. No anti-biotics are going to work, we'll just have to let the region runs its course.

As expected, the median prices rose minutely as a consolidation of asset holdings begins. A good indicator of this are the number of new family trusts and property companies being set up during the last month or so for the purpose of milking the equities in their current assets. What many investors do is to set up a trust or a company and resell their privately owned properties to their trusts and companies at a premium; thus, milking the difference before it all goes bad.

The process of milking equities requires premium resale and hence pushes prices and their averages higher. Therefore this subtle rise in median price is actually not backed by any fundamentals and is the typical bull trap in any property cycle as it may lure inexperienced buyers with the false facade that prices may had recovered and drive a mini short term buying frenzy.

Like any bull trap, what follows is a plunge. There are no worse periods to buy any properties in the cycle than whenever a peak is at the horizon or when a bull trap appears.

The proverbial dead cat is here.

Merry Christmas.

I'll suggest The Regions will get hammered worse than Auckland. They 'went nuts' when the LVR's got changed in their favour. I'll wager many of the 'investors' came from... Auckland. And as their holding 'go bad' back home, they'll look to offload their Regional assets. There will be very few local buyers - certainly not at current prices or for some distance below ( the Banks are shy of lending out here!). So to attract the next lot of 'investors' it's going to take quite a discount to current prices....Oh, that's after the RBNZ encourages far lower mortgage rates, of course!

I agree. Keep a very close eye on the Hamilton and Tauranga markets in the next 3 months. Those two centres "benefited" greatly from the LVR exodus from Auckland.

keep an eye as you wish - but most of us are all positively geared in the sticks - and have no interest in selling cash flow positive assets with strong returns!

Hamilton is still very affordable - has lots of growth and demand happening - and shows no sign of its growth slowing - albeit the property rises are no longer in the 25% + bracket but i would rather be a cashflow positive 40%+ equity in Hamilton - than topping up some ridiculous 600K mortgage in Ranui or papatoetoe

keep an eye as you wish - but most of us are all positively geared in the sticks - and have no interest in selling cash flow positive assets with strong returns!

Hamilton is still very affordable - has lots of growth and demand happening - and shows no sign of its growth slowing - albeit the property rises are no longer in the 25% + bracket but i would rather be a cashflow positive 40%+ equity in Hamilton - than topping up some ridiculous 600K mortgage in Ranui or papatoetoe

Auckland has now plateaued for 18 months. But not yet showing signs of precipitous drop. Rodney was most interesting with a volume and price spike, but they often get a sales volume spike at the start of summer (trying to land a nice place for summer) and may reflect more people cashing out of Auckland.

Given the ludicrous rates that house prices were rising in Auckland a plateau is as good as a fall.

SPIN SPIN SPIN .... elegantly wrapped piece of news with the most Negative and Dark gloomy Title and presentation that only suits the moaners and doomsters !!
here are some extracts from the same news:
“However, last month has provided the industry with a boost in optimism and confidence which has seen the market return to normal November conditions.”

For commentators, the REINZ data provides further evidence of the housing market’s ongoing improvement.
Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens says the pickup in house sales and the fact that prices are rising again in Northern New Zealand is no surprise as market conditions have been showing signs of improvement since August

take it easy folks - my sincere condolences to the doomers ...

Pickup in house sales? From the article you linked to,

"Nationally, sales volumes were down by 9.2% year-on-year once seasonally adjusted."

"In Auckland sales fell by 16.1% year-on-year once seasonally adjusted and were at the lowest level for any November since 2010."

You'd be on dodgy ground relying on month-to-month figures due to high seasonality.

Prices still seem fairly stable in Auckland at the moment, but I'm not seeing anything which would encourage me to buy in that market. Low yield, inflation adjust prices falling.

But what you quote or requote is just the REINZ press that what you are relying on? Are you saying the REINZ press release and its derivatives in the NZH and Stuff is real and everything else is.....fake news? And the fall in sales (2010 vs 2017) is either fake news or irrelevant? I really couldn’t care what any bank economist says by way of projection of trends, they are hopelessly compromised.

Look, there is a lot of spin and nonsense in media reporting on property, but I think there is far less of that here than in any other outlet. I don’t see how any reasonable person could regard this article as spin. The NZH article is plainly spin, as it parrots uncritically the REINZ new release and fails to identify key facts from the REINZ figures (like the 2010 vs 2017 numbers comparison).

It is the same report and everyone spins its data as he pleases ...

At the end of the day, The facts are clear and cannot be spinned off ... Actual prices of whatever was sold are rising - anyone who spins it the other way is referring to Volume !! lol ...and at times they struggle to find a reference point in time to compare with so they keep changing benchmarks...

The fact that Auckland prices are slowly climbing to March 2017 peak is undeniable and would defy any other argument about tail spins and similar sort of soothing articles and opinions ... the proof is simply in the pudding !! ...

Watch the space, the QVs have ( as I said before) pined down the Auckland house prices and that assures buyers that these are the new valuations of the market ... so get over it !

No, that’s not right. It’s not open to the NZH to “spin the data as it pleases”. It should make a decision about the most newsworthy elements of the REINZ statement and then comment on them. It’s called “journalism”. It seems to me NZH failed miserably here. If NZH wants to be a paid schill for REINZ that’s it’s call, but it has no place as journalism in NZs biggest newspaper.

I disagree - Auckland prices are rising by less than the rate of inflation, so in any sensible discussion they are falling. Not significantly or dramatically, I'll agree. Looking back at the median price date for Auckland, November seems to be something of a local maximum, with prices dropping over summer before rising again in autumn. Maybe don't get your hopes up too much about the current micro-trend continuing.

In the same way that prices rose above QVs in the past, there is no immovable law that prices cannot drop below them. The market can quickly become detached from them one way or another.

The chart confirms my argument that prices are rising - the trend is clearly upwards comparing with Nov last year and close to March this year whether it is 0.1 or 0.2% lower than inflation , then we will not split hairs and that can probably be corrected next month...
The bad news is that the Crash is not anywhere to be seen and prices are holding firm - people are just speculating a price drop because of lower volumes far that is not the case..

So be patient and watch the trend - I called July a bottom and it still is - for now.

The median price in Nov 2017 in Auckland is 880,000, 1 year before it was 878,000. I suppose that's technically up but essentially flat while inflation was ~1.9%. Current trend over the last few months is upwards, but it's too early to say whether this is seasonal or part of a genuine price rise. November -> January looks like it generally shows a fall even over the last few boomer years, so you may want to cross both fingers and toes regarding your call of July being the bottom.

Hi Eco Bird,

Of course, you're absolutely correct........

But, sadly, a number of people here have become so disaffected and angry that they tell us that black is white.

In their desperation, reasoning and logic has been abandoned. Further, facts and the truth are completely ignored.

So best to ignore them.


From the latest REINZ report, have to wonder how an increase in the $2m - $3m bracket and a decrease in the lower price brackets gives you a stable average?

Between November 2016 and November 2017, the number of homes sold fell in every price bracket except for the $2million to $2.99million category which increased by 11.8%. During November, 142 properties were sold for between $2-$2.99million, up from 127 in November 2016.
The number of dwellings sold for less than $500,000 fell by 14% from 3,574 to 3,073 representing 44.6% of all homes sold across the country. However, month-on-month the number of sub $500,000 homes sold increased by 13.8%.

Record median prices were recorded in 7 regions including CANTERBURY Gordon.
Not too sure where this crap about Christchurch market dropping has come from Gordon.
Once again you have been proven wrong!
Housing affordability is still alive in many parts of NZ if you are prepared to take the time to look and not just moan about Auckland prices.

To be fair, the median price rise in Chch of 1.7% is below inflation, so prices have fallen marginally. Struggling to find a good display of the raw HPI data over the past year, but the press release does state

"The REINZ HPI also showed that all but three regions (Auckland, Taranaki and Canterbury) reached
new highs during November indicating strong value growth across most of the country"

and the graph in the HPI report seems to show a decent reduction over the last year or so.

edit: this does support the second part of your comment though - housing is indeed becoming more affordable in Chch, which I would say is a positive for the city.


Despite all the negative chatter above, the latest REINZ data reveals that house prices have continued to firm in Auckland - which is a remarkably resilient market.

As 2017 draws to a close, let's toast Auckland - which has become one of the world's great cities.


Despite all the negative press covfefe...

Donald, is that you?

I thought it might be Darren. Given the (relative) anonymity of this forum I've wondered whether this is where politically active people unpalatable to their Party's image express themselves.

“Despite all the negative chatter, looking out my porthole reveals that having hit the iceberg the Titanic continues to float - which shows a remarkably resilient boat.

As 2012 draws to a close, let’s toast the Titanic: which has become the worlds first unsinkable ship

The Village Idiot”

Bobster (above) demonstrates the level of his mentality.

Shows what can happen when a person gets angry and disaffected.


Your comments are a drag. Get off the website. You contribute nothing of relevance.

Amen to that

Quote: "In Auckland the median increased to $880,000 in November from $848,149 in October, and was just $25,000 below its March record of $905,000"

John Wheeler, do you still insist that the Auckland market has "crashed" $200'000 this year ?

"In Auckland the median increased to $880,000 in November from $848,149 in October, and was just $25,000 below its March record of $905,000"

Should also read "And we say this with blatant disregard to the quality or composition of sales we make this assertion on."

Look up the definition of "median" nymad

Redo 3rd form statistics, Yvil.

Read the full reoort nymad and try to undersatnd the new HPI

Yvil, sure.
I'll read it again. I fail to see what the point would be when you are specifically quoting the median and mean figures. To which I said you (interestingly like the REINZ report states) need to highlight that these figures are biased by quality and compositional factors.

The REINZ HPI is a hedonic index, sure, but don't confuse that index with the mean and median prices you were specifically quoting.
Interestingly, the REINZ report even goes as far to highlight the same limitation I mentioned.
"Looking into this data further, the increase was largely driven by a chance in the mix of properties sold, with 41% more properties sold for more than $1million compared to the same time last year. "

So thanks for the smug comment about their HPI.
Obviously you won't mind if I tell you to also reread the report and understand when and how the hedonic index is applied.

What if the upwards skew from a lack of property sales in the bottom half of the market is masking that $200,000 crash?

Median doesnt mean much when you cant move much low end stock

If you look at barfoots property report and check out the averages prices for 3 bedroom homes, YOY all areas are down from Nov 16 to Nov 17 with the exception of Rodney and Howick/Pakuranga.

now thats apples with apples

certainly prices are regressing

The government will needs to try and catch the falling knife soon. Before it stabs them in the foot and their 2020 election chances bleed out all over the floor.

Are you suggesting taxpayers fork out for bad capitalist investments? Looks like capitalists love socialism when it suits.

The economy works better with more affordable housing. You can't hire teachers in Auckland because they can't afford basic living costs for their families there. It's time to let the air out.

Just spoke about this yesterday in a post and here comes more fraud reported on mainstream media.

And as I replied to Big Daddy this morning, New Zealanders no longer have trust in the Laws that they were brought up to respect.
" it was common in Indian culture to lend large amounts of money to acquaintances, without formal documentation of the loans or agreed repayment plans."

We won't see the true amount of fraud by borrowers until the bubble has well and truly popped. These examples of fraud by agents really is the tip of the iceberg.

Quick flick through the comments and it seems the readers over there don't believe it either! If they keep pumping this rubbish then they risk loosing all cred as a news site.

They've had a couple of these PR puff pieces go up over the last couple of days, during the good times, those stories were front page news all day. These days they go up and then they're buried quickly.

Headlines verses NZ Herald Hmmmm ?

The volume of homes being sold has slumped in the upper North Island, more buoyant elsewhere: REINZ

verses: House sales hit 6-year record with November rebound: REINZ

Yep, both tell the truth but both choose to focus on only one aspect

You completely miss or misrepresent the point. These are not equivalent statements. See my earlier comment above.

Read the full REINZ report

Trying to be more neutral, the following is the main headline from the REINZ report:

"The number of properties sold in November across New Zealand increased 17.8% from the previous month – the largest October to November increase seen in 6 years according to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), source of the most complete and accurate real estate data in New Zealand."

I invite commenters who are interested in knowing what's happening in the market (as opposed to telling others their own truth) to read the REINZ report. There's no doubt it's the most complete report on housing in NZ. Then draw your own conclusion.

that is utter load of bullshit.. everyone knows that the top end of the market is skewing the medium and obviously average to the upside.
so your statement is absolutely false

Hahaha, very funny. I know you're joking but some people actually react just like your post

Clearly proves your intellectual capacity

I'm sorry you had a bad day H O

Hi Yvil,

H O has had a lot of bad days recently - in fact, several months' worth of bad days all in a row.......

And there's no end of bad days in sight for him.

Spare a thought for H O.


Oh cut the shit ttp..

We all know how pathetic you are in trying to prop up the housing market.. in fact that is all you do.. nothing productive in life...

You can fool yourself and your lousy mate yvil that the housing market is doing well.. I wonder what sort of drugs you take, to sleep through the night

HO, TTP is an unrepentant troll. If you learn not to feed the trolls, it really does improve your quality of life. There are plenty of smart interesting people here. Lots of different views. Life’s too short to spend time dealing w the trolls. Honestly.

Honesty, TTP and Yvil aren't that bad it's just that you guys get too triggered about things. This latest report does match what he has been writing concerning the housing market so I guess he feels a bit triumphant. Folks do try to wind TTP and Yvil up so there is a fair bit of counter trolling going on.

No, TTP is a blight on this site. He’s the best argument for a paywall that you’re likely to meet. I would be happy to pay for a site that filtered out village indiots like him. Sorry, truth hurts.

Yvil is ok, we disagree but we can still converse. No issues there.

I love you too Bobster ; )

I think HO will be the 1st to be filtered out with his insightful comments above:
"that is utter load of bullshit"
"cut the shit"
"we all know how pathetic you are"
He is a well educated man indeed

Can you post it for us please?

The link is at the bottom of the article, above the chart

I agree, and I did (at least for the few local markets I am interested in). Auckland and Christchurch, both low sales levels historically, increasing inventory, prices rising by less than the rate of inflation if at all. My conclusion, no rush to buy right now, not likely to miss out of any decent price rises in the near future.

My heart sank when I saw the headline, "Auckland leads decline in house sales..". How could I have been so wrong? My "analysis" of recent sales prices had revealed good prices and volumes, while not wonderful, weren't too bad.
Then I see the figures, sales up, days to sell down, prices up!

The Auckland market has seen an overall lift since confirmation of the new Labour Government, with median prices at an eight-month high and sales volumes at a six-month high.

1,910 properties sold in November which is still quite a large number of sales.

It's slightly strange that REINZ decided to lead their press release on sales numbers, which are poor compared to recent years, rather than prices which are unimpressive in Auckland but not terrible. Instead, they've opened themselves up to very obvious complaints about misrepresenting the data (concentrating on october -> november % changes rather than annual or historic comparisons).

You could have been so wrong because sales volumes are drastically down

Looking at the year to end of Nov compared to last year

2016 = 26109 Sales
2017 = 20005 Sales (down 23.4%)

2016 = 75914 Sales
2017 = 62326 Sales (down 17.9%)

REINZ, Barfoots and co may be talking it up but Im sure behind closed doors they will be feeling a little concerned

Hello Zachary – no, all is not lost –in fact good news, your research hasn’t completely let you down.
Having said that, I am still sticking with the premise of one of my first posts on this forum - the dreaded “demand is somewhat exhausted” line– “demand” later clarified as to be the definition of “economic demand” to simplify matters.
The word “exhausted” was challenged – and perhaps rightly so. Thus I offer the following googled synonyms:

"tired out, worn out, weary, dog-tired, bone-tired, bone-weary, ready to drop, on one's last legs, asleep on one's feet, drained, fatigued, enervated, debilitated, spent"

Nothing jumping out at me just yet to cause a reversal of thought – it’s market psychology and behaviour that interests me – will a self-fulfilling prophecy play it’s part – unfavourable or otherwise.

Again, we should all have a much clearer picture of overall market behaviour once summer holidays and the like take up the rear view mirror and 2018 truly begins.

The only reason I question the "demand is exhausted" argument is that a total of 6,893 properties sold in November nationwide. 1,910 sold in Auckland. This still seems like significant demand to me especially as the numbers increased from October's figures of 5,689 and 1,632 respectively.

I know – I’m probably pushing my luck a little on this one.
More just alluding to a general trend – which I think at that moment anyway, is somewhat playing out.

Final thought – there have been some very powerful and unusual influences in the market over the last few years that I would suggest have never been seen in this country before, or certainly not to the extent that we have recently witnessed.

Some have now been purged or simply watered down to varying degrees – I have no doubt this is having and will have an impact on the market over the next few months and longer.

This is by no means a prediction – but what is the sure-fire, iron glad, take it to the bank guarantee that, in general, prices will not return to those of say 2013 – inflation adjusted.

I already see this has been mooted by some on this forum.

There probably is one if not more reasons – but what are they?, This would exclude any potential measures as taken by the government of the day, perhaps at the behest of the lending institutions or Reserve Bank – I’m not sure as to quite how that would play out.

No crash, nothing dramatic, at some point market demand and supply slowly reach a degree of historic equilibrium – do we then really entertain a 2013 inflation adjusted pricing regime??

I tend to agree that a crash is unlikely. I do think there will be opportunities for buyers to find places that can be improved and on sold for a modest profit. It won't be easy but untidy places in up and coming areas will be open to negotiation in the buyer's favour. Premium places in highly sought after locations will not be available at bargain basement prices unless interest rates jump up.

Agree – however I do fear a little for the so called average suburbs and average properties within them – they could prove a bit fretful for recent participants, no matter what their motive.
The interest rate comment is intriguing, have a look at what the US 2-YR has done over the last few months – what would have been previously considered a “jump” in overall terms may now be far less numerically – yesterdays 4% maybe today's 2 %.
How susceptible to even relatively small interest rate changes is the market – who knows – but I do know this, slowdown in the job market – then the interest rate for some becomes moot!
Leafy suburbs will continue to remain immune to current chatter – still relatively “easy” money at that level, markets in general on the up and up – and Chuck Prince apparently still dancing.

Its a waiting game that will reward paticence. Ban is coming, add in loss fencing, new rental standards and a stop to the student visa scam. Aussie banks have stopped interest only loans so its quite possible that could follow here, and the recent ruling on illegal building mods leading to tenant refund will have scared more than a few.

It will take time for all this to filter through. If I was a specuvestor Id refinance debt for the best 5 year rate I could find, sell my poorest quality box and hunker down. All debt has to be refinanced at some stage and that is when things will get interesting. Just cant see inflation eroding the difference between bubble prices and incomes in that time frame.

Just received the email for the November sales in Auckland's Eastern Bays (Postcode 1071). There were 53 sales averaging 103% of their 2017 CV. The narrative states that developers are unable to fund development of land supply increased by the Unitary Plan so downsizing is problematic. Sounds like the market needs some creative solutions, preferably where the Council and Government keep their sticky fingers to themselves.

I saw an interesting graph on the Stats NZ Facebook page today plotting the total volume of imported champagne over the last 20 years.

From 2000 - 2008 the volume increased by 250% before dropping sharply back to near 2000 levels.
From 2010 - Today the volume has increased by 300%

Keep an eye out for a drop in champagne imports as that might be an indicator that the market is turning.

I suspect a part of that is due to aggressive pricing e.g. Moet et Chandon at $50 per bottle, every Christmas.

Thanks Nzdan,

Much enjoyed!

Are there any figures on Scotch? (-;


We are so lucky, ours only go up in price...An indication we might need Scotch...and water wings. to lift our Spirits.

Nah,,,surely not.