Harcourts' average selling price slips in Auckland and Wellington, rises elsewhere

February's sales figures from the country's largest real estate agency show different trends in Auckland and Wellington compared to the rest of the country.

Harcourts' national sales figures show the agency sold 1838 residential properties throughout the country in February, down 2.5% compared to February last year, while the average selling price rose from $554,021 in January to $584,729 in February.

But in Auckland and Wellington those trends were reversed.

In Auckland the number of homes sold by Harcourts in February was up 1.5% compared to a year earlier, while the average selling price dropped from $935,773 in January to $891,882 In February.

That was lowest Harcourts' average price in Auckland since April 2016.

Wellington followed a similar trend, with the number of sales in February up 6.4% compared to February last year, while the average price dropped from $468,545 in January to $449,020 in February.

That was the lowest it has been since September last year.

Buyers in Auckland are also likely to have much more to choose from than in other properties.

Harcourts had 7050 properties available for sale throughout the country at the end of February, which was down 2.3% compared to the same time last year.

However in Auckland Harcourts had 1918 properties on its books at the end of February which was up 5% compared to a year earlier.

In Wellington the available stock was down 24.4% compared to a year earlier, suggesting supply could be tightening there.

Here is Harcourts' national and regional report for February:

PDF icon201803 National Marketwatch March.pdf

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45 Comments

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With auctions rates in the 30s, and prices dropping further (?), the 2018 Block NZ series is going to be even more awkward than last year.

It's a good thing house prices "bounced back in Feb" like the previous article today. House prices moving up and down by the minute...

Can't work it out,the previous article about the Feb bounce (dead cat bounce?) has 69 comments...this is not attracting so much attention.

Reactions to press releases about house prices are usually related to the emotional triggers pushed among the audience. Sentiment analysis is already big business and evolving quickly.

We have 3 agencies telling diverging tales about the housing situation in a single day. Such variations! I reckon we should have an index for housing prices showing real time valuation displayed alongside NZX50.

Spot on. Then like the markets it’ll be about interpretation.

Perception and interpretation is everything when it applies to markets of any sort. It seems like most people are only aware of the "Housing Market" but we have hundreds of different markets which all have moving parts affecting each other... Oil, Wheat, Beef, Gold etc... I am not sure why New Zealanders are so heavily invested in just one market called "property".

Depends on what numbers suit your narrative. The previous article was talking about median house prices which are up. This article is talking about averages which are down.

When the sales volumes below a current median fall below 50% then the Median creeps up, i'm sure we all know that. But if averages are trending down at the same time, what does this suggest?

But if averages are trending down at the same time, what does this suggest?

Value per transaction is decreasing while the composition is negatively skewed.

How possible??
- There is a shortage of houses in Auckland
- Prices of Houses never fell in Auckland
- There is big migration and each migrant is coming with enough cash to buy a house
- 3% of overseas buyers were not affecting the market

There is no 'panic mode yet'. I love the descriptions 'tenanted now for xx'. It would actually be quite good if few speculators got caught with the houses that they cang make a gain on htem...

A boy asked his bitcoin-investing dad for 1 bitcoin for his birthday.
Dad: What? $15,554??? $14,354 is a lot of money! What do you need $16,782 for anyway?

Oh wait this article is about housing....

LOL.

Bitcoin - The Western Worlds version of a loaf of bread in Zimbabwe.

ROFL

What you need to do is work out the optimal point in the cycle to sell your bit coin to buy a house in Auckland.. then it'll be a win-win investment

Boatman? Auckland +8.4% in 2 months?

TM2,TTP,DGZ & ECOBIRD must be having an offline conference call to shore up a plan to counter this unfortunate thread...

Hi vman,

No conference call at all.

I'm perfectly happy with the market as it is - and it happens to be tracking exactly as I predicted.

A period of house price stability makes a lot of sense to me.

Those who want an upward swing in prices at this point are greedy.

Those who want a crash are also often motivated by greed - and are misguided anyway. (They yearn to buy property cheaply - but that ain't going to happen.)

TTP

So it's all based on sentiment ('what you expect and what others want').

Reminds me of Keynes analogy of the market as a beauty contest:
"It is not a case of choosing those [faces] that, to the best of one's judgment, are really the prettiest, nor even those that average opinion genuinely thinks the prettiest. We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be. And there are some, I believe, who practice the fourth, fifth and higher degrees." (Keynes, 1936).

Well,that we can agree on...a veeeeery long period of stability or even better a very slow soft downward slide,don't want to scare anyone :-)

dp

Ditto - nothing to see here ..... one thing is interesting though, the regions are catching up and prices appreciating ... long overdue -- Auck and Wellie are saturated - normal.

The regions don't actually want over-valued prices because they know it just creates more debt slaves and takes the real spending power out of our economy.

Stop it. Unlike you, I have things to do, people to see.

You mean your RE agent?? Or sorry you are one as some says here... ;)

I've been commenting here for quite a while do you really still think I am a REA? If you think I am, think again!

You have to drill into the attachment to the article to find the figure for Auckland of -4.47%.

Let's not forget that Harcourt's figures are a subset of the REINZ figures.

The Harcourts figures are written sales,REINZ are unconditional sales.Then we have the completed sales figures,all of which are subsets ,but all in different time frames.

Up down up down. Talk to agent who will actually tell you the truth. St Heliers and Herne Bay are not the Akl market. A lot of speculators paid way to much for some less than average houses.

so we have

Harcourts recording a biig drop in average prices in auckland

Trade me reporting lower asking prices -3.3% https://property.trademe.co.nz/market-insights/property-price-index/prop...

Barfoots reporting lower average and median prices in auckland https://www.interest.co.nz/property/92451/barfoot-thompsons-average-pric...

Dismal clearance rates in Auckland auctions

Auckland inventories heading up towards post GFC numbers

An increase in days to sell in Auckland now at 49 days

QV reporting drops in values across some areas in Auckland and an overall 1% increase YOY

Earlier today a slight increase in the median price by the REINZ but still $50000 below the peak last March

Still low sales volumes being reported, (2nd worse Feb since 2011)

Overall you would have to say that the worm has turned and it all points to a correction and a return to mean.

correction of 20 - 25% coming is my prediction (Auckland only)

Thegic is a DGM (doom and gloom merchant) if ever there was.

You need to know, thegic, that the market won't stay flat forever......

A recovery always comes.

TTP

UH-HUH-UH-HIM, good times are just around the corner, so sayeth the REA. The troubling thing is however, a crash might well happen first. Central banks now lack the fire power to enable a quick recovery from another crisis.

TTP, lay aside your insatiable lust for commissions. It is not financially safe for FHB to put their financial backsides on the line. The prudent and patient FHB saver will be rewarded.

RP (Bear)

Generally speaking if you're in the flat part of the market after historically one of the biggest booms ever - probability wise it might be more likely you're about to experience a crash not recovery....because there's nothing to recover from.....here comes the recovery....from the boom....hmm that doesn't sound quite right does it? Here comes the correction after the boom....that sounds better does it not?

I_O, exactly, TTPs comment offer no fact based analysis as to how this growing glut of expensive homes will clear. What sane and logical events in our country's future could provide (sustainable) support to his "newfound height of prosperity". I consider myself as having an open mind & all I can see is constant can kicking on a global scale which we're very much a part of.

It's classic bubble psychology of the buyer who expects past market movements to define/continue into the future....

Minsky.

Just commenting honestly how I see it without any motivation whatsoever.

The problem is TTP, that you are often blinded to what is right in front of you face. It should be obvious to everyone that with all the current levers or "fundamentals" that a correction is heading our way.

Of course I know that a recovery will come and that will be after a 20 - 25% correction IMO, and lets hope that recovery is sustainable and not another speculative bubble.

IMO your posts are total fantasy although at times amusing

Yes and markets take years to recover or switch sentiment. We have hardly even begun a crash yet. Take the emotions out of the market sentiment because a truely functioning market will always revert to what the local people can afford, are willing to pay AND have backing via funds approved to purchase said house via a bank approval. There is NO sentiment in this reality. It is business as usual and markets adjust to the current credit availabilty and risk profile. Consumers don't set these rules, they are set by the banks and current global monetary policy. Therefore it makes no difference who is talking the market up or down. It is, what it is.

Absolutely TainuiBabe - Shiller and Akerlof did a good book on this 'Animal Spirits' and it discusses the stories that people tell themselves to justify market movements (even if irrational).

I agree completely. "Animal Spirits" make and break market forces. It is very clear to me that we are very now much turned off by more debt. Perhaps people are waking up to this reality and are more willing to just wait it out and make do with their awful housing situations rather than become a slave to the banks for the next 30-40 years. Humans will always find a way to survive if they are forced into that reality. People still have choices: Debt Slavery and living paycheck to paycheck, or they find their own way out. This is why the Tiny House movement is gaining traction really fast around the world, because people just want a roof over their heads and want to live life and be mobile, like so many jobs these days. Who wants to stay in one place for more than 5 years? Personally, I love small tiny houses and I am thinking about buying one and parking it up on my section and living in it, while I give my house to my daughter and her partner to live in, so they can save all of their money for their own home. My house is too big for me anyway lol.

I'm pretty sure if it were legal to sleep in tents or portaloos our darklords would be out of business. But lucky for them its illegal to reside in something other than a council approved structure....

Perhaps interest.co.nz should give up on reporting house price changes every single day. How about just bringing it up once a month and use a constant source and not different real estate agent every 5 minutes. Mind you we would have nothing to talk about here and several people would have their whole life ruined ! Still a few people on here need to get a life.

Yes I think something like this would be awesome!
https://www.propertyacademy.net/reserve-your-seat

Even if we did get reporting about house price changes daily, there is not much point to this exercise because unlike shares, a property cannot be sold and settled in a single transaction in one day, which is why property is often referred to as an "illiquid" asset. Shares can be sold within minutes and are therefore classed as a more liquid asset, unless of course the sharemarket is crashing and everyone is trying to sell out at the same time.