Harcourts' November sales volumes were down compared to November last year, but prices were up everywhere except Auckland

Harcourts' November sales volumes were down compared to November last year, but prices were up everywhere except Auckland

Harcourts' November sales volumes were down compared to November last year, led by a decline in the Auckland market.

The agency, which is the country's largest, sold 1985 residential properties in November, down 3.9% compared to November last year.

All three of the main centres recorded declines, with sales in Auckland down 12.1% compared to a year ago while sales were down 5.7% in Wellington and 6.9% lower in Christchurch.

There was also a sharp decline new listings, with the agency signing up 2320 new properties for sale in November, down 12.5% compared to November last year.

The decline in new listings was evident throughout the country but was most noticeable in Auckland, where new listings were down 17.9% compared to November last year.

The drop in new listings also led to a decline in the total amount of stock Harcourts had on its books at the end of November, which dropped to 6775 properties, down 5.4% compared to November last year.

The decline in total stock was evident throughout the country but was highest in Auckland, where total stock for sale was down 8.9% compared to a year ago.

However while sales, new listings and stock levels were all lower in November compared to a year earlier, average selling prices were more mixed.

The average selling price of all homes sold by Harcourts last month was $638,992, up 2.1% compared to November last year.

In Wellington the average selling price was $559,081 which was up 13% on a year ago, and in Christchurch it was $570,235 which was up 2.7% on last year.

But prices in Auckland went against the trend and the average selling price in the Auckland region was $955,852 in November, down 8.7% compared to November 2017.

"Figures for spring into summer have been as changeable as the weather," Harcourts CEO Chris Kennedy said.

"We expect to see some positivity filter through during the warmer months and we hope this will give both buyers and sellers confidence in the market."

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Figures don’t lie
C’mon spruikers give a old rich expat a laugh
Sit & hold that’s the spirit ha ha ha

Figures do lie. Compared with the REINZ figures there are big discrepancies, Auck volume overall up per REINZ, but down at Harcourts, and price down a lot more at Harcourts than overall. Seems Harcourts or the segment of the market they dominate are out of favour with buyers.

It does seem strange. What segment of the market do Harcourts dominate?

No idea. By flicking thru the first half dozen pages of Auckland listings it seems they have more outlying stuff, and less Centralish Auckland standalone places? Seem to have quite a bit out northwest Auckland/Rodney and that area was massively down on REINZ medians but not as severely on the HPI. Maybe it was as someone suggested, a lot of sections sold out that way?

There is now a heap of empty places in Millwater, that are not selling. Discounts are starting to flow through. I have knowledge of one building company who are halving their planned builds for 2019 because their completed houses are not selling.

Hi Pragmatist,

That might make sense.

I note that Auckland City (Central Auckland) has witnessed a large price increase. The median price there has surged upward by 4.1%, as in REINZ's report that was released yesterday.

If Harcourts isn't capturing that market, then it's going to be disadvantaged.


No, Auckland central hasn't experienced a large increase. HPI for auckland city was 0.3% YoY, less than inflation. Which suggest there are no/few sales at the low end.. which in Auckland city would most likely be apartments. Maybe the FBB has gutted the apartment sales market? Just guessing as I don't know of any data source that breaks it down by property type.

Do city sales or any of the other apartment specialists publish a monthly summary/stats package?

Weak attempt at spruiking.

Good call out. Median Price is a weak measure on its own as without a change to their affordability (interest rates, unemployment, living costs) most consumers do not change their budget - they trade up or trade down to a better house or area (hence why median does not drop often)...the change to capital requirements at the Banks does have the potential to change the median if / when it flows through to borrowing costs.

HPI is better but not perfect either. We lack definitive statistical measures in property...the problem with a market based on a non-homogeneous product.

Hi Pragmatist,

To set the record straight, the "Auckland City" median price rose 4.1% in the 12 months to November 2018. (See page 10 of the REINZ report, dated 14 December 2018.)


yes, median, a value that is easily distorted by the composition of sales. Which is why I pointed you to the HPI, which corrects for the composition of sales, which is only up 0.3% YoY for Auckland.

But there is no educating a man who has a financial interest in not learning. aka, a Spruiker.

That doesn't alter my point that the Auckland City market is doing relatively well.

A pity for any agency that doesn't capture that particular market.

But there is no educating a man who has a financial interest in not learning. aka, a DGM.


0.3% is not doing well, its less than inflation. But you will once again bury your head in the sand and scream Median, median and totally ignore that REINZ HPI for Auckland has been going sideways for about 2 years now. Ie, Auckland hit the affordability limit about two years ago, and demand shifted to the provinces.

Edit, My bad. 0.3% is wrong, I can't find the HPI number for Auckland City, just for the Auckland region as a whole, which is -0.6%. But I did find that the median Auckland City price in Nov 2016 was $988K, so thats a 1.1% increase in 2 years, and on the shitty measure that is the median price. Still far from doing well. And any fool can look at the Auckland City HPI graph linked below and see its gone sideways from mid 2016.


You're a typical DGM - accentuating anything remotely negative that you can seize upon.

In fact, the Auckland market is holding its own remarkably well - especially given the whopping increases through 2013-16.

Of course, some pegging back in growth rates are to be expected - but there's no crisis, crash or cataclysm......

The market remains flat - but orderly. And that's what the mainstream analysts are picking for next year as well.


Now you've sidestepped from doing well, to holding its own. A real bitch when you have to try to refute data isn't it.

PS: updated the previous post, but again, you'll just bury your head in the sand (on the banks of that famous river.. Denial)

Hi Pragmatist,

Anger won't achieve you anything.


So , nothing to refute the data, not even a logical argument, just throwing a weak slur.

How ??

average selling price in the Auckland region was $955,852 in November, down 8.7% compared to November 2017.

heading to 10 %!

I received an email from an agency with the header below;

PRICE SMASHED - Overseas vendor takes a BIG LOSS!

Makes you wonder how healthy the apartment market is in central Auckland.

That’s probably REINZ figures are a bit dirty. I already pointed out the discrepancies in between their numbers in two reports. So , no guarantee last report showed entirely correct numbers

Harcourts statistics are always a bit of a wild ride for the Auckland region. This is just comparing one month's figures with another month's figures as if that is in any way meaningful. Harcourts September 2018 results show Auckland UP a whopping 8.69%:


It seems that Harcourts figures for Auckland can deviate either up or down around 9%. The thing to do would be to average it out over the previous twelve months to get a meaningful result.

So what is your take on this Dr Smith? Nothing to see here, move along?

Something to do with the low number of new listings. People are perhaps moving to the other agencies for some reason.

If you think Harcourts is now selling houses at cheaper prices then, by all means, go buy a house from Harcourts.


November results last year were better in an election year than what this November has delivered. Sign of the times. Its all downhill from here!

Auckland sale price falls are close to that of Sydney's.
Check out the link especially the graph:

I can't believe you are drawing that conclusion from just one Harcourts Market Watch Report for one month.

Olly is an expert property watcher who has lost millions in real estate, I would never question his wisdom.


Whoa, that was a truly unnecessary comment. You need to learn some humility or Karma might bite your arse off.

It's ok to disagree with someone's opinion but it's not ok to make rude flippant comments like that for no reason. It just shows everyone you're a dickhead. I don't always agree with BigDaddy's posts but i always appreciate reading them (like many others here) so how about you show some respect. How many big property deals have you done? How many books have you published? How many times have you been on TV for your expert opinion?

My guess is never.

Well said Triple. Thumbs up from me!

Same goes for BuyLowSellHigh below. For some reason he has to name call on every BD post.

I think this is happening because people expect a more astute comment from BigDaddy. Such a comment as the one above invites scorn, especially as it apparently comes from someone you would think would know better. According to the REINZ Auckland is recorded as having dropped by a very small 1.5% over the last twelve months.

REINZ: Monthly Property Report December 2018

I pay much more attention to what Olly Newland says than any of the bulls here.

That doesn't surprise me at all Fritz.

"It just shows everyone you're a dickhead". ..."so how about you show some respect"


I show respect to people who are are courteous and polite. Skudiv was not polite to BigDaddy and for no good reason - BigDaddy had not attacked him first. Hence, in my opinion it made him look like a dickhead for being nasty for no good reason other than he didn't like BigDaddy's opinion. If skudiv is polite in future and offers an intelligent perspective - whether i agree with his view or not - I will show him respect.

Simo if you find what I wrote "priceless" you really need to get out more.

So by your own logic, we should clearly not show you any respect either since you called someone a d!ckhe@d

Ironic then, how it's ok when you do it. I would argue 75% of the comments on this site are unnecessary, and if as you suggest the consequence is getting an arse bitten off, then hopefully karma wont have bitten off too much to chew. All my posts are merely harmless, and there is no need to fly into a rage.

I always enjoy a skudiv comment. I've said this before!

Skudiv there is no rage. And i agree probably 75% of the comments on this site are unnecessary. However i wish that could change. Why can't people stay on point and just say their opinion and if possible support it with facts. Who cares if another poster has a different opinion - that's what makes it interesting.

And i also agree that it's possible BigDaddy's made some financial blunders, but the lessons he would have learnt from those are what makes his comments worth listening too.

It is pretty hard to have respect for anyone playing the unearned income game, disdain is perfectly appropriate for his actions in sucking on the tit as long as Bid Daddy. We really have to stop worshipping property as an investment class and focus on real capitalists.

Doesn't mean the man isn't likeable in other ways, and certainly his knowledge deserves considered respect!

I think you are missing an important point there. If you are in business you must respond to the incentives that society constructs around you. Olly is a real capitalist, he correctly identified that the society in which he lives has constructed a system that favours residential property investment and penalises such pursuits as manufacturing.

Our society, for reasons I don't think we fully understand, favours residential property, banking and central and local government above all else. I'm not sure throwing eggs at Olly is that helpful.

One thing I learnt from a man I consider wise when hitch hiking in my teens is that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

I totally disagree that Olly is a capitalist. In a credit based system it is hard to be one, and all he has done is be an opportunist in playing the game of leverage. Fair enough for being an opportunist, most would if they had the understanding and opportunity. My problem with this approach is not realising what underpins it, and the long term consequences. It is a game for parasites and, just like there is no excuse for ignorance in criminal law, there is no excuse here either. I am sure you play the game Roger, but at least you have cognisance to know the consequences of the game you play. Hence why I value your always thoughtful contribution here.

Yes there is regulatory and legislative support for residential property. When you understand that it seems like a free lunch. Except there is no such thing as a free lunch. With that in mind the question for you and Olly is where does the debt show up?

It is a curious thing, but I do find that what I consider best for the country often conflicts with my business interests. I used to be very cautious about questioning policy, but now realise that argueing for what seems best is actually sound. As long as the powers that be think my arguments are stupid nonsense then I think the best way to put food on the table is to continue what I am doing. I don't make the rules, I just follow them.

The consequences of the decisions our dear leaders make play out in our lives, but to be fair, there may not be a fat lot they can do anyway. Their influence for good is over-rated. What makes NZ a great place is embedded deeper, it shows up in people picking up litter and such like.

Much of the house price problem is due to the whole world turning Japanese since 2008. The massive worldwide credit bubble pre 2008 was just a bigger version of the 1980s Japanese bubble. It probably needs 30 years of gentle deflation to recover from. Call it the Chinese Yuan and Euro and Eurodollar superbubble.

I think NZ is turning around. The RBA and RBNZ have taken a big stick to the banking systems wilder credit creation tendencies, and the political process is tightening up on excessive foreign capital inflows to some extent. No change to the excessive immigration levels as yet, but the mood has definitely changed worldwide on that one.

A moment of clarity came to me before the last election. Consumer behaviour trumps politics, people really vote with their wallet. The full version is:

The environment/natural resources > consumer behaviour > politics

While i would love to see change I think the weight of inertia in current systems is just too great for it. I follow here mainly for alternative news, a bit of learning from guys like yourself, and the occasional bit of intelligent conversation. I am provocative, but if I can make people think about their position then that is a success. Just as PDK made me think when I first started out here and was doing a little currency trading. I have the benefit of a good grasp of systems, I could do urban design easily. The thing was I wasn't looking, particularly at the financial systems and how that interfaces with our daily activity and the planet. I have been as guilty as the next person. I just would love for people to take that same look, but I am sadly aware that most won't. A questioning mind is a great thing. If you don't already know I am closely associated to conservationist Pete Bethune, the information that comes my way via him is quite scary.

Are dividends, interest payments, capital gain on shares and so on unearned income? If you work your guts out earning wages then invest whatever spare cash you have into investments earning unearned income?

I am surprised you have to ask, it isn't that hard to work out.

Here is my law, or principle on the matter: If you didn't make it or grow it then you didn't earn it. Trading something you made or grew counts.

Questions will of course arise about certain activity that might be seen as essential, and thus worthy of exemption. Bbut the questions need to be contained within the framework of the law. Otherwise once you give an exemption everyone will want one. ie: the argument becomes my work is just as important, or more important, that than persons, so I should be exempt as well.

If you assume unearned income the equivalent of criminal theft then it helps clarity on the matter. View stealing a mans labour no different to stealing money from his wallet.

Wolly Noland

Auckland November REINZ median price was down 1.5% from November last year and that was in an election year.

True, there was probably some more buying in Nov 2017 after people were holding off in Sept and Oct while the government was being formed

It's interesting to see some of the historically high priced property markets having some corrections, David Chaston has said Hong Kong is 20% down. Vancouver markets are down 8.5%. Sydney in excess of 10% and Melbourne not far behind.

What seems to be a common point in most of these articles is that this is all happening despite a strong economy, strong unemployment etc.

So is this a sign of some things to come, or is it simply just like the a lot of the indexes currently and a correction is occurring as they're not getting the returns that their high prices have dictated?


Yes this is the just the start of the avalanche, prices will only cascade downwards at a faster rate until they hit their true value of 200k. Global warming is going to kill us all before that happens, but hopefully I survive so I can finally afford to buy in Auckland. If not, I blame trump for making the world a bad place.


Thank you for adding nothing.

Its a sign of what is to come. No doubt about it.

It was meant to happen, it's happening, will continue to happen..

average selling price of 955k, it has to fall another 300k to make any sense

30% fall from peak to trough would not surprise me in Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Vancouver. All heading down now, with Auckland being the least so far. They've been the biggest property bubbles in world terms in recent years, after the GFC.

Has anyone got an archive of the last year or more of the REINZ monthly reports that they could upload to dropbox/megauplaod or similar for me? I want to have a nosey at a couple of things and start extracting some numbers.

Edit, Nm, think i've found them on the website.

Yawn the market is still flat.

No it's not, at least not in Auckland

Auckland up +2.15% since January!

So there you go, down 9%. Where can we find the predictions for this year? ( I think there was a post inviting predictions either late last year or early this year). I think I said Auckland down 10%

I'm not putting a number but definitely there will be a big correction..

You know the market has changed when the spruikers are dropping out like 'droppings'...

Fritz, Harcourts Market Report shows the Auckland price for January 2018 as $935,733 and November as $955,852. This shows November is +2.15% on January.

January 2018

November 2018

The November 2016 Harcourts Auckland average was 1,018,582.

I'm really just highlighting that we cannot use the Harcourts figures as our definitive results for the year. We will need to use REINZ or QV when handing out the awards.

You need to compare year on year

You need to understand that because one Real Estate agency called Harcourts has an average sales figure for its Auckland houses is sells in a particular month it doesn't mean that is the average for all houses sold in the region.

Best to stick with the REINZ figures.

Having spent an exhaustive 10 minutes or so researching this a few days ago it would seem that the NZ “Gold Plate” measurement for price comparisons is the REINZ HPI, as you suggest – this would appear the best we can do?

Medians and averages out the door, yes – fair enough?

Currently all manner of numbers and percentages are being thrown around like some drunken bun fight.

Now I just need to find a trend of HPI’s that fit my narrative.

Sounds similar to a 10 year old comparing numbers..

January is a low point for real estate, while November is the so called SPRING ..

Only in regard to the quantity sold.

You must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed today, unlike you...

Go back and look at a trend chart, you might learn a thing or two

Can you give us a link?


my comment was comparing about you comparing Jan to that over November prices.. just over the last 5 years

2014 Jan - 570k
2014 Nov - 676k

2015 Jan - 675k
2015 Nov - 785k

2016 Jan - 745k
2016 Nov - 878k

2017 Jan - 830k
2017 Nov - 880k

2018 Jan - 820k
2018 Nov - 867k

and then comparing it the other way around.. to show that Jan is consistently lower than nov

2013 Nov - 626k
2014 Jan - 570k

2014 Nov - 676k
2015 Jan - 675k

2015 Nov - 785k
2016 Jan - 745k

2016 Nov - 878k
2017 Jan - 830k

2017 Nov - 880k
2018 Jan - 820k

2018 Nov - 867k
2019 Jan - 780k (picking a number from thin air)

That is interesting. It is notable how often March is a high point. It seems you should buy in January and sell in March.

None of the graphs show a trend toward a crashing market though.

Also the Harcourts prices are averages not medians.

Zacy boy, you very well know what lies ahead. .

Unless you are sleep walking

Ps: I'm dumb struck and gobsmacked that I had to highlight the above fact. . I think I overestimated you. .

It's not a very important "fact". It went completely over your head what I was trying to do and that was illustrate to Fritz that the Harcourts latest report wasn't that significant and shouldn't be used to declare that Auckland had had a Sydney tier drop in prices this year. Next year, maybe, but we really have to wait and see.

Go back to bed zachy boy, it's not your day.. you're as bad as the others..

Ho, Ho, Ho.

We have to go by the REINZ results.

You say that.

But andreas_od. Noted the other day, that the numbers from REINZ in last report, were different to this report.

So REINZ are pretty savy at cherry picking numbers to suit their narrative as well. Which can be seen in their report summary & heard when Duncan gets them on the AM show.

Its really a case of who & what can you trust in this country? All anyone wants is accurate reporting & accurate information. With vested interests removed.

From andreas_od below:

Just checked previous REINZ report, it said
Auckland city Oct-18 median price 972k volume 637
today's report says :
Auckland city Oct-18 median price 959k volume 658"


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