sign uplog in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

REINZ highlights 'extremely quiet' December with lowest nationwide house sales volumes in seven years, national median price rises 1.5%

REINZ highlights 'extremely quiet' December with lowest nationwide house sales volumes in seven years, national median price rises 1.5%

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) says nationwide December sales volumes sank to their lowest level in seven years, dropping 13%, with Auckland sales volumes down 24% to their lowest level in 10 years.

Nationally REINZ says December 2018 sales came in at 5,330, a year-on-year drop of 787 from 6,117 in December 2017. Median days to sell increased to 35 from 32. The national median price rose $8,250 year-on-year, or 1.5%, to $560,000. December 2018's national sales volumes were the lowest for a December month since 5,315 sales were made in December 2011.

In Auckland December sales volumes dropped 429, or 24%, to 1,336 from 1,765 in December 2017. That was the lowest Auckland December sales volumes since 1,250 in December 2008. Auckland's median price rose $2,000 to $862,000 from $860,000 in both December 2017 and November 2018.

Going back REINZ figures show after 2018, Auckland December sales volumes were only lower in 2008, 1995 when they were 1,032, and 1992 when they were 1,193, in records dating back to 1991.

Auckland's median number of days to sell increased by five to 39 from 34, the highest days to sell for the month of December since 2001.

“While December is usually a quiet month as people focus on Christmas holidays, December 2018 was extremely quiet with the lowest number of properties sold for the month of December for seven years. Additionally, 12 out of 16 regions saw an annual decrease in the number of properties sold," says Bindi Norwell, REINZ's chief executive.

“With national listing levels down 11.3% in November and 13.3% in December, it’s not entirely surprising that December was a quiet month in terms of sales volumes. However, what we’re hearing is that part of the lower sales volumes can also be attributed to some vendors’ understanding of the value of their home. A realistic approach to market value may help vendors sell their property in a more reasonable timeframe,” Norwell says.

REINZ House Price Index up nationally, down for Auckland

The REINZ House Price Index for New Zealand, which measures the changing value of property, increased 3.3% year-on-year to 2,740. The Auckland House Price Index, however, dropped 1.7% year-on-year to 2,822. In contrast the House Price Index for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased 8.0% year-on-year to a new record high of 2,672.

"The REINZ House Price Index again saw 11 out of 12 regions experience an increase over the past 12 months, highlighting the continued strength of the property market. The only exception was Auckland," Norwell says.

"In December the Manawatu/Wanganui region again had the highest annual growth rate, a 17.7% increase to a new record high of 2,867, followed by Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay in second place with an annual growth rate of 13.7% to a new record high of 2,654, and in third place was Otago with a 12.4% annual increase to a new record high of 2,867."

"Last month we noted that Waikato’s index had overtaken Auckland’s index, the first time Auckland’s index had been overtaken since March 2015. However, December has seen another three regions join Waikato in overtaking Auckland’s index – Manawatu/Wanganui, Taranaki and Otago," Norwell adds.

December median prices for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased $29,000, or 6.4%, to $480,000 from $451,000 in December 2017. Also for New Zealand excluding Auckland, the median days to sell increased annually by two days to 33.

 However, just one region, Bay of Plenty, recorded a new record median price, with a $12,000, or 2.0%, increase year-on-year to $610,000. Norwell says all regions bar Auckland recorded annual median price increases. She says at $862,000, Auckland's median price was its highest for nine months.

"Breaking the region down, Auckland City saw an annual increase of 7.8% resulting in the highest median price for the City in six months at $986,000 and Waitakere City had a 6.2% increase to record median price of $828,000. However, on the flip side, North Shore City median prices fell 11.6% to $980,000 and Franklin District saw a fall of 4.2% to $680,000,” says Norwell.

Inventory down nationally, up in Auckland in December year-on-year

REINZ says the number of properties available for sale nationally dropped 452, or 1.9%, to 24,158 in December 2018 year-on-year. However on an annual basis in Auckland it rose 383, or 4.5%, to 8,880 in December 2018 from 8,497 in December 2017. But versus November 2017, December Auckland inventory was down 1,551.

Overall seven regions recorded inventory increases in December, led by Marlborough, Taranaki and Northland. Gisborne has the lowest level of inventory with five weeks’ worth, REINZ says, followed by Wellington with six week’s inventory, its lowest level since October 2016. Otago and Hawke’s Bay both have eight weeks’ inventory.

“Inventory levels are a real concern at the moment for the industry, particularly with Gisborne having the lowest level of inventory any region has ever had since REINZ began keeping inventory records back in January 2007. In December, Gisborne only had 83 properties available for sale,” says Norwell.

In terms of sales price ranges, REINZ says the number of homes sold for less than $500,000 nationwide fell to 41.5% of the market, or 2,213 properties in December 2018 from 43.5% of the market, 2,663 properties, in December 2017.

 The number of properties sold in the $500,000 to $750,000 bracket increased to 29.9% in December 2018, or 1,596 properties, from 28.3% in December 2017, being 1,730 properties.

 And properties sold for more than $1 million dropped to 12.9% in December 2018, or 687 houses, from 13.9% in December 2017, or 852 houses, REINZ says.

'Is the NZ housing market in line for a correction? We don’t think so'

In a note on the REINZ data, Kiwibank senior economist Jeremy Couchman broached the question of whether the NZ housing market is in line for a correction in light of recent weak sales activity, and the woes experienced across the Tasman, especially in Sydney and Melbourne.

"We don’t think so. First, falling house prices are largely centred on the City of Sails. Some regions, despite experiencing a fall in December sales, measured a lift in house price inflation. These include the Manawatū-Whanganui up 16.7% year-on-year, Gisborne-Hawke’s Bay up 12.9% year-on-year, Otago up 12.4% year-on-year, and Southland up 11.9% year-on-year. This suggests that perhaps the number of available listings remain limited," says Couchman.

"The median number of days to sell remain low across much of NZ, adding support to this view. Second, the housing market is generally well supported by fundamentals. We still have a massive shortage of housing, low mortgage rates, and an unemployment rate at 3.9%. Finally, December weakness may reflect some distortion ahead of 1 January loosening of [Reserve Bank] loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions on lending and may see a lift in activity in the first quarter of 2019."

"We’re sticking to our view that the housing market has entered a period of consolidation. Meaning national house price appreciation is expected to move broadly sideways for the time being. Government policy changes and tough restrictions on investor-related lending is keeping the housing market contained," Couchman says.

"There are limited policy implications from December housing market data. Modest activity will likely keep credit growth contained. The Reserve Bank will be keeping a close eye on the market as the decision late last year to loosen LVRs came into effect on 1 January."

Kiwibank is NZ's fifth biggest mortgage lender with $16.7 billion of housing loans as of September 30 last year.

Meanwhile, ASB economist Kim Mundy says the latest REINZ data highlights a continuing dichotomy in NZ’s housing market.

"The Auckland market has remained lacklustre, while regional New Zealand, house price growth is continuing at a reasonable pace. We will have to wait until February/March onwards until we get a clearer picture of the health of the NZ housing market. For now, however, we continue to see risks of further small price falls in Auckland as the market has shifted in favour of buyers, says Mundy.

ASB is NZ's second biggest mortgage lender with $54.6 billion of housing loans as of September 30 last year.

Volumes sold - REINZ

Select chart tabs »

The 'NZ total' chart will be drawn here.
NZ total
Source: REINZ
The 'Northland' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Auckland' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Waikato' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Bay of Plenty' chart will be drawn here.
Bay of Plenty
Source: REINZ
The 'Gisborne' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Hawke's Bay' chart will be drawn here.
Hawke's Bay
Source: REINZ
The 'Manawatu' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Taranaki' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Wellington' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Tasman' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Nelson' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Marlborough' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'West Coast' chart will be drawn here.
West Coast
Source: REINZ
The 'Canterbury' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Otago' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ
The 'Southland' chart will be drawn here.
Source: REINZ

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

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


Didn’t realise median price goes up in a housing crash...

if no one is buying anything below 1.5m, median can stil go slightly up, but means prices are falling even harder than anyone can think!

Auckland's median rose $2000, 0.02% 0.2%. Margin of error stuff.

Nationwide prices are up because the regions are seeing some real growth in values, probably due to the 24% of buyers not present in Auckland (unless that 24% is foreigners of course).

It's 0.2%, but yes still insignificant and below inflation.

Ah yes you're right my bad!


Didn't realise you still can't understand the effects of composition changes on broad average and median indices.

And you can have house price declines across all price brackets but not measured in the average/median house price stats.

House price medians/averages are solely dictated by what buyers have access to and are willing to spend, but what is immeasurable is whether house prices brackets are creeping downwards. Buyers are on average spending $862,000 but are they now getting on average a $900k+ house?

And this is why the HPI is the only decent measure. It (attempts to) take into account the type of propertie being sold and their pricing.
Would be interesting to see the internals of the HPI method, and if it shows results for markets segments like the trademe asking price one that showed a huge drop in the 5+ bedroom houses in Auckland. ( down 7% to $1.35m)

Your 'internals':

Can easily estimate bracket creep with a constant quality index. As Dan says, though, it's impossible to differentiate the effects in non constant quality indices.
There is plenty of scope for a range of constant quality indices in Auckland at the quarterly level. It's just people go with things that confirm their biases / are simple to understand, hence why the basic median/averages are mostly preferred.

REINZ have data on asking vs sale price. However, no real impetus/expertise to actually utilise it to stratify like you suggest.

Ergh.. I'll settle for a summary of the data/findings from the internal model, i'll read that paper if I ever get a case of terminal insomnia :)

You're not a dumb guy BLSH. You must surely realize NZ housing is 1. over-valued and 2. high risk.

Someone as smart as you really, really should have a contingency plan if a crash does happen. Are you playing the long game or are you another financially illiterate spruiker?

You really are too generous with that opening sentence.

Nope I stand by what I say. Just because someones a property investor or bullish, doesn't make them stupid. Wrong maybe, but not stupid.

There are some otHer spruikErs I Might call stupid, but let's not nAme Names..

I love what you did just there :)

There's just no way to spin this in any positive light. There's no heat at all in the Auckland market, and anyone telling you 2019 looks better is kidding themselves.


I caught up with in-laws at Chrissy who are professional doer-uppers in Auckland (that's all they do!) and they were moaning about not being able to move the current crop of completed properties on. ( Remuera and Epsom).
For a change it's not Donald's fault - it's Phil Twyford's!

Stuck in Remuera, won't someone think of the poor boomers!


Oh they should have no issue moving those properties on, just not at the price they expect.


I gingerly mentioned that at the dinner table. Needless to say, I'm persona non grata now!

"... what we’re hearing is that part of the lower sales volumes can also be attributed to some vendors’ understanding of the value of their home. A realistic approach to market value may help vendors sell their property in a more reasonable timeframe,” Norwell says


The current govt will indeed get the blame of course, but the bubble has been building for years, with the previous govt denying a bubble. Low rates for 10 years and loose lending, just like Australia. The current building boom will not help though, as there's not a shortage, just an affordability problem.

probably just bad marketing and bad pricing.


Too many people are dependent on the property pie. Time for a clean up among tradies, doer-uppers, slumlords and anyone else with that 'No. 8 Wire' mentality. They are holding the country back in many ways.

Speaking as one who grew up in Remuera i think the suburbs decline evidenced by heavily indebted wannabes
More wealthy Chinese required to keep up the standards

The positive light is that we had DGMers calling a 70% drop in house prices. If the "bloody death property crash of 2018/2019" is limited to national median prices rising 1.5% then I would feel ripped off if I was a DGMer.

Good things take time heavyG, including housing corrections....I still think its possible we'll see a 40-50% correction to house prices. Everything that made this perfect storm on the way up, could equally turn into the perfect storm on the way down (interest rates, demographics).

And if they do then the DGMers would be justified in doing a little victory I told you so dance. However the crowing and dancing going on by some now is a little premature IMO.

My prediction from a couple of years ago had two choices. One was a correction via time, where prices went flat for an extended period of time (maybe even a decade) in order for the median income to catch up to affording a median house. The other choice was a correction via price in the short term. It appears that we are going for the flat price correction over a long period of time instead of the large price correction over a short period of time. Both options are painful to housing speculators. One has the advantage of immediacy. The other is the death of a thousand cuts. When the fully burdened rate of return as a landlord is below inflation and there are no capital gains to assist, then the property speculators will eventually depart from the market. Some will have large losses due to the use of excessive leverage (the folk here that espouse using interest only mortgages for maximizing gains may be the first to wave a white flag as they will find out that this choice also maximizes losses in a flat or declining market).

It will be interesting to see the market movements in the next 12 months. It may be that we are just going flat for an extended period. It may be that we are in the initial stages of a decline. The volumes for Auckland suggest that the latter is a distinct possibility. Fortunately, other locations in NZ appear to be a bit more resilient than Auckland, at least for the near term.

Disclaimer: not a property speculator or investor, just a homeowner.

Tell us something new.

by Cowpat | Wed, 16/01/2019 - 12:20

Economists forecast only a 0.4 fall. additionally November was revised down . Its a big miss, another big miss.
Implications for GDP 4Q, , banks will lower their forecasts, and next weeks CPI will confirm the initial fall in petrol prices, REINZ will confirm faltering home sales. . The Reserve Bank will cut this year, only question is whether RBA strikes first.

Do Greg and Toothypoint take holidays together?

Anyone noticed there's been an unusually high number of for sale signs around Auckland building since late last year, especially in areas with a high number of rentals? But low sales volumes.

Sub $1mio market still ok - its the markets above the $1mio median value that are slowing especially in the over valued leafy suburbs favoured by the 20% - 24% foreign buyers that are now out of the market (% per Fitch).

Not sure what any bulls can identify as upwards factors this year. Drop in OCR will be offset by RBNZ capital requirements on Banks meaning no net change in mortgage rates. Credit will only get tighter with Aus Banking commission findings. Migration will slowly subside as visa requirements tighten. No wage inflation so affordability will only get better with prices dropping....race to the exits for >$1mio property in Auckland begins in May as the first feeling of winter cold sets in as volumes dont recover substantively in the summer period and professional "do-uppers" get pressure from the Banks to exit asap.

Haven't even hit on government regulation, capital gains tax or other downwards factors...

In Australia, it started to hit the upper end first, then spread down.

Like tooth decay. The inevitable result of a high sugar diet of easy credit.

Initially high end property will correct first and fast followed by others.

When 1.2 million property comes down to 1 million and the price stabilize than the property that was selling at 1 million is bound to fall (As for buyer with a budget of million is able to get 1.2 million property so will not touch 1 million property that has been selling earlier) and so on - Domino Effect.

That is one reason that in good areas 2 bedroom units are not been affected much as of now but slowly everything will fall but by how much has to wait and watch.

Agreed. Look at the amount of "do up" DGZ property that is being listed already. Speculators who don't want to insulate or comply with new rules are finally moving on. Who is going to buy them at $2-2.5 if they need new everything and capital gains are moving in reverse?

As the high end drops back the cash flow loss property secured that leafy equity will be more and more exposed as the tide moves out...and stays out. Picking agents will continue to hide sales stats (TBA or Withheld).

Nic Johnson might get his 15,000 listings soon, did a quick check on last night, And in the four centralish auckland areas (Auckland city, Manukau, Waitakere, North Shore) there were 84 new listings yesterday. And that was filtering out anything except houses, so no units, apartment or sections etc. And it seemed like the majority of them were going to Auction/Tender between 31st Jan and 15th Feb, so the Auction results for those weeks might be interesting.

Maybe I should take the GF out for valentines day and take her to the B&T auction rooms so we can watch waves crashing house prices crashing over a glass of wine.. (and a bit of boomer whining too no doubt) ;)

Always happens when people are back from holidays. B&T auction rooms should be pretty interesting though.

Those sales statistics are devastating. Worst since 2008. It will be interesting to see how the market responds over Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr, do vendors cut prices to move their property? They will if they are smart.


The numbers are so bad Bindi didn’t even try and spin them.

Sales statistics simply indicate that sales are falling - that just means vendors are simply not selling and happy to wait or take their property off the market. A true crash is when prices are falling and sales statistics are rising too - both of which have not occurred yet.

Good to see the latest member of team Spruiker throwing himself(?) into it with such energy :)

You guys are interesting. Everyone that observes something positive is a "spruiker". I've merely pointed out a fact - that volumes are down but prices not so. But feel free to disagree. :)

Prices do not generally adjust unless affordability changes. People tend to maintain their budget at the same level and upgrade their position (i.e. choose Ellerslie over Mt Wellington, or buy a 4 bedroom rather than a 3).

Only thing that will likely bring down medians are increases to interest rates or large scale redundancies. Neither are forecast for this year.

Maybe I was a bit premature, but you're new (or haven't posted for a while) and everything I'd noticed you so far aligns pretty well with the tired excuses trotted out by TTP, Yvil and others. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

long time observer. just got a little more free time now. No tired excuses, but the doom and gloom here seems pretty pervasive amongst some. This was literally an observation.

This site has been infested with them for years now.

BLSH, Yvil :)

Auckland sales median $825,000 @ -5.2%

It's nothing short of a travesty isn't it? I predicted a 5% fall in the median for year ending Dec 2018. Teach me (a self confessed novice) for being way too conservative. As you know, I'm predicting a -6% for Auckland to December 2019. I've "upped" it a little ;-)

Hate to “burst your bubble” Poppy, but the REINZ data is more comprehensive and has proved you wrong. If you go cherrypicking around you might also be able to find an estate agency or two that recorded a 5% drop. Or a particular suburb/street for that matter. Better luck for this year’s predictions.

Seriously though BLSH, despite your free flowing excuses and face saving explanations to the contrary, it's hardly the "quick flip" market it was when you entered now is it? ....

"if only you'd not put all eggs in one basket - if only"

Don’t make assumptions about my eggs.

What do I care if it isn’t a quick flip market? I’ve never sold a house! And the market I entered was slow, not far off the depths of the GFC.

Actually, just another observation.

REINZ's actual report - Auckland's seasonally adjusted median price - Up 1.8%, up 0.2% on December 2017

I wouldn't speak too soon. Almost every renter I've spoken to over the summer has said their landlord is gearing up to sell in the next few months. The new proposed legislation is scaring the crap out of landlords who for too long have been complacent in renting out under-insulated, under-maintained boxes for exorbitant prices. I'm predicting in a few months time there'll be headlines of a 'rental shortage', especially as June approaches. Heck, the rental I live in doesn't have compliant insulation - do I complain and risk the landlord tapping out and putting the place on the market? Sure, I could buy it, but it has weather tight issues, years of neglected maintenance, in a high risk quake zone - would the bank even lend to me on that basis?
The great landlord exit is approaching... then we'll see where prices go.

So don't buy one that has weathertight issues, buy one that is properly built, but not insulated, and do the insulation and redecorating yourself. If there is that large an exodus you should be able to get a bargain.

x2 on that.

Sounds like the landlord would have to take a bit of a bath on that one then.

Good deal for someone then!

i only had two rentals - - and sold one the week before christmas and have offers on teh other one -- both in hamilton -- they are solid modern units - with good occupancy - -and are fully compliant - i did the insulation myself -- its not crappy landlords getting out -- its good landlords with small holdings -- who are scared not of the basic requirements for a warm safe home -- - but of the unknown changes to come - and the increased regulation that is just making this investment very unattractive

ps -- my 6 bed unit housing six people all with long term Mental Health / social issues is now owned by a young childless couple -- so the damage is on many levels that this uncertainty is causing

Very interesting to see these results from REINZ considering the data coming out from Auckland's largest Real Estate agencies, QV, Core Logic, One Place etc was all pointing to a drop in December...

Nevertheless keep your eyes on the slowing Global economy, Trade Wars, Brexit, Eurozone troubles, US corporate debt, Australian property market and all of the other risks out their unfolding which could have an impact on the NZ economy and property market.

I'm still short to medium term bearish and long term bullish on Auckland and NZ.


I think NZ is heading for a crash, and Auckland in particular, the impact of which could last 10 years or more. Oh there'll be some bargains though, and 15 years is a good outlook if you manage to buy in the coming trough. For anyone under 50 who's not already mortgaged to the hilt, they'll be opportunities.

All salient points - there does seem to be more downside factors than upside at this stage. We will see how households respond (i.e. if there's going to be a sell down) based on their balance sheets.


These figures are a portend of things to come.
Frustrated sellers will start to slash prices as autumn and winter approaches.
Each such price slash will affect all the other properties for sale and we may get a price-drop-death-spiral if we are not careful.
Considering the large equities many home owners have built up over ther years, slashing a $50K or a $100K off a sale price will hardly worry them - but it will worry the c**p out of their neighbours and the real estate industry especially the developers.


And an aging population is a dying one.
Beneficiaries to an estate have no equity at stake, and only 'capital gain' to make. They don't care, in many cases, what it sells for, only that it does (to divide by 2 or 4 or 6 etc).
If you have a Deceased Estate next door to you, you may want to think about what it's resolution will do to the 'value' of your house(s).

Agreed. Leverage working in reverse can really scare the punters and they just start bailing out at any cost. Watched it happen in the late 90s as the chill from the Asian financial crisis swept the world. Investors, most were speculators, running around the office crapping their pants that they were about to loose the family home, and fighting to dump student housing in Greylynn for under $200k.

Ultimately all driven by a tightening in bank credit, and the banks questioning speculators as to where they actual equity was in the near future. Is the same message about to be imported from Sydney and Melbourne?

Think babyboomers will realise they need cash flow and not expensive houses to get through retirement?

"lowest house sales volumes in seven years, days to sell up, national median price rises 1.5%"

The resilience of the housing market price is incredible


If you love the housing market so much why don't you just go and marry it? can't marry your mummy you know?

Both, very intelligent comments

Someone should ask REINZ if all the agencies actually got their data returns in to them on time!

Marvelous. And more marvelousness to come
Sell now specuvestors, while you can ...prices are still very high so you'll escape the worst of it.

From February onwards the housing market across NZ will be absolutely swamped with listings owned by investors who do not want to insulate or bring their homes up to the new healthy homes standard and are also not interested in owning rentals any longer due to the new rules like ring fencing, 6 monthly rent increase being banned etc, etc. Many of these investors are in their 50’s and 60’s and have made massive capital gains over the last 20 years and the timing for cashing up is now upon them. They don’t really care if they get less than they might have got a year or two ago as they are making a killing regardless. Not sure what they are going to do with the money they will release - if it all sits in bank term deposits then the banks will have to lower interest rates in order to entice house buyers to take up mortgages. There will be many, many vacant homes post July that have not sold as it will be too risky for landlords to leave uninsulated/sub standard homes with tenants in them - not worth risking legal action and fines. This will lead to rent increases as less stock available. Going to be one of the most interesting real estate climates in years. Who will buy all these surplus homes that are going to blitz the marketplace?

Plenty of buyers out there.. once the Briscoes sale pricing kicks in :)

Does that mean the agent puts the $1M house on the market at $2.2M for one week then "slashes" it by (up to) 50% down to just $1.1M?

We have been at the non-sale pricing level for a few years now.. so yeah, that 40%-60% sale must be just around the corner, Think Briscoes, but at real estate market timeframes.. :)

Once they're selling for land value, I'll buy them. Looking to build in an established area, rather than those crappy new subdivisions in woop woop with all the idiotic covenants. should start a database charting the increase in listings from now until July and watch it soar

I started a spreadsheet to do this last night. Auckland only. Total listings, Houses, Apartments, Units from and trademe. Need to sort out automating it, so its only a mouse click or two to get the numbers.

If someone wants to do it for nationwide that'd be interesting too.

Please share it! Would be useful.

I can help with automating this. How can I contact you privately?

I'm just going to use the web scraper add-on for chrome, it's pretty straight forward, even a dummy like me can scrape one number off a webpage.

I've been thinking about collecting some data from various sites to help out the guys at DFA. Collating data from sites like realestate/trademe etc.

Basically, run it at a certain time every day and drill down into regions to see how many are for sale where and make some charts from this and maybe even get like average prices etc.

Oscillation is what we want - what we don't need is house price to stop raising and a BIG drop, the likes of Ireland and Spain!


Or do we? A big housing crash might result in the same attitude to housing speculation as the 87 crash did for shares with my parents generation.. It could result in NZers investing in productive businesses instead of treating "The Block" like a sermon from the mount.

The short term would be an economic disaster, so I guess it comes down to do we rip the sticking plaster off and get it over and done with, or do we try to peel it off slowly...

Where is Roger Douglas when he's needed! Forget ripping off the sticking plaster and amputate the gangrenous limb....

Nah, with US, Canada and Australia are all in a spat with the Mother Land.. NZ will be the next destination promoted by the Ruling Party! Unless Jacinda joins the party..

Roger Douglas is living down the road from my sister in law. He can be seen walking his dog.

What you're talking about there might be a choice between bailing out/bailing in a bank, or not. In Ireland they went with the bailout option (but pretty much forced to by the EU). Not bailing out a bank might mean a depression and reset, rather than a bailout and a decade of austerity, with a big erosion of "middle NZ". See everywhere else that has done that. Neither is a great option but that's what a crash could well mean. We can pretty much say they would go with the bailout and austerity option. I see DFA's updated predictions have nearly a 50% probability of the Australian property market dropping 20-30% with one bank bailout.

Actually 20 years of 1% nominal drops would be pretty nice.

Assuming wage growth kept on ~3%pa, that would bring the household income to house price multiple for Auckland back to 4.

it would be nice but seems very unlikely. Has that ever happened anywhere ever before, without a big sudden drop beforehand? I know the Japan market has been very stagnant since it's 1980s crash, but it was a crash first. Not sure there's such a thing as a soft landing, ever, anywhere, from the heights of this kind of unaffordability.

I’m inclined to agree. Markets overshoot. But still a slow glide would be nice.

Comes back to the question of psychology that Kahneman studied around pain and whether its best to pull a bandaid off fast or slowly....

Thought last November and Decembers median prices for Auckland were $880,000 and $870,000 respectively not $860,000? Last two months look like a drop in median prices after a spike in October. Can you clarify Gareth?
Does anyone have the data on the last time there was a median price drop in Auckland YoY for December?

Looks like Auckland's median was 870K last December:

Yep not sure where the $860,000 came from. Would be good to go back a few more years to see the YoY trends.

Looks like it got "adjusted" after that report, the Jan 2018 report uses 861k for the Dec 2017 Auckland median.

"A realistic approach to market value may help vendors sell their property in a more reasonable timeframe”

Translated: sorry mate but your house just isn't worth what you want it to be - you missed that bus - but jump aboard this red one - does it really matter that it's going in the opposite direction to where you want to go?!

Here in Hawke's Bay prices up 9.3% for year, down 2.3% for month.
Went out to look and check my home; no different to what it was like last year nor last month. Still have exactly the same home despite price going up or down. Also checked the bank account; no extra or less money there.
As a home owner should I be on the edge of my seat? Seems that many contributors are. :)

The people on the edge of their seat are

1. People who desperately want to buy a house in NZ and
2. Un-diversified investors who have all their wealth tied up in NZ housing

Sitting on the sidelines can be fun sometimes.

Indeed, but we can be sure that a crash won't be fun for anyone. It won't just be the property market, it'll be employment, bank bailouts, sharemarket. But yes, there'll be mortgagee bargains aplenty.


No bank bailouts. Under Open Bank Resolution(OBR),which has been in place since 2013,a bank failure would see the shareholders and some bond holders wiped out. Then depositors would see a percentage of their money taken away-a haircut- and the bank would reopen immediately under statutory management.

In theory. In reality there is nothing stopping the govt from bailing a bank out if the bank can talk our govt into it. We won't know which way it goes until it happens.

Yeah I'd say in reality it would be a bailout rather than bail-in, or perhaps both, depending on which bank it is. It is concerning that there is no deposit guarantee. Australia has $250K per bank, and Canada $100K. Can you imagine the public outcry if a percentage of people's deposits of one of the big 4 banks were taken in a bail-in, to keep the bank open, rather than the govt stepping in with a bailout? it would also depend just how much the bank needed to pay its overseas creditors, who would really be the ones forcing the issue, right? That's what happened in Ireland.

You'd hope we have more cojones than Ireland's politicians (albeit their hands were forced by the ECB) and at least get equity in exchange a la Iceland. if bank leadership are not capable enough to avoid running their bank into the ground they should not receive no strings attached bailouts.

Auckland market still going sideways. Jan 2018, (lowest sales since Feb 2011) was lower than Dec 2018. Next two months will be _very_ interesting.


It will be make or break.

Be careful of what you Aucklandites wish for!
Reality is that if housing does suffer large price drops, it doesn’t mean that you will be able to afford a house in Auckland anyway!
If you haven’t bought by now then you will not be able to in the future as Banks will not lend to you!

We all know that housing has been very expensive in Auckland but that is what people were prepared to pay up there!
Experienced well heeled investors will do very good out of this type of market, they always do and that is when the money is to made, just like the sharemarket when it crash’s as it will do!
Property investment is a sound 8 vestment providing it has been bought right and is giving a positive return of at least 6%.
Yes it is going to be a very interesting time and is Mr Twyford still going to be promising all these KiwiBore boxs or is he going to talk more shite this year???

Loads of shite to explain why there are very few homes built and why it isn't his fault. If the auckland council and Phool Goff get a rocket then it wont be a bad thing.

"Banks will not lend to you!"
Yes they will, but only when the maths makes sense to them, and a long way down from here, purchase price wise....

"If you haven’t bought by now then you will not be able to in the future as Banks will not lend to you!"

What absolute rubbish. Banks lend on risk which reflect Borrower's income and personal situations. Levels do change with the economic environment but if anything unemployment is at historical lows so job security is relatively strong.

The investor is far more likely to be impacted in this banking environment than the owner-occupier, especially ones coming up to retirement age that cannot take 30 year P&I positions.

I read late last year UK banks now lend, say, 30-year mortgages to those who are 20 and 30 years of age. At 40, you can only get a 25 years one ( to coincide with retirement age of 65) and at 50, it's down to 15 years....
Shades of what's to come here?

So the lower home ownership rate will coincide with the pool of potential buyers having reduced credit availability. And credit availability will drive pricing levels.

We live in interesting times.

A bank would be reckless to lend on any other basis than to put lending back-to-back with expected income.


My wife's recently divorced friend was told that her mortgage repayment period was limited to the age of 70. At 55 years old, she is struggling to borrow enough to buy a unit. The same equity would go a lot further attached to a younger borrower.

You meant to say - Thats what Johnny Foreigner was prepared to pay up there -

TM2, you are sounding a bit down - Chin up! house price will still double every 7-12 years!

Chairman, totally the opposite!
I have no worries financially or health Wise!
ChCh market is the soundest of any that I know in Australasia!
Steady as she goes and rental returns guaranteed far in excess of any other investments,
Growth in a ChCh assured and exciting times ahead for those that invest wisely

CHCH is a bit shaky for my liking..

Plus the crime and the skinheads are unreal down there. They could make another Underworld movie and film it in Christchurch.

Hasn’t affected me and aren’t seeing any skinheads where I am!
Don’t rent to people that don’t check out fine so how is it an issue if they were around?

I was in CHCH for two days just before new year, while on my way back to the airport a couple of them yelled out "Go home"..
Now go figure!

haven't seen a single skinhead since I moved back a year ago.... chch has improved a lot in the last few years and that's going to continue. TM2 is on point in that regard. no better place in nz to bring up kids.

Oh I don't know.... begs to differ.

Auckland Population = 1.6 Million
Christchurch Population = 400,000

Assault = Auck - 5,719 (357 per 100,000), Chch - 1,694 (423 per 100,000)
Sexual Assault = Auck - 513 (32 per 100k), Chch - 214 (54 per 100k)
Burglary = Auck - 18,885 (1180 per 100k), Chch - 6,374 (1593 per 100k)
Theft = Auck - 42,800 (2675 per 100k), Chch - 12,419 (3105 per 100k)

Auckland CBD crimes are likely 'inflated' as well, since it's one of the few parts of the country that isn't under-policed, and more crimes would be reported as a result.

no mention of skinheads in your stats.

So normal Cantabrians are just more violent / rapey and generally less law abiding? Good to know.

I'm very interested in this comment:
"Reality is that if housing does suffer large price drops, it doesn’t mean that you will be able to afford a house in Auckland anyway!
If you haven’t bought by now then you will not be able to in the future as Banks will not lend to you!"

If no Aucklandites can afford to buy then who will buy the houses? If banks wont lend and affordability went down, Would that mean the house prices would go down even further until somebody can afford to buy?
Please enlighten me.

In Auckland, December sales volumes dropped 429, or 24%, to 1,336 from 1,765 in December 2017. That was the lowest Auckland December sales volumes since 1,250 in December 2008

A reminder that in Dec 2008, volumes were impacted by the GFC .... Current economic conditions are nothing like the GFC, and current sales volumes are near those levels. What happens if the economic conditions get more challenging? For example, an economic recession and unemployment starts rising ...

A significant house price decline (and credit bubble bursting) is the most likely cause a the next recession, not the other way around - whether that be in China, Australia, New Zealand, or all three at the same time.

expect to see house prices stagnate, or fall for the bets part of the next decade. there isn't a 5 minute fix. no amount of spruiking will hide the fact that the fundamentals for capital appreciation have long gone

Rents are going to go through the roof. I personally know of people pulling the pin on their rental. Nothing wrong with the tenants in there either as they have been in the property for like 5 years. There will be no good news if your renting.

Unless you're renting and want to buy.. sudden supply of people wanting to get out, with a known deadline, good time to make lowball offers until someone gets desperate.

And what are they going to do when they've 'pulled the pin' on their rental(s)? Burn them as they leave?
Nope. My guess is that either an owner/occupier will make a bid ( see comment above) or sell to another landlord.
The property itself isn't going anywhere! Oh, and all of that is a portend of LOWER rent, capital prices ( and mortgage rates, of course!) coming up.

But BW, suuuurely there will be homelessness because there's 10 people in every rental and 0.5 people in every owner occupier home!!!!!! For every rental property that becomes owner occupied, 9.5 people need to find another place to live!!!

Carlos67, stop the fearmongering man. First about the buy side of things and now about renting. There is NO shortage in NZ.

Haha, you have to leave Carlos to himself.. you'll notice a barrage of posts when he's high, then he disappears into thin air..

The current high demand for rental property in Auckland is the annual, seasonal occurrence. Happened last January when talk of rental demand being high - possibly due to some families trying to get into properties zoned for good schools, groups of university students looking for accommodation for the university year, or some other motivation ... There is then the trickle effect of this as displaced renting families / individuals in highly desirable neighbourhoods move out into nearby neighbourhoods with lower rental prices per week.

This one off glitch and has been around since the late 1990s, it's nothing new. I was in Auckland looking for rental back in 1998 and still remembered the long line up at few properties in Grey Lynn. it will die off in about 4-5 weeks!

So true. always a big push when the students return

I believe the Auckland HPI dropped 1.8% YoY, not the 1.7% reported. According to it was 2874 for Dec 2017, and the above article says it was 2822 for Dec 2018.

>>> (2822 - 2874)/2874.0

Btw, this is the 5th consecutive month that Auckland HPI has been down YoY. And it's the 3rd consecutive month that the magnitude of the YoY decrease has increased (-0.1%, -0.48%, -0.55%, -1.81%). Place your bets for January folks.

according to the chart above, January is always the slowest month, lets see how low it goes and if it picks up Feb-March.

Are you betting Jan is going lower than a snakes belly? :)

With headwinds building to gale strength and the possibility of the great debt reset coming closer by the day you would be a hero to buy at anywhere near cv let alone owners asking price. According Feb and Mar will be more of the squashed advo for agents and agencies.

If I was making an offer it would be 25% under cv. Bank lending is about to have a major change.

Already a property with CV of 1225000 is looking at million near around and has got offer in 900s so 20% fall can be seen........matter of time before most listing are between 15% to 30% below CV.

Auckland is starting to look in real trouble, all downhill from here as the city of sails goes off the rails

When sensible people can buy sensible priced homes, then we will know that things have returned to sanity.

When Governments stop using Tax Payers money to subsidise Rental Mental Housuing, then I may think that sanity prevails.

I do hope that prices subside. I have personally had enough of New Zealand being the second most over priced Homes in the Speculators Agenda....World wide and at Home. (Using that word....not Houses)

Two people working earning normal wages, cannot compete with Speculators subsidised by Taxpayers and leveraged to the hilt.

When Houses become Homes again, then I and others will be proved sane, whilst those who over Capitalised the Capitals of the World, ours being the Second worse one over Speculated on in the History of the World.

Capitals stand out more when used in sentences, but a life sentence of Mortgage, for two people young and unaware of the Competitive realities of life of Borrowed Money, trying to compete with over Capitalised Idiots, supported by Funny Money Borrowings, is so serious that I want to point out ...there is a Limit.

I trust that 2019 is the time that the Whole World is when Capital Gains are Taxed in Favour of Taxpayers not the other way in the Land of the Speculators .....Benefit.

Leverage is OK on the way up, but when it impacts on the Taxpayers on the way down, the Insanity will be shared across the Board and of course that Board may not have been treated fairly and equitably for a Rainy Day.

Housing is a shelter for People, not Tax Avoiders.

Workers are those who do Work, but do not shirk their Responsibilities.

Governments are meant to Govern, not speculate in Speculators speculations. I speculate, if enough people actually realise that they are supporting Speculating MP's, in power, in the Houses of Parliament Speculators, then a revolution on paying twice for your Speculators Benefits, may, just may bring in a Capital Gains Tax on all Speculators who Bent the Rules, to make an untaxed dollar, payed for by those who did not shirk their Taxes.......Capital is one thing in a Sentence. Less Capital, means we are not as Borrowed Heavily to pay for Speculators and their Rental Mental Attitudes.

Friday Funnies, this ain't. .....I am serious.

Excuse the Capitals, words mean one thing in Capital Expenditure, Long May Man realise the Difference.

Though not on this yet.

Article in the Herald this morning regarding rentals in zwellington and Auckland is very interesting isn’t it?
This so-called government are going to be covered in egg this year as all they are doing is creating a mess and putting leoples cost of living up!
Emergency grants at an all time high due to this Coalition of Losers!

Emergency grants are at an all time high because of almost 20 years of neglecting housing. Come back to the real world.

60% of private rentals receive the accommodation supplement. We're funneling social welfare to landlords after neglecting the issue for decades, and that makes things worse for everyone except the landlords.

Where'd you get the 60% figure from Rick?

So we give landlords tax breaks then pay them welfare indirectly as well - via a tenants bank account in the form of rent?

Simply outrageous!

I thought this was supposed to be a free market?

Just the usual new years herald beat up. Students flocking back to Uni towns looking for places always puts a bit of a crunch on at this time of year.

Jan 2018:
jan 2017: &
jan 2016:

Summary: nzherald gonna nzherald. *yawn*

The Man 2, You are making the housing bubble and inevitable bust party political. It's not. The RBNZ and banks have more to do with it, but previous govt didn't help by denying a bubble and actually encouraging it. This current govt will end up not helping with continuing the current building boom which won't work (like Ireland), but it's not the fault of one new govt.

There is no housing bubble in NZ!
Yes Auckland prices are expensive but so are many other major cities around the world.
No one is compelled to live in Auckland as it is overrated!
Christchurch is far superior but then different strokes for different folks as they say!

But.. but... but... houses!

Remember in Auckland that there is population growth, inbound migration, Auckland is a desirable place to live in a global city context, the cost of building is increasing and a shortage of supply of housing (as per the property market commentators) .... If there really is a shortage of housing, shouldn't there be lots of people itching to buy in Auckland, lots of transactions completed and lots of active buyers in the market making offers to buy at current price levels ? ...

The fact that there are fewer completed transactions and fewer active buyers at these price levels suggests there is a shortage of AFFORDABLE housing in Auckland ...

Time will tell.. Akl just the same as Syd, Van. Hold on ya hats!!