The country's largest real estate agency had a quieter December, with sales down 5.4% and the average selling price down 2.1% compared to December 2017

The country's largest real estate agency has reported a slower December compared to December 2017.

Harcourts' average selling price, number of sales, number of new listings and stock on hand were all lower in December 2018 than they were in December 2017.

 The average selling price of all residential properties sold by Harcourts in December was $605,216, down 2.1% compared to December 2017.

The agency sold 1570 residential properties in December, down 5.4% compared compared to December 2017 and also received fewer new listings, which were down 14.9% compared to a year earlier.

There was also a 6.3% decline in the total number of residential properties the agency had available for sale comapred to a year earlier.

In Auckland the agency's average selling price in December was $928,004, down 7.8% compared to December 2017, while the number of slaes was down 15.1% and new listings were down 20.5% compared to a year earlier.

The total stock of homes aveilable for sale through Harcourts in Auckland declined from 1679 in December 2017 to 1496 in December 2018 (-10.9%).

In Harcourts' central sales region which includes the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, the average selling price in December was up 5% compared to a year earlier but market activity was softer, with sales down 9.1%, new listings down 17.4% and total inventory down 3.2% compared to December 2017.

In the Wellington region the market was was also slightly quieter, with 5.5% fewer sales in December compared to December 2017, while new listings were down 4.9% and the total number of properties available for sale was down 5.2%.

Harcourts' average selling price in Wellington was $521,088 which was was well down compared to November's average of $559,081 but up 2.6% compared to December 2017.

Things were a bit brighter in Christchurch, where Harcourts' average selling price was $553,390 in December, up 1.8% compared to December 2017, while sales were up 7.2% over the same period, although new listings were down 7.4% and total stock was down 3.2%.

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93 Comments

Tax the capital gains! Oh wait.. Thats a 4% inflation adjusted fall...

What do we do now that the tax money is gone?

Presumably you would be entitled to claim a loss with it ring-fenced so it may only be used against any future capital gain income.

Only if you'd previously declared it with the IRD as a Capital Gains instrument. Otherwise, if you held it for 'investment' purposes and not capital gains, you wouldn't have paid GCT on the way up, so you can't claim a deduction on the way down.

I presumed the comment was directed at a proposed comprehensive CGT the tax working group is considering.

I don't know what a Capital Gain instrument is but if a seller is subject to the current 5 year bright line test they are entitled to claim a loss on disposal which is ring fenced for any future bright line income. I presume any new comprehensive CGT would adopt the same approach.

Under current law if a person is a property trader all property is on revenue account (maybe this is what you refer to as a "Capital Gain instrument"?) so that income is taxable and losses may be claimed and utilised against all other income (i.e. not ring fenced).

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In Auckland the agency's average selling price in December was $928,004, down 7.8% compared to December 2017, while the number of slaes was down 15.1% and new listings were down 20.5% compared to a year earlier.

We live in interesting times.

I know it's just one month's data from one agency, but how many year-on-year results like this are required to officially confirm that house prices in Auckland are dropping at an alarming rate? 7.8% is no joke. I'd still prefer median as opposed to average, but yeah, we live in interesting times indeed...

The drop in the number of new listings indicates that sellers are willing to 'wait it out'. For now...

I would say 3 consecutive months of the same/similar data is needed to confirm a trend

Auckland prices are definitely down Yvil. At least 5%. But I agree we need a few months of data to get a better handle.

Its average price, which is about the worst of all the price numbers, so doesn't carry much weight. Median is better, but still prone to skewing. HPI is the only one thats worth paying much attention too, particularly when sales volumes are low.

When next months Auckland HPI comes out at about -4% YoY (was -1.7% this month), and volume again a decade long low, then a few Auckland property investors are going to have a bad day.

Drop in New listings? Yeah, Nah. The new years listing rush is on, full speed ahead. Auckland (houses only) on Realestate.co.nz are at 6208 today, up from 5898 on the 16th. And 72 of those have been added since 11pm last night.

The developers are continuing to bail out. This is the biggest project I've noticed someone trying to offload, but plenty of 2-4 dwelling projects with consents up for sale.

https://www.realestate.co.nz/3482745

Poorly thought out design. They should have designed lots of compact 2-3 bed townhouses rather than lots of oversized (and overpriced) 4 beddies

Nope, if I'm forced to live that far out I wouldn't be buying a shoebox townhouse.. save those for inner suburbs.

Who said a shoebox? Compact and well designed.
Just because this country hasn't done compact / efficient housing well doesn't mean it can't. Get the density up then have a nicely designed communal courtyard to provide anenity and community.
They won't sell 4 bedroom townhouses out there for the price they expect / need, which I imagine is 900k plus. But a 3 bed townhouse at 700k is a chance.

And nowhere even to grow so much as a lemon tree, jamming more and more people in has way more downsides than up

You can grow Bonsai Lemon Trees.

Yeah, but ratio of lemons to gin and tonics doesn't work..

BHSL would call that manipulated data

ha-ha-ha:) Yeah he would!

I'd call it data from only one agency. I can cherry pick you any result you want! Looking at all agencies, Auckland's median was up 0.2% year on year.

BLSH, I hear it was down 5.2% year on year. To save you from drowning in tears, I'm happy to accept it could even be something in the middle!

https://www.oneroof.co.nz/news/35852

Whatever the truth, you'll always remain besties with Spin-Bindi.

Are you saying that the REINZ data, the most comprehensive available, is wrong? Big call.

BLSH, I think it's more about your psych coming under attack.....

I don't fully understand what you mean. Most of your comments these days are just the cryptic ramblings of a fuddy duddy retiree.

Did you know that last month Bay of Plenty prices reached a record high? Sunny Papamoa Beach is my favorite investment at the moment.

Ha-ha-ha:) BLSH, you do crack me up sometimes :) Luckily, I possess a good sense of humour and can understand you.

Where does Valocity source their data from? They're a mortgage/valuation company with some fancy automated online system from what I can gather. So are they basing the 5.2% figure on all sales or just the ones with mortgages attached to them?

"NZ’s most reliable and up-to-date property information" https://myvalocity.co.nz/

Who am I to question their data gathering techniques. I sit back, leave it to the resident Spruiker-Oracle"s, and chuckle.

Auckland HPI at -1.7% is probably more accurate.

(see page 6 of
https://www.reinz.co.nz/Media/Default/Statistic%20Documents/2019/2018%20...)

The number of apartments going up in Auckland, especially on the (North Shore) must be affecting median and average prices.

I’m surprised the truth is allowed to get out from RE Head Office
Trend showed direction of market long ago
Just amazes how spruikers continue to talk up a declining market situation

Real Estate agents have now realised that the only way they are going to get paid commission is to manage vendor price expectations down.

Just like the GFC

Do you mean KFC ?

Seems bullish.

Thanks for comparing data to the previous December.
Well it looks like the Foreign buyer ban is having an effect but will have to wait for Feb & Mar data to confirm (January is usually too low volumes to be conclusive)

Will be interesting to see the effect of real anti-money laundering measures finally being introduced too, albeit after many horses have bolted.

Don't expect too much

It took the NZ Government from 2006 to 2019 to fully introduce anti-money-laundering regulations. Yep they finally got it done just as the global Trump-Pump and Draghi's-Lolly-Folly eases - right at the top of the hill - and it's now left to the criminal-drug-cartel underground are the only ones left .

Reminds one of ......

The grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men,
He marched them up to the top of
The hill and he marched
Them down again.

And when they were up they were up.
And when they were down they were down.
And when they were only half way up,
They were neither up nor down

Key was certainly criticised (including by columnists on here, NBR, and by international commentators, IIRC) for dragging his feet on AML legislation.

wow down 7.8% in Auckland, not surprised. All the caveats about one month's data and all that apply, but at the very least Auckland is down at least 5%. As predicted.

The average Harcourts Auckland sale price in December 2016 was $959,104 so prices are now currently below 2016 levels. Soon they will be below 2015 levels.

Waikato listing may have been down in Dec, but my trademe records for Ham as of now are certainly up on 12 months ago. And boy there is some building going on around - Hamilton (new and lots of infill) Te Awamutu, Cambridge. Hope there's plenty of buyers with $5- 600k to slash out on these boxes.

"some building going on around" like the famous Hamiltonian Lisa Lewis...

..shes a reno, not a new build. Or perhaps an infill.

And there are Renos and then there are "Renos".. Slap a layer of polyfilla over it and she'll be right.

and fair amount of silicon!

In this climate, you'd be better off selling A2 milk baby powder to the Mainland than buying houses and hold them for Cap Gain

Selling baby formula to mainland China was another of my schemes when I resided downunder
Yet upon due diligence I discovered large numbers of newly minted kiwi residents at the NS branch of Gilmours buying up as many cans of kiwi gold baby formula as they could
Obviously for export back home
Today they probably have taken over Gilmours ?

At the current rate, the profit is $25/can and $40/can for Goat milk and A2 - a well known secret amongst the overseas students

The lower volumes, and the use of average price, means it’s hard to read too much into these falls.

But it is adding to a growing number of factors that are all pointing to Auckland prices falling in 2019. It’s starting to look a lot like A mirror image of what went on in Sydney around 12-18 months ago.

We are now seeing that Auckland is declining from a number of sources.

There are a heck of a lot of houses for sale in my surrounding areas that have been sitting on trade me for 4+ months.The header changes from "listed price" to "by negotiation", to "offers over" to "POA" but they are still sitting there.

As the Akld market sinks further these vendors are going to have to meet the market or change strategy.

There could be a lot of reluctant landlords later this year

Might start seeing a lot of people who are only a few years from retirement deciding that now's the time to cash in?

I am seeing quite a few 'now reduced' house sale signs around but hey, it may be just me and my bearish perspective.

Watching the advertisements scroll by on NZHerald and Stuff - ads from Barfoots and Bayleys rarely display asking prices but go through gymnastics "By Auction", "by negotiation", to "offers over" to "POA" but rarely a price

Infact few houses that I had seen earlier on trade me had asking price but now has been changed to Price by negotiation.

It all points to one direction that housing market is in for a dip and with the speed that it went up will not be surprised if it comes down with the same speed - Again can argue the speed of the fall but not If it will fall or not.

Bad news for speculators specially who have bought in last 2 or 3 years and good news for all FHB and genuine long time investors.

I've been following a few listings for about 6 weeks now. Haven't seen any go through the whole cycle yet, but it looks to me like it goes
Auction (they'll be beating down the door, gonna make serious bank)..
Then when that fails By negotiation (Still optimistic)
Price (This is my bottom dollar price)
Price -5% (no really, this is bottom dollar, i mean it)
Price -10% (okay, this really is my lowest price, I swear)
By Negotiation (won't somebody please take it off my hands.. we can work something out)

In Aucklnd as per data is down by 7.8%.

Wait till March and will know by than how much damage has been done or will happen as even now most real estate agents are potraying to be very positive. Only time will tell if their optimism is correct or just a facade.

.

Christchurch prices up and more sales!
Very steady market as can be expected from the country’s future most desired city in Australasia!
First home buyers are seeing this and starting to act before prices take off!

Went to ChCh and thought it was a bit of a dump. Also just not enough people down there. Golden Triangle dwarfs the future of ChCh on every level.

What's the golden triangle ?

Hamilton-Auck-Tauranga

City offers everything I need, but the real interest is the hills, rivers and mountains around the place. The lack of people is part of the attraction, so I'm delighted that others prefer Auckland.

more space for the skinheads and their used import Corollas

They’re usually into their Ford Falcons.

The real entertainment is drag racing with the cops. #suchfuntilsomeonedies

Then mum will remember their precious angels by doing a massive burnout tribute in the street.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12194425&...

"Oh I'm such a terrible mum," she wrote, posting emojis of a laughing face.

Classy...

Despite fewer listings in Auckland, which should tighten the market up in theory, prices are still going down.
How much more would they fall if listings stayed the same as 2017? This trend does not auger well.
Add to the mix an increasing flood of cheap apartments and ticky-tack town houses and it can only make matters worse.
Then let us not forget KiwiBuild. ( don't laugh- I'm serious) ) with a further 99,847 houses soon to hit the market.

Thankfully Kiwibuild is crawling like a drunk dog, so by the time we get to the election they will have only signed up to pay for 5000ish overpriced dog boxes at the current excessive prices. Just as well Twyford isn't stupid and an effective manager. :)

All joking aside, kiwibuild will start delivering quite a lot of new supply in about a year in Auckland

It's not all rosy across the ditch.. and is Auckland any different?

https://www.domain.com.au/news/chinese-billionaire-zetian-zhang-sold-syd...

Thats right, accord to the spruikers the correct answer is "Nay, Auckland diffrunt!" :) Or was that spelled " neigh" as in the throughbred that is only good for the dogfood factory?

Yes, everyone knows that Auckland is the easternmost suburb of Sydney. Silly spruikers acting like they’re in entirely seperate countries. I’d like to add to my prediction list - pragmatist won’t buy himself a house. Ever. Anywhere. Don’t reply if you agree.

BLSH, I do hope you stick around this forum when the data gets worse and worse, and it gets difficult to deny the market is tanking. There are some in Australia still saying everything is fine, as the decline is accelerating beyond -10% in Sydney (up to -20% in some suburbs of Sydney). They remind me of the bitcoin hodlers as the obvious bubble burst just a year ago.

Don't worry, I'll be around to be accountable either way. I've been saying it for a while now - market is unlikely to get substantially worse or better between now and the bottom of the market in 2021/22.

BLSH, good good, I'm saying it's going to follow Australia into the "substantially worse" category, to say the least. All the best to you sir. I own property but fortunate not to be substantially leveraged btw. I see 15 years being a good time frame in NZ for property, as it will take at least 10 to sort itself out (like Ireland) but best to buy more in the coming lows of the next few years if poss, not at current bubble prices.

Lol, still a twat I see.

No need to be abusive thank you.
I think it’s better to face up to the actual market situation of a severely unaffordable market/speculative bubble. I don’t want a lot of people to get wiped out, like happened in Ireland under very similar circumstances.

He went fishing for a reply.. he got one. Perhaps i need a warning sign, "not snowflake compatible"?

I like John Cleese's recent comment, "I think sociopaths use it (the term snowflake) in an attempt to discredit the notion of empathy". Not saying you'e a sociopath, just taking a lead from them.

Honestly, I'm just trying to help you here, no need to lash out. It takes 25 - 30 years to pay off a mortgage, so at your age you'll struggle to pay one off before you retire unless you buck your ideas up and get in there. Instead your're playing tiddlywinks with small amounts on the stock market. I'm game to sort this hot mess out if you are - what say you?

[bleep] off and mind your own business.

:-)

Wow, Australia gained a million in stamp duty from foreign investment in that apartment. Despite the fact any suggestion of similar on here gets lambasted.

Headline should have been " Auckland House Price down by appox 8% and sales voume down by 15%"

WAIT AND WATCH.

Zilch from granny herald...

Chairman, not sure where you get this skinhead thing from in a ChCh now?
Can you give us evidence that there are plenty around ChCh?
ChCh population is growing rapidly as the building continues!
The Man speaks the gospel!

Try Riccarton and Northland shopping centre

Chch provides that endearing mix of bogans, rednecks and skinheads at one end of the spectrum, and stuffy, boring and conservative rednecks at the other end.
My cousin lived there for 3 years in the early 2000s and he got sick of the nasty anti- Auckland jibing he got, as well as the relatively common abuse his Vietnamese partner got from skinheads.

The skinheads have grown up and moved on to breeding a new generation of criminals.
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12191435

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12194425&...

Today she responded to reaction about the video.

"Oh I'm such a terrible mum," she wrote, posting emojis of a laughing face.

Can we trust the REINZ data that has just been released? Pretty much every other piece of data coming out from all of the agencies, property websites, Core logic etc show price declines in Auckland over December yet REINZ is showing a price increase?

No REINZ showed a -1.7% HPI change. Ignore median and mean.