New Zealand sales volumes up a fifth on last year
New Zealand property sales volumes rose by more than a fifth in 2012 and look set to continue strongly this year, says a top industry figure.
A new report from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 74,000 sales during 2012, up 21% on the previous year – and the highest level since 2007.
But the total was still well below 2003 peak figures of more than 120,000, says REINZ chief executive, Helen O’Sullivan.
“A new record median price and robust volume growth saw the New Zealand real estate market end 2012 on a strong note and positioned for those trends to continue into 2013.”
New Zealand’s median house price reached a new record of $389,000 in December, up almost 10% on a year earlier and 1.5% on November.
Across New Zealand the total value of residential sales was $2.73billion in December, compared to $3.62billion in November, and $2.32billion in December 2011. The annual total value of residential sales was $33.95billion.
Auckland and Canterbury/Westland regions together made up over half the real estate activity and limited supply resulted in significant price gains.
Other parts of the country enjoying strong growth included Central Otago Lakes and Wellington.
Canterbury/Westland’s median house price rose 1.7% compared to November to a new record median price of $351,000, although Auckland’s median house price dropped $5,000 to $535,000.
In December, Nelson/Marlborough recorded the largest monthly increase of 8.3%, followed by Central Otago Lakes at 5.9% and Taranaki up 5.4%.
Compared to December 2011, Auckland had the highest price jump, up 10.5%, followed by Canterbury/Westland with 8.0% and Northland with 6.3%.
The REINZ Stratified House Price Index, which adjusts for some variations, is 6.7% higher than December 2011 but eased 0.6% compared to November.
The Christchurch House Price Index set another new record high in December and is up almost 12% compared to December 2011.
REINZ data shows there were 5,754 unconditional residential sales in December, up 8.2% on the same time last year, but down 22.8% on a month ago. On a seasonally adjusted basis December’s sales were broadly in line with November and 14.8% higher than December last year.
Eight regions recorded increases in sales volume compared to December last year. Northland was up 37.2%, followed by Auckland at 18.7% and Central Otago Lakes at 18.4%.
All regions recorded falls in sales volume in December compared to November, as is usual over the festive holiday period. Northland had the smallest fall of 8.8% followed by Nelson/Marlborough, down 11.2% and Canterbury/Westland, down 11.3%.
It took on average 32 days to sell each property, one day less than in November and three days less than December 2011.
For the third month in a row, Canterbury/Westland recorded the shortest selling period of 28 days, followed by Auckland at 29 days and Wellington at 30 days.
Northland took the longest time to sell at 60 days, followed by Waikato/Bay of Plenty with 52 days and Central Otago Lakes with 51 days.
Over the past 10 years the median days to sell during December has averaged 33 days across New Zealand.
The number of properties sold at auction in 2012 rose more than two-thirds (68.3%) on the previous year and by 86.9% in the Auckland region.
“The growth in auction sales has been particularly strong in Auckland where almost two of every five sales are now by auction,” says the CEO.
Nationally there were 1,102 homes sold by auction in December, 19.2% of all sales, slightly less than the 20.7% sold by auction in November.
For the 12 months to December the total number of auctions was 11,950 or 16.1% of all sales, compared to 7,101 or 11.6% of all sales the previous year.