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New record median price as volumes steady

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ ("REINZ") shows there were 124 fewer lifestyle property sales (-5.8%) for the three months ended March 2017 than for the three months ended March 2016. Overall, there were 2,011 lifestyle property sales in the three months ended March 2017, compared to 1,809 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended February 2017 (+11.2%), and 2,135 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended March 2016.

8,912 lifestyle properties were sold in the year to March 2017, 346 (+4.0%) more than were sold in the year to March 2016. The value of lifestyle properties sold was $7.00 billion for the year to March 2017.

The median price for all lifestyle properties sold in the three months to March 2017 reached a new record high of $625,000 and was $73,000 higher compared to the three months ended March 2016 (+13.2%).

"Strong sales volumes for the most recent three-month period and a significant lift in price are the features of the lifestyle market, where all regions but one experienced increases during the month of March", says REINZ Rural Spokesman Brian Peacocke.

Regional points of interest include:

Northland - a strong market in the $250,000 to $400,000 range with particular demand for sensibly priced properties and any with features such as standout presentation, bush, water and views;

Auckland - a dramatic lift in sales volumes in March in all regions surrounding the city; demand for quality properties, particularly for those with special features and at the top end of the price range is outstripping supply; strong activity surrounding land with potential for residential subdivision, even with considerable holding periods; evidence of banks tightening up on funding investors into longer-term projects;

Waikato - another region experiencing a strong lift in sales volumes and prices with the inevitable consequence of a shortage of supply, particularly of quality properties;

Central Regions - reports of good sales, ongoing strong demand and a shortage of listings across the board in all regions, apart from Gisborne where sales numbers are down; and

South Island - a similar scenario as in the North, with increases in sales volumes recorded in all regions; some sensitivity surrounding prices at the upper levels in Canterbury but less so in Central Otago; consistent report of reduced numbers of listings suggest the market is coming under pressure for both price as well as supply.

Seven regions recorded an increase in sales compared to March 2016. Otago recorded the largest increase in sales (+53) in the three months to March 2017 compared to March 2016, Wellington saw an increase of 32 sales and Manawatu/Wanganui an increase of 30 sales. Compared to February 2017, 11 regions recorded an increase in sales.

The national median price for lifestyle blocks rose by $73,000 (+13.2%) for the three months to March 2017 compared to the three months to March 2016 to reach a new record high. The median price for lifestyle blocks in Auckland rose by $200,000 (+20.0%) from $1,000,000 for the three months March 2016 to $1,200,000 for the three months to March 2017. Over the same period, the median price rose by 36.6% in Waikato to $655,500, and by 7.0% to $685,000 for Canterbury.

The median number of days to sell for lifestyle properties improved by 13 days in the three months to March 2017 compared to the three months to March 2016 to sit at 54 days. Compared to the three months ended February 2017 the median number of days to sell improved by one day. Waikato and Bay of Plenty recorded the shortest number of days to sell in March 2017 at 45 days, followed by Auckland at 49 days and Hawke’s Bay at 51 days. West Coast recorded the longest number of days to sell at 293 days, followed by Otago at 72 days.

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