The most important part of the release can be easily overlooked and it is important.
“However, January data was “often impacted by the seasonal mix of properties”, with fewer high value properties coming to market in this month, she said.”
It was a similar story 12 months ago in January 2013 when the REINZ said:
“The national median price rose 4.2% compared to January 2012 to $370,000 but eased from the record $389,000 established in December 2012.”
What this all means is that fewer expensive houses sold in January and, as a result, skewed the sales data.
January is always a total mess when it comes to getting accurate figures.
What with the holidays, the weather and half the lawyers and real estate agents on holiday accurate figures are almost impossible to collate.
All markets go up and down, take breathers, or get ahead of themselves.
The property market is no different.
Clued up investors will see any pause as a chance to grasp the opportunity to drive harder bargains and ultimately make greater profits.
News Release February 2014
Softer Prices and Volumes in January Market
- 4,719 dwellings sold in January 2014, down 4.3% on January 2013
- National median price eased $25,000 to $402,000 (–‐5.8%) from record high set in December
- Nelson/Marlborough reached a new high median price
- More than 1 in 5 sales were by auction in the 12 months to January 2014
REINZ, the most up to date source of real estate data in New Zealand, announced today that there were 4,719 dwelling sales in the month of January, down 4.3% on January last year and down 17.0% compared to December. The national median price of $402,000 was an increase of $32,000 or 8.6% compared to January 2013, and a decrease of $25,000 from December 2013.Nelson / Marlborough reached a new high median price of $380,000.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Chief Executive Helen O’Sullivan says, “There are a number of factors in play in the market in January, including seasonal factors and the ongoing impact of restrictions on high loan to value lending. As a result it is difficult to get an entirely clear steer on the direction of the market this month.”
“Volumes are still strong relative to the last five years, but are down 4.3% overall on the same time last year. The softer volume result continues a pattern that began in November and continued in December; however, market feedback suggests that first homebuyers may be tentatively returning with some assistance –‐ to certain markets. This is by no means a consistent message, with views decidedly mixed outside of the main cities.”
“The national median price is up $32,000 or 8.6% on the same time last year, but down $25,000 or just under 6% from December 2013. This does suggest a softening price trend, which would come as a relief to many commentators. However January data is often impacted by the seasonal mix of properties, with fewer high value properties coming to market in this month. The Stratified House Price Index, which adjusts for some of the mix issues, is down by 2.2% compared with December 2013.”
“Also of interest in the month is the small but steadily increasing number of properties coming to market in Christchurch being that is, damaged and unrepaired. Prices achieved can range from full value for lightly damaged properties to land value less demolition costs for severely damaged dwellings. We will be taking a close interest in this trend as it develops.”
REINZ data shows there were 4,719 unconditional residential sales in January, a 4.3% fall on January 2013, and a fall of 17.0% from December. A fall from December volumes is to be expected given that many campaigns will be timed to start in the latter half of the month after the holiday season ends, and On a
seasonally adjusted basis the number of sales was 1.1% lower compared to December, indicating that the number of sales in January was lower than would normally be expected for this time of the year.
Four regions recorded increases in sales volume compared to January last year, with Central Otago Lakes recording the largest increase of 39.8%, followed by Northland with 11.9% and Hawkes Bay with 8.6%. Four regions recorded an increase in sales volume compared to December, with Manawatu/Wanganui recording the largest increase of 20.1%, followed by Taranaki with an increase of 6.1% and Central Otago Lakes with an increase of 5.5%. While the total number of sales was down 4.3% compared to January 2013, the number of sales below $400,000 fell by 15.6%. This follows a fall in sales below $400,000 of 16.8% between December 2012 and December 2013. This may be indicative of fewer sales in the lower price brackets since the imposition of the LVR restrictions.
The national median house price fell $25,000 (–‐5.9%), from $427,000 in December, to $402,000 in January. Compared to January 2013 the national median house price increased by $32,000 (+8.6%), with 10 regions recording an increase in the median price. 69% of the increase in the national median price compared to January last year occurred in Auckland and 13% occurred in Waikato/Bay of Plenty. Christchurch contributed 10% of the increase in median price over that period. Together these three regions accounted for 92% of the increase in the median price between January 2014 and January 2013. Nelson/Marlborough recorded a new median high in January of $380,000. $31,000 from December 2013. Compared to January 2013 Nelson/Marlborough recorded the largest increase in median price, up 11.8%, followed by Auckland with 11.7% and Otago with 10.9%. The REINZ Stratified Housing Price Index, which adjusts for some of the variations in the mix that can impact on the median price, is 7.7% higher than January 2013. The Auckland Index has risen 14.0% compared to January 2013, with the Christchurch Index up 10.0% and the Wellington Index down 1.1%.
Days To Sell
Dwellings took 11 days more to sell in January compared to December at 43 days. Compared to January 2013, the median number of days to sell was two days longer. Four regions saw an improvement in the number of days to sell between January 2013 and January 2014, with Wellington recording the largest improvement of eight days. Waikato/Bay of Plenty saw an improvement of seven days and Taranaki saw an improvement of five days. For the month of January, Canterbury/Westland recorded the shortest days to sell at 35 days, followed by Auckland at 38 days, and Wellington at 42 days. Northland and Hawkes Bay recorded the longest number of days to sell at 61 days, followed by Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Manawatu/Wanganui with 53 days. Over the past 10 years the median days to sell for the month of January has averaged 45 days across New Zealand.
Nationally there were 375 dwellings sold by auction in January representing 8.0% of all sales and a reduction of 74 on the number of dwellings sold by auction in January 2013. Auctions have been increasingly favoured as a sales method in certain centres over the past year; for the 12 months to January 2014 the total number of sales by auction reached 16,431 or 20.6% of all sales, compared to 12,168 or 16.3% of all sales for the 12 months to January 2013. Transactions in Auckland again dominated the auction market in January, representing 71.7% of the national total of auction sales. 15.5% of all dwelling sales in Auckland were by auction in January; down from the 18.3% of sales by auction in January 2013. Sales by auction in Waikato/Bay Of Plenty accounted for 13.3% of the national total, Canterbury/Westland accounted for 5.9% of the national total, and all other regions combined accounted for the remaining 8.8% of auction sales in January 2014.