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  • Writer's pictureParry Singla

MARKET ACTIVITY AND PRICES CONTINUE TO EASE, FIRST HOME BUYERS START TO RETURN TO THE MARKET

New Zealand’s winter property market continues its recent trend, slowing from the pace of sales and price rises of last year — properties stay on the market longer and median prices dip, according to the latest data and insights from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), home of the most complete, accurate and up-to-date real estate data in New Zealand. Across New Zealand, median prices for residential property decreased 1.8% annually, from $825,000 in July 2021 to $810,000 in July 2022. Month-on-month, this represents a 4.7% decrease from $850,000 in June. The median residential property price for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased 4.5% annually from $688,999 in July 2021 to $720,000 in July 2022. There was a month-on-month decrease of 2.7% from $740,000. The median price in Auckland was down 5.6% compared to July last year from $1,165,000 to $1,100,000 in July 2022. Auckland also recorded a month-on-month decrease of 4.3% — down from $1,150,000 in June. Auckland was one of five regions to see an annual decrease in the median price. In Wellington, the median price was down 5.9% annually, from $860,000 to $809,100 in July 2022. Tasman was down 4.6% annually, from 839,000 to $800,000, Otago was down 3.7% from $670,000 to $645,000 and Manawatu/Whanganui was down 0.2% from $586,000 to $585,000. That said, some regions are still seeing double digit annual median price growth. The median price in Nelson was up 16.3% on July 2021, from $688,000 to $800,000, Taranaki saw the annual median price increase 15.9% on the same period last year, from $535,000 to $620,000, West Coast was up 14.7% from $296,500 to $340,000 and Canterbury saw an annual increase of 13.6%, from $597,000 to $678,000. Two territorial authorities (TAs) achieved record medians. • Hurunui District in Canterbury • Grey District in the West Coast. Jen Baird, Chief Executive at REINZ, comments: “The median property price across New Zealand decreased 1.8% to $810,000. This is the first decrease in annual median price movement for New Zealand overall since July 2011. Moving from June to July, we note a 4.7% decrease, and the seasonally adjusted figures show a decrease of 2.8%, indicating weaker performance than expected. “We saw a significant upswing in prices since the initial COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020, reaching a peak in November 2021. While the median property price is showing an annual decrease, affordability remains an obstacle for many — which is now being driven by rising interest rates, inflation and tighter lending criteria. “In more affordable regions, we have continued to see significant growth compared to larger markets such as Auckland and Wellington. Buyer demand remains intact in Canterbury, and specifically Christchurch, reflected in the region’s strong performance over the past months. “On the other hand, the Wellington market hasn’t fared so well. According to local agents, the number of attendees at open homes has fallen, days on the market have increased to 61 days in July 2022, and sales activity has eased. Stock is staying on the market for longer and the properties selling are those where vendors have met the market. “Real estate markets are cyclical, after a period of strong upward movement, it is slowing. However, prices tend to decrease more slowly than they increase and after a period of stability, the market tends to regain momentum and median prices start their climb. We are in the easing part of the market cycle,”

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