NZ house prices plunge in January

By Leith van Onselen

The REINZ has released its house price data for January, which revealed a seasonal 5.0% monthly fall in the national median house price, with prices up 9.4% year-on-year:

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Outside Auckland, house prices fell by 5.6% in January, with prices up 9.8% year-on-year.

Looking at the major cities, Auckland’s median house price fell by 4.2% in January to be up 11.8% year-on-year. Christchurch’s fall by 4.6% in January and by 1.6% year-on-year. Whereas Wellington’s median house price fell by 13.2% in January but was up 16.8% year-on-year:

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Sales volumes continue to fall, down heavily across all major markets in both monthly and year-on-year terms:

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Sales volumes in Auckland have literally crashed to the lowest level in at least five years:

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At the same time, listings in Auckland are beginning to pick-up, although they are down elsewhere:

The number of properties for sale in Auckland is certainly rising, with more than four months of supply now available and a rise of more than a month of supply over the past year. This lead indicator means greater choice for Auckland home buyers, and prompts us to ask whether the Auckland market is showing some early new signs of activity…

The number of properties available for sale continues to decline nationwide with 3,743 fewer houses for sale in January compared to 12 months ago, although the number of properties for sale in the Auckland region as increased by 1,135 (+17%). Compared to January 2016 the number of new listings fell 9% in Canterbury, 29% in Wellington and 16% in Waikato/Bay of Plenty. Excluding Auckland, the number of properties for sale has fallen by 4,878 (22%) over the past 12 months.

Finally, the decline in sales volumes has been concentrated at the “affordable” price points, suggesting first home buyers continue to suffer:

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Between January 2016 and January 2017, the number of homes sold for more than $1 million rose by 8% to 456 homes to equal almost 11% of all dwellings sold. The number of dwellings sold under $600,000 has declined by 781 between January 2016 and January 2017 compared to a fall of 741 for all dwellings.

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Unconventional Economist

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