Megan Cross

February Market Update

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It's not always quite what you read.

The month of January typically experiences a slower pace in the real estate market, with sales gaining momentum in February. However, the beginning of this year has shown a notable 4.9% increase in sales compared to the same period last year.

In Wellington, the median price has witnessed a year-on-year decrease of 0.7%, settling at $760,000. It's crucial to note that such headlines can be misleading, as this decline is skewed by the 21% increase observed in south Wairarapa over the same period.

Lower Hutt, on the other hand, has seen a significant dip in its January median price, with a 9.6% decline from January 2023 and an 8.3% decrease from December 2023. The market in Lower Hutt experienced only 59 sales in January 2024, a notable drop from the 126 sales recorded in December 2023. There seems to be some buyer hesitation, but an increasing number of homeowners are listing their properties for sale.

It's essential to consider regional variations, as media reports often generalize the New Zealand market. For instance, Invercargill, a city half the size of Lower Hutt, reported 48 sales in January with a remarkable year-on-year price growth of 9.3%. In contrast, the larger Auckland market averaged a 3.4% year-on-year increase, even though sales volumes in January 2024 were down by 20% compared to January 2023.

Despite market fluctuations, first home buyers remain the most active group, and sellers are continuing to set realistic price expectations. Our salespeople anticipate that the market will pick up over the coming months and boost buyers and sellers with confidence.

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