Megan Cross

July Market Update

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Navigating the Winter Property Market

July's winter chill has brought about a notable shift in the Lower Hutt property market. Listing stock has dipped by 29% compared to the same time last year, yet a surge in enthusiastic first home buyers on the lookout for their ideal starter home has emerged. While historical trends have often indicated a subdued July, there's a visible uptick in sales, albeit accompanied by some seller hesitance to list their properties. It's a familiar pattern, particularly pronounced during election years, as sellers adopt a wait-and-see approach, anticipating the election's outcome.

A robust contrast to the previous year is evident in the sales statistics, with a substantial increase of 134 sales compared to 91 during this time in 2022. Median prices in Lower Hutt have softened by 9.8% year-on-year, settling at $765,000. However, the current median Days to Sell stands at 49 days, surpassing the decade-long average of 39 days.

In a recent statement, Jen Baird, CEO of REINZ, highlighted that New Zealand's total properties for sale over the past two months totalled 24,676, marking a 6.1% drop (1,595 properties) from the previous year and a 7.5% monthly decrease. The non-Auckland region witnessed a decrease of 165 properties annually, from 15,820 to 15,655. Baird noted, "While year-on-year sales counts are up and monthly counts have slightly eased, the shift in the national inventory trajectory continues to restrict new property listings while increasing sales."

Traditionally, the winter months anticipate a sales slump, a seasonal precedent that persists. However, upon adjusting the sales count figures to align with this historical trend, it becomes apparent that figures between May and July 2023 have surpassed market expectations.

In Lower Hutt, our agents have observed a surge in first home buyers attending open houses this past month, in contrast to previous months. Vendors are adapting their price projections to align with buyers' outlooks in the current market. Nonetheless, with the upcoming election and buyer apprehension surrounding interest rates, the market is likely to remain relatively subdued over the next few months.

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