The New Zealand property market has once again shown its persistent strength against Covid-19. The September property report released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) proved that confidence in the industry is warranted, with the national median house price rising to $795,000, an increase of 15.4% compared to September 2020.
“The housing market is acting as if it were 100% vaccinated against Covid-19, as September results show that it continues to perform strongly across New Zealand” says Shaun Taylor, Chief Executive of Professionals. “Homeowners can rest assured their values remain strong and growing at record levels each month even when the country and its biggest region has been in various states of Alert Levels and Stages.”
New records throughout New Zealand
The impressive growth seen in September was spread throughout the country, with seven out of sixteen regions achieving record median prices. This indicates that we will soon see the overall property marketing raise, as is expected in the spring months.
The records reached by seven regions were:
- Bay of Plenty increased by 24.2% to reach $878,000
- Hawke’s Bay increased by 31.6% to hit $770,000
- Manawatu/Wanganui increased by 35.4% to reach $626,000
- Tasman increased by 27.4% to reach $860,000
- Nelson increased by 24.5% to $802,000
- Canterbury increased by 31.0% to reach $660,000
- Southland increased by 29.1% to $437,580, with Invercargill City setting a record median of $455,000
A low level of stock available continues to impact the number of properties sold, with the national volume in September only reaching 5,385, a decrease of 37.9% compared to the same time last year and a 9.7% decrease compared to August 2021.
Across the different alert levels, virtual online auctions have once again proved their efficacy, with the number of properties going to auction increasing to 22% nationwide. Outside of Auckland saw a jump from 10.3% of sales going to auction in September 2020 to 19% in September 2021.
It should be acknowledged that New Zealand sales volume (excluding Auckland) was up 13.8% compared to last month, and Auckland also saw an increase during the last week of September as they moved to Alert Level 3 and restrictions were eased.
“There has been an impact on the number of house sales as there are restrictions on the access people have to homes, however, some of these have relaxed as the Real Estate industry has proven itself to be responsible and act in a safe way for all vendors, buyers and tenants.” says Shaun.
The main impact of Covid-19 seen in the New Zealand property market is lower sales volume as a direct result of lockdown restrictions. As restrictions are eased it is expected that the usual spring surge has been slightly delayed, but not stopped. An increase in the median prices in many regions suggest that once again, we will see post-lockdown interest in the market and a resulting increase in listings and sales.
“What I would say to people looking to sell is that the underlying conditions in the market are still positive and it is a great time to sell. Mortgage rates are rising, but they are still incredibly low historically and will remain under 5% for some time. The economy is still growing for most sectors which means demand is high, and potentially the biggest factor is that supply, or the number of homes for sale, is at the lowest point it has been for three years. These are three significant factors affecting the housing market and they show no sign changing in the next six months.” says Shaun.
Professionals agents throughout the country continue to deliver an outstanding level of service and value to their vendors and are doing so safely. The lessons learned from 18 months of Covid-19 mean there are various tools available to carry out the usual processes or marketing a home while minimising contact with potential buyers. Virtual appointments, viewings and auctions continued nationwide throughout September, owing to the variety and quality of convenient digital solutions.
“I encourage anyone of thinking about selling their home this side of Christmas to act now” says Shaun. “First check the value of your home on our e-valuation tool, then download our e-book on getting your home ready to sell, and then contact your nearest Professionals office or request a Market Appraisal on your home. A market appraisal only takes a 15 – 20 minute visit from an agent and they will come back to you with a comprehensive real-time guide on the value of your home if you were to take it to market.”