Super-hot housing market records highs across the board


Once again, the property market hit record highs in October thanks in part to cheap mortgage lending. 

According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), nationwide median house prices increased by almost 20% on October 2019, and by 5.2% on September’s performance.  

And while ten regions set record median prices, Auckland's performance was a showstopper. The median house price in our largest city now tops $1m.  

Property sales are also up nationwide. REINZ’s data showed a 25% year-on-year increase in October. 

The last few months have certainly been crazy for the property market. Here’s a closer look at the latest data and trends. 

Listings

According to realestate.co.nz, October was a busy month with new listings nationwide up 13.8% on last year. 

In the regions, Auckland (+36.8%) and the West Coast (+22.4%) were among the big winners, while among the losers were Wairarapa (-20.7%) and Manawatu/Whanganui (-11.3%). 

Housing stock 

Despite the overall increase in listings, stock levels nationwide are at record lows. Nationwide, realestate.co.nz reported an 18.7% year-on-year decrease in housing stock in October. 

Topping the league table in the regions were Northland (-36.0%) and Waikato (-24.9%).  

Volumes

According to REINZ, house sales nationwide increased 25% from 7,063 in October 2019, to 8,830 this year. 

Regionally, Auckland was a standout. The number of properties sold in Auckland increased by 50.9% on the same time last year. 

Other big winners include Gisborne (+43.2%) and Waikato (+30.4). Nelson was the only region to see a small decrease, while Wellington’s sales have plateaued. 

Values 

In October, REINZ’s House Price Index (HPI) increased nationwide by 13.5% year on year. 

Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay (+17.1) was the top-performing region, while Wellington was a close second (16.7%). For the second month in a row, the REINZ HPI showed no negative movement in values across the regions. 

Days to sell

Nationwide, the median number of days to sell decreased to 29, the lowest figure for an October month in 17 years. 

REINZ reported that Taranaki was the strongest performer regionally. Days to sell were down five days year-on-year to a record-breaking low for an October month of 21 days. 

Northland had the highest number of days to sell at 39.

Auctions

According to REINZ, 23.4% of all sales in October went under the hammer – an increase of 16.2% on September. 

Where to next? 

The property market is now so hot many commentators are advocating a circuit breaker to cool things down. The Reserve Bank appears to agree, announcing from March LVRs will be reintroduced for property investors who have been dominating the market. Some of the leading banks have already increased their minimum deposit requirements for investors.

However, the Reserve Bank is also continuing with its Funding for Lending Programme. From December, banks can access cheaper funding. The aim is to pass on lower lending rates to households. 

Whether these measures take the heat out of the property market in the short term remains to be seen. The strength of the post-lockdown market has surpassed everyone’s expectations and seems unstoppable at the moment. 

One thing for sure, we will keep you updated on all the latest data, so watch this space.