Regional New Zealand dominates spring property market

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Regional New Zealand dominated the property market in the first official month of spring, says spokesperson Vanessa Taylor.

In September, five provincial regions registered record average asking price highs in’s 12-year databank.

“These provincial regions have gone some way to compensate for the more subdued main regions,” says Vanessa.

Of the five main regions (Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury, Otago and Waikato), only the Wellington region recorded an increase over one per cent in average asking prices.

Underpinned by regional New Zealand, the national average asking price lifted by 1.2 per cent to $685,746 when compared to the previous month, says Vanessa.

Kiwibank General Manager, Borrowing and Investments, Chris Greig says the level of activity in the regions has increased approximately 10% for Kiwibank in comparison to the same time last year whilst applications for new lending in the major centres is static.
“The last quarter, however, has seen a decrease in the amount of first home buyers taking out new lending,” he says.

Record asking price highs in lifestyle regions

Gisborne, Bay of Plenty, Nelson & Bays, Manawatu/Wanganui, and Northland for the second month in a row

Five regions hit record average asking price highs since records began in 2007.

For Northland, it was the second month in a row and the sixth time during 2019 we have seen an all-time average asking price high. The asking price grew, albeit by a modest $260, to reach $641,231.

“It’s an increase that doesn’t actually register as statistically relevant, but for Northlanders a record is a record,” says Vanessa.

At the other end of the scale, the Gisborne region’s average asking price rose by 5.1 per cent, to hit a record of $463,557.

It was followed by the Bay of Plenty, Nelson & Bays, Manawatu/Wanganui and Northland regions.

“These are all regions with lifestyle appeal,” says Vanessa.

“They all touch the coast, you can holiday or work in these regions and for people looking to leave the hustle bustle of the big cities for a more balanced lifestyle, they’re all good options.”

Region Record average asking price Percentage increase on previous month
Marlborough $522,531 +7.6 per cent
Gisborne $463,557 +5.1 per cent
Bay of Plenty $699,367 +4.4 per cent
Nelson & Bays $692,339 +4.0 per cent
Manawatu/Wanganui $437,330 +2.4 per cent
Northland $641,231 0.0 per cent A small increase of $260 on August 2019

Wellington the only mover among the four big regions

It was a different picture in the four major regions.

The average asking price in the Wellington region continued its northward climb, reaching $707,101 in September (up 2.5 per cent on the previous month), but the other four main regions were not so lively.

Average asking prices in the Canterbury, Auckland, Waikato and Otago regions either remained static or fell.

Region Average asking price Percentage increase on previous month
Wellington $707,101 +2.5 per cent
Canterbury $513,082 per cent
Auckland $916,162 -1.0 per cent
Otago $466,817 -1.9 per cent
Waikato $611,029 +0.8 per cent

“Following the Reserve Bank’s announcement in early August of the cutting of the Official Cash Rate (OCR), September was the first full month for the property market to see any potential effects,” says Vanessa.

“It’s still very early days but it will be interesting to watch what impact, if any, the disparity in pricing levels and activity between the regions and main centres may have on prospective buyers and sellers,” says Vanessa.

New listings back to May 2019 levels and property seekers are active

To take into account seasonal fluctuations and buyer behaviour in different months, compares the average number of new listings year-on-year.

Last year (September 2018) was somewhat of a “one-off” with a significant spike in new listings in that particular month*.

As a result, in September 2019 it appeared that new listings fell significantly compared with the previous year – a 14.2 per cent decrease with 8,901 new listings coming onto the market.

However, the actual number of new listings this September was similar to April 2019 and up on the June-August 2019 quarter, says Vanessa.

The three regions which did register an increase in new listings compared with the same month last year, were Central Otago/Lakes, Nelson & Bays and the Coromandel.

The Coromandel region was the stand-out, registering 128 new listings in September, which is a 28.0 per cent increase on the same month last year.

The Central-Otago/Lakes region had 214 new listings on site, which represented a 6.5 per cent increase on September 2018.

Rounding off the three regions, Nelson & Bays which saw 213 new listings come to the market which was a 10.4 increase on 2018.

“These vendors may be taking into account the time it takes to search for a property, sell an existing home, transact for a holiday bach or a change of lifestyle, before the start of the summer holidays,” she says.

“On the demand side, there have been strong levels of interest with more than 1,000,000 unique browsers searching in September.”

*The September 2018 media release from stated:

Real time statistics from show the new listing deluge is led by the Auckland region with owners adding 3,896 homes for sale to the site, up by nearly a third (31.9 per cent) compared to September 2017.

Nationally, there were 10,373 new property listings in September which is an increase of 11.7 per cent on the same month last year. The total number of homes on the market (22,847) is the highest number in any September month since 2015.

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