Market watch: REINZ reports rising activity in spring property market

The housing market is warming up. What’s happening in Auckland?

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand’s (REINZ) September 2023 figures show more activity in the spring property market as prices stabilise, sales counts rise, and properties sell in fewer days.

Auckland prices off the floor

Nationally there was a 3.1% decrease in the median sale price. However, the decline was less evident in Auckland, where medium house prices decreased just 2.0% year-on-year to $1,015,000.

More recent analysis suggests house prices are off the floor, following a 2.3% increase in the national median house price between August and September this year. Auckland’s median price increase lagged slightly at 1.14%.

Around the country, sales declined between August and September in 10 regions, with Auckland leading the decline at -5.2%. However, this is on a year-on-year backdrop that saw a 4.1% uptick in Auckland house sales.

Houses are selling faster, too – the national median days to sell reduced by 7 days year-on-year from 47 to 40 days, and three days month-on-month from 43 to 40 days. Turnover is faster in Auckland, with the current median days to sell at 39 days.

Immigration boom

This year’s record immigration boom – felt most acutely in Auckland – is likely to add more heat to the market.

Latest figures from Statistics NZ show Auckland’s population grew 47,000 in the 12 months to June this year, mainly driven by high levels of international immigration.

Auckland has an estimated average household occupancy of three people per dwelling, so an extra 47,000 people would, on average, require an additional 15,667 homes to accommodate the inflow.

REINZ report observations

  • First-home buyers continued to be the most active group across Auckland. There was also some activity among homeowners and investors
  • Buyers in North Auckland seem to have adopted a wait-and-see attitude
  • Most vendors are setting realistic expectations; however, some are still holding on to their initial prices
  • Open homes and auctions are seeing an increase in activity across the board, with some areas seeing more attendance at open homes than others
  • Sales counts are rising slightly but have not reached expected levels for this time of year
  • Local agents report that the market is becoming steady, and some believe it is showing signs of picking up

Industry data doesn’t always tell the full story. Call 0800 GOODWINS for our take on buyer sentiment and background factors driving variations across the Auckland region.