Confidence is returning to the property market, though positivity isn’t evenly distributed. Real Estate Institute’s (REINZ) latest figures show regional standouts and poor performers.

The property market’s ‘green shoots’ continue to grow – house prices are stabilising and property sales rising, up 5.1% across the country in September compared to this time last year.

However, activity is quite lumpy between regions. Marlborough was a relative hotbed of sales activity, recording a 66.7% jump in sales over the year. The region’s median house price also spiked – now $740,000 – representing a 25.4% year-on-year increase.

Other regions recording a year-on-year uptick in the number of house sales include Northland (1.8%), Auckland (4.1%), Bay of Plenty (2.8%), Hawke’s Bay (3.0%), Manawatu/Whanganui (22.6%) Taranaki (16.2%), Tasman (16.4%), Canterbury (13.9%) and Southland (10.7%).

On the other hand, Otago recorded the lowest September sales since 2010, Wellington since 2011, Gisborne and Waikato since 2012, and Nelson since 2014.

Property prices recover, but still lower than a year ago 

Nationally, the median sale price across the country rose to $785,000 from $767,500 over the month, representing a 2.3% increase. The West Coast led the way with a 16.4% increase, followed by Marlborough (+13.8%) and Otago (+9.3%). However, over the year, the value of residential property across the country is still down by 3.3%.

Number of properties for sale increasing; houses selling faster 

While the total number of properties for sale across New Zealand was down 9.0% over the year to 23,564, there was an uptick of 3.6% over the most recent month as the market heads into the busy season.

Houses are also selling faster, with the national median days to sell reducing from 47 to 40 days year-on-year, with a further drop over the recent month from 43 to 40 days.

Good time to buy or sell?

It’s clear we’re out of the winter trough and the market has a spring in its step. The election is behind us – National and ACT have the numbers to form a government, though with 567,0000 special votes still to be counted, the official result won’t be declared until 3 November.

Interest rates seems to have stabilised. The Reserve Bank chose to keep the official cash rate (OCR) at 5.5% earlier this month and signalled a status quo for November. However, the bank continues to whistle the tune that interest rates are likely to remain high for longer.

At least inflation seems under control. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has continued to fall, with Stats NZ recently announcing an annual figure of 5.6% – down from a 32-year high CPI of 7.3% back in the June 2022.

Buyers and sellers are getting busy – there are more homes on the market and they’re selling faster.

Thinking of selling? Call 0800 GOODWINS to discuss your property’s strong points and how we can maximise its appeal to current buyers.