NZ Property: House prices increase 1.2 pct in June after continued decline, demand drops - REINZ report

House prices increased 1.2 percent month-on-month to $850,000 in June up from $840,000 the previous month, the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows.

The median residential property price for the country also increased 4.2 percent year on year from $816,000 last June.

Meanwhile the median price for New Zealand, excluding Auckland, increased 9 percent annually from $680,000 in June 2021 to $741,000 this year. There was also a month-on-month increase of 1.1 percent from $733,000 to $741,000.

The median price in Auckland increased 0.5 percent compared to June last year from $1,150,000 to $1,156,000.

Auckland also recorded a month-on-month increase of 2.8 percent hitting $1,156,000 - up from $1,125,000 in May.

Canterbury was the region with the strongest annual percentage growth in June. Median prices in the region jumped 22.1 percent from $565,000 to $690,000.

The Waikato region also had strong annual growth, up 14.3 percent - from $735,000 to $840,000.

But four regions showed an annual decrease in prices including Wellington which was down 4.2 percent from $885,000 to $848,000.

Hawke’s Bay was also down, dropping 1.4 percent from $700,000 to $690,000. Meanwhile the median price in Manawatu/Wanganui dropped 1.1 percent from $581,200 to $575,000, and Taranaki saw a marginal decrease of 0.2 percent from $576,000 to $575,000 over the same period.

REINZ Chief Executive Jen Baird said the housing market performance was slightly better than expected this month.

"There was a 1.2 percent increase in median price. As we moved from May into June, the seasonally adjusted figures show an increase of 1.5 percent, indicating performance was marginally better than expected," Baird said.

But she warned volatility is continuing across the country as the markets try to rebalance after experiencing huge growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As the market stabilises, and the high-growth we saw through 2021 dissipates, downward pressure on prices may improve affordability. However, this is balanced with higher mortgage costs and wider economic headwinds that may continue to temper people's appetite for entering the market - as a buyer or seller."

REINZ House Price Index (HPI) data, which measures the changing value of residential property nationwide, showed prices are up 0.7 percent annually but down over the past three months.

For New Zealand, excluding Auckland, the HPI increased 2.3 percent annually - from 3899 in June 2021 to 3988 in the same month this year. Auckland meanwhile saw an annual decrease on the house price index of 1.7 percent  - from 3772 to 3708.

Canterbury and Northland ranked top of the HPI for annual value movements. Canterbury has been in the top two in terms of HPI movement for nine months - ranking first for the last eight. In June, Canterbury recorded an annual increase of 15.2 percent.

Northland has ranked second for six months, with an annual increase of 9.0 percent in June 2022, and Taranaki had an annual increase of 8.1 percent.

Including Auckland, four of the 12 regions had a negative annual HPI movement. Wellington saw a further decrease on the index, down 12.2 percent compared to June last year — from 4134 to 3631. Wellington has now ranked bottom two of all regions on the HPI for eight consecutive months.

Meanwhile Manawatu/Wanganui had the second-lowest result, down 3.0 percent compared to June 2021 - from 5042 to 4890, and Gisborne/Hawke's Bay was down 1.3 percent from 4277 to 4222.

All regions have had decreases in HPI movements over the past three months. Canterbury, Taranaki and Southland have seen the best results, down 2.5 percent over the three months ended June 2022.

The latest REINZ data also showed demand is on a downward trend with the number of annual residential sales decreasing by 38.1 percent in June 2022 to 4721, down from 7629 the previous year.

The sales count for New Zealand, excluding Auckland, decreased 35.0 percent annually from 4776 to 3103.

All regions saw an annual decrease in the number of sales and only the West Coast had a month-on-month increase - up 31.0 percent in June compared with May.

Those with the greatest annual percentage decrease were:
Auckland, which decreased 43.3 percent  annually from 2853 to 1618
Bay of Plenty, which decreased 41.3 percent annually from 458 to 269
Gisborne, which decreased 39.5 percent annually from 43 to 26
Taranaki, which decreased 39.4 percent annually from 198 to 120.

But Baird said when the figures are seasonally adjusted, month-on-month residential property sales dropped by 5.8 percent.

"While sales activity was still below what is expected, the drop isn’t as stark," she noted.

Median days to sell increases
Across New Zealand, the median number of days to sell a house was also up, hitting 44 in June compared to 13 in the same month last year. 

For New Zealand, excluding Auckland, it increased 15 days to 45.

Two regions saw annual decreases in the median DTS; West Coast was down five days to 28 and Gisborne was down three days to 38 — the region's lowest days to sell since January 2022.

At 66, Hawke’s Bay had the highest median number of days to sell of all regions and the highest in the region since January 2009. Otago's median in June was 52, the region’s highest since May 2013, and Manawatu/Whanganui at 54 was the highest since July 2015.

Stock stays on market — listings edge up

Nationally, the total number of properties available for sale increased 89.5 percent annually, from 13,861 in June 2021 to 26,271. For New Zealand, excluding Auckland, inventory increased 107.8 percent, from 7612 to 15,820.

Sales by auction remain tempered

Auctions are also becoming less popular. Across New Zealand, 565 properties sold by auction in June This year representing 12.0 percent of overall sales compared to 26.3 percent in June 2021. But it's up slightly from May when 10.9 percent of properties were sold at auction.

For New Zealand, excluding Auckland, 9.1 percent (282) of properties were sold by auction in June 2022 compared to 17.5 percent the previous year.
In Auckland, the percentage of sales by auction was 17.5 percent, compared to 41.0 percent last year.