December saw New Zealand residential property sales drop to the lowest level in seven years.
The latest figures released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) showed New Zealand residential property sales decrease by 12.9 per cent year-on-year, with 5330 houses sold – a drop of 787 from December 2017.
Auckland suffered the worst of all regions, falling by 24.3 per cent in December compared to the same month in 2017, seeing it as the lowest monthly figure for December in ten years.
Overseas property investors were seen to be now ignoring the city, partly due to new legislation introduced last year banning foreign investors from purchasing many types of New Zealand residential property.
Excluding Auckland, New Zealand had an 8.2 per cent drop in properties sold compared to December 2017, making it the lowest for the month of December in five years.
New listings for New Zealand residential property were also down in both November and December, making the December sales fall hardly a surprise.
Largest annual drops in residential properties sold:
- Auckland: -24.3 per cent (from 1765 to 1336 – 429 fewer houses)
- Taranaki: -23.0 per cent (from 161 to 124 – 37 fewer houses)
- Wellington: -16.2 per cent (from 792 to 664 – 128 fewer houses)
- Otago: -14.6 per cent (from 391 to 334 – 57 fewer houses)
However, despite the sales drop for New Zealand residential property, December 2018 saw an annual increase in the national median house price by 1.5 per cent to $560,000 – from $551,750 in December 2017.
Whilst REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell labelled December as ‘extremely quiet’, she said: ‘It was a strong month from a price perspective as every region in New Zealand saw an annual increase in the median price. The last time all regions saw annual price increases was back in June 2017.’