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Lifestyle market sales volumes srong with prices rising - REINZ

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ ("REINZ") shows there were 436 more lifestyle property sales (+22.5%) for the three months ended April 2016 than for the three months ended April 2015.

Overall, there were 2,376 lifestyle property sales in the three months ended April 2016, compared to 2,135 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended March 2016 (+11.3%), and 1,940 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended April 2015. The number of sales in the three months to April 2016 is the highest in 12 years.

8,719 lifestyle properties were sold in the year to April 2016, 31.1% more than were sold in the year to April 2015, the highest number of annual sales since August 2004. The value of lifestyle properties sold reached a new record of $6.460 billion for the year to April 2016.

The median price for all lifestyle properties sold in the three months to April 2016 rose by $10,000 to $562,500 compared to $552,500 recorded for three months ended April 2015 (+1.8%). The median price rose $10,500 (+1.9%) compared to March. The national median price hit a new record high in April 2016 with the Auckland, Canterbury and Wellington regions also hitting new record high median prices.

"Strong volumes of sales and prices in the three months ending April 2016 confirms confidence in the lifestyle market throughout the country. As a result, a number of regions report increasing difficulty in locating sufficient property to meet the demand", says REINZ Rural Spokesman Brian Peacocke.

Highlights include:

- Good levels of activity throughout Northland and Auckland, albeit a slight easing in volumes from last month;

- Very strong activity throughout the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, and the Taupo markets, with pressure of traffic in Auckland and employment opportunities in the regions being some of the driving factors being mentioned by purchasers;

- A buoyant market in Taranaki, supported predominantly by local buyers, with prices peaking

around $1.2 million to $1.5 million in the north and $700,000 to $800,000 in the southern part of the province;

- A very consistent market in the Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Manawatu and Horowhenua districts;

- Reasonable activity in the Nelson/Marlborough region, with volumes easing from the previous month;

- A 20% reduction in sales volumes throughout Canterbury but consistent with similar periods over the past two years; evidence of farmers being more inclined to stay on their farms longer, and retire either to town or popular holiday locations rather than purchase a lifestyle property;

- A solid lift in volumes for April in the Otago province, with very good activity in the Central and Lakes regions; strong prices around Dunedin peaking within the $1.4 million to $1.6 million range; and

- Consistent activity in Southland with a lift in volumes for the month; buyer resistance experienced at values above $900,000 to $1 million.

12 regions recorded an increase in sales compared to April 2015. Waikato recorded the largest increase in sales (+110) in the three months to April 2016 compared to April 2015, Wellington saw an increase of 46 sales and Northland an increase of 41 sales. Compared to March 2016, all regions recorded an increase in sales.

The national median price for lifestyle blocks rose by $10,000 (+1.8%) from $552,500 for the three months to April 2015 to $562,500 for the three months to April 2016. The median price for lifestyle blocks in Auckland rose by $100,000 (+10.0%) from $1,000,000 for the three months to April 2015 to $1,100,000 for the three months to April 2016 to reach a new record high. Over the same time period, the median price fell by 0.8% in Waikato to $470,000, and rose by 9.1% in Canterbury to a new record high of $662,784. In addition, Wellington also reached a new record median price in the three months to April 2016.

The median number of days to sell for lifestyle properties was steady at 67 days in the three months to April compared to the three months to March. Compared to the three months ended April 2015 the median number of days to sell improved by seven days. Gisborne recorded the shortest number of days to sell in March 2016 at seven days, followed by Auckland at 45 days and Waikato at 51 days. West Coast recorded the longest number of days to sell at 150 days, followed by Nelson at 111 days, and Otago at 105 days.

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