The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) released its March report on 12 April. Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “At a time when sales volumes are normally very strong and total sales figures for the country are typically well over the 7,000 mark, with 6,938 sales this was the lowest number of properties sold for the month of March since March 2011.
“Despite some extremely competitive mortgage rates on offer from the banks and the high chance of an OCR cut in the near future, it appears the legislative changes on the horizon and the difficulty accessing finance are now really starting to impact the housing market in terms of sales volumes. Hopefully, as we gain more certainty over the coming months – particularly in relation to Capital Gains Tax – we’ll start to see volumes pick up. However, winter is normally a quieter time of year, so time will tell what happens with sales volumes going forward,” says Norwell.
“Sales volumes in Auckland were down 18.2% from the same time last year (from 2,451 to 2,006) – the lowest for the month of March since 2008. Despite, the large fall in volumes, this was the highest number of properties sold in the City of Sails for four months,” continues Norwell.
“Auckland’s 2.7% decrease in median price to $856,000 is partly a result in the number of properties sold for more than $2 million which fell from 8.1% of the market in March 2018 to 5.5% in March 2019. Looking at the Auckland picture, the median price has just continued to hover around the $850,000 mark – the same thing we’ve seen for nearly three years now suggesting that perhaps the Auckland market has found its ‘new normal’ for the time being,” says Norwell.