Grace New Zealand Blog

Falling prices for New Zealand residential dwellings sold during January could come as good news for first homebuyers and families planning to relocate.

The cost of New Zealand residential dwellings fell 5.8% or $25,000 in January compared to the previous month, with the 4,719 homes sold during the period fetching a national median price of $402,000, according to new Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) data.

While the figures showed an increase of $32,000 or 8.6% from January 2013, the number of houses sold during the month also fell – 4.3% from the same period last year, and 17% when compared to December.

The softening New Zealand housing prices follow a record high set in December – which is positive news for both first home buyers and families planning to move on from rental accommodation.

REINZ Chief Executive Helen O’Sullivan says though January’s data is mixed, she has already seen signs of first home buyers returning to the market.

“There are a number of factors in play in the market in January, including seasonal factors and the ongoing impact of restrictions on high loan to value lending. As a result it is difficult to get an entirely clear steer on the direction of the market this month,” she said.

“Volumes are still strong relative to the last five years, but are down 4.3% overall on the same time last year. The softer volume result continues a pattern that began in November and continued in December; however, market feedback suggests that first home buyers may be tentatively returning – with some assistance – to certain markets. This is by no means a consistent message, with views decidedly mixed outside of the main cities.”

“The national median price is up $32,000 or 8.6% on the same time last year, but down $25,000 or just under 6% from December 2013. This does suggest a softening price trend, which would come as a relief to many commentators.”

According to the REINZ data, homes sold in the Nelson/Marlborough region reached a new high median price of $380,000 during January – which could pose an opportunity for homeowners in the region looking to sell and move to a different suburb.

According to O’Sullivan, also of interest in the month is the small but steadily increasing number of properties coming to market in Christchurch being sold on an ‘as is, where is’ basis – that is, damaged and unrepaired.

“Prices achieved can range from full value for lightly damaged properties to land value less demolition costs for severely damaged dwellings. We will be taking a close interest in this trend as it develops,” she said.

Grace Removals New Zealand offers a range of services for families looking to relocate, including removals, packing and unpacking. We also offer a range of relocation services for those moving to another country, including temporary accommodation and home search, school and area orientation, visa and immigration assistance, and more, through our specialist division, Grace Mobility Solutions.