PHOTO: Tim Kearins, Owner of Century 21 New Zealand

“These latest figures confirm we’ve re-entered a more balanced and calmer market. Importantly, house prices remain strong, and overall, they’re still up on the same time last year. Despite some headlines, it’s not a buyers’ market yet,” says Tim Kearins, Owner of Century 21 New Zealand.

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His comments follow REINZ releasing its Monthly Property Report for April – a month which saw median house prices across New Zealand increase 8.8% annually. At $875,000, the national median house price is up from $804,362 in April 2021.

REINZ noted ‘we’re now in the phase of the property cycle where demand has weakened, sale counts are down but prices remain high.’

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“It’s easy to compare now to some unbelievable prices achieved during 2020 and 2021. Regardless, most properties remain well ahead of where they were in 2019. In fact, plenty are still selling for 40 percent more than what the owners paid three or four years ago. Without doubt the froth is coming off, but most vendors are still enjoying substantial gains,” says Mr Kearins.

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Property sales DOWN 31.7% | REINZ

The Century 21 boss says the property market has taken a big hit since December with the Credit Contract & Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA) making lending much tougher. He says the Government’s proposed changes to the CCCFA set to be enacted next month will be positive. However, interest rates have continued to rise.

All eyes will be on the Reserve Bank’s next Official Cash Rate (OCR) decision on 25 May. Last month the OCR rose by 50 basis points to 1.50% – marking the fourth consecutive hike since October last year and the biggest jump in over 20 years.

“Interest rates have been rising but they’re still miles off where they have been in previous decades. Historically, they’ve tended to be around six or seven percent on average for Kiwi borrowers. Like house prices, we tend to compare today’s interest rates to the extraordinary period of 2020 and 2021, but they’re still below the historical average,” he says

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Across New Zealand, the number of residential property sales in April decreased annually by 35.2% from 7,497 in April 2021 to 4,860. At the same time, the total number of properties available for sale nationally increased 70.8%, from 15,838 in April 2021 to 27,050.

“Listings are up, and sales are down. April saw a stand-off with many vendors refusing to budge while buyers kept their hands in their pockets. However, we’re starting to see more Kiwis meet the market, with some very satisfactory outcomes being achieved for both parties.

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“The 2020 and 2021 froth has subsided, properties in demand are still making good money, and interest rates remain below the historical average. There are plenty of good opportunities out there for buyers and sellers keen to act before winter,” says Tim Kearins.

www.century21.co.nz

ENDS

Contact: Tim Kearins – Century 21 New Zealand – (0274) 495-547