PHOTO: Sarah Wood, CEO of realestate.co.nz
Data shows that real estate professionals have closely predicted selling prices for 16 years
New data, from realestate.co.nz and the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), shows that there has been just a 4.6% difference between average asking prices and median selling prices nationally since 20071. What this means is, for the most part, real estate agents and vendors are setting a price when they list a home that is realistic to what the property sells for.
The analysis, which looked at the difference between average asking prices for all listings on realestate.co.nz and the median selling price for all properties sold in New Zealand over the last 16 years, confirms that average asking prices are a reliable indicator of market trends.
Sarah Wood, CEO of realestate.co.nz, says that asking prices have followed an almost identical trendline to selling prices nationally and in all regions since realestate.co.nz records began.
“Generally, asking prices set the trend for selling prices because they are decided based on the most up-to-date local knowledge and property information that real estate agents have available.”
“Therefore, when average asking prices go up or down on realestate.co.nz, we also see the median selling price go up or down four to six weeks later once these properties have sold and can be captured in the REINZ sales data,” says Wood.
Regionally, the gap between these two data sets ranges between 2.8% (Central North Island) and 7.1% (Central Otago/Lakes), showing that agents in the Central North Island region are setting asking prices most closely aligned to what the market is willing to pay.
Jen Baird, CEO of REINZ, says comparing 16 years of data confirms the strong link between asking and selling prices:
“We know how hard real estate agents work to ensure they know their market well and manage expectations around pricing. This shows that the profession is serving New Zealanders well through buying and selling property.”
Difference between average asking prices and median selling prices between 2.8% and 7.1% around our regions
The comparison shows that these two data sets follow the same general trends in all New Zealand regions. The only variation is the size of the gap.
With a difference of just 2.8%, average asking prices are closest to selling prices in the Central North Island. This is followed by Waikato (3.1%), Wellington (3.3%), Canterbury (3.3%), and Bay of Plenty (3.3%).
“It’s encouraging that the difference between the two prices is relatively small in most regions. This suggests that buyers and sellers are finding common ground,” says Wood.
She adds, however, that the gap doesn’t automatically mean sellers are asking above market value.
“Many factors impact whether asking prices are higher or lower than selling prices. Demand and market sentiment, for example, can have an impact,” explains Wood.
7.1% gap for Central Otago/Lakes
Despite following a similar trendline, the biggest gap over the last 16 years was in Central Otago/Lakes, where the average difference was 7.1%. Wood suggests this could be the result of the region’s growing popularity.
“Central Otago/Lakes is a highly sought-after region with some of the most expensive homes in the country. Looking at recent property market data, this region is currently bucking the trend of declining prices seen across New Zealand, hitting a 16-year record high in March 2023 to just shy of $1.5 million.”
“The region has many unique properties and high international interest, so setting an asking price can be more difficult than in other parts of New Zealand,” says Wood.
Over the last two years, there has been strong international interest in this region from property seekers located in Australia, especially New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria.
She adds, however, that 7.1% is still only a relatively small gap and that asking prices are an excellent guide to the local market.
1Average asking price refers to the seasonally adjusted, truncated mean average of all asking prices for residential dwellings on realestate.co.nz. The median selling price is the middle price of all residential dwellings sold in New Zealand.
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