REINZ data shows increased activity in housing market

Welcome to our April 2024 issue of the Property Channel. The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) released its February 2024 data in mid-March showing a significant increase in listings and an expansion in stock levels, providing options for buyers.
REINZ Chief Executive Jen Baird says with the combination of high listing numbers, elevated stock and shifts in the median sale price we are seeing increased activity.
“There was a substantial rise in listings nationally, indicating heightened activity in the housing market. New Zealand's stock levels saw a year-on-year increase, resulting in a growing inventory of available properties for sale. Coupled with median sale price growth in some regions, agents are seeing more investors and first-home buyers out there at open homes."
The national median sale price has increased by 3.1% from $766,000 to $790,000 year-on-year. There was also an increase of +3.9% from January 2024 $760,000 to $790,000. New Zealand, excluding Auckland, also increased month-on-month, +3.6% from $685,000 to $710,000 and up year-on-year by 2.6% from $692,000 to $710,000.
Auckland's median sale price has bumped back up over the $1 million mark to $1,026,000 in line with the last few years where the month of February also sat over $1 million.
 North Shore’s median house sale price for February 2024 was $1,295,000, that was up from January 2024 ($1,167,000) and also ahead of February 2023 ($1,230,000). 275 homes were sold on the Shore in February 2024, up from 134 homes in January 2024 and 164 homes in February 2023. The 2023 figures were affected by the problematic weather events in January and February.
Listings increased by 60.4% from
7,347 to 11,788 nationally month on month and by 44.8% from 8,143 to 11,788 year on year.
The median days to sell increased by 1 day month-on-month from 50 up to 51 days and reduced nine days year-on-year, down from 60 to 51. The current median days to sell in Auckland is 50.
Overall, the data paints a picture of a more active housing market in New Zealand, characterised by increasing listings, robust sales activity, expanding stock levels, and growth in property prices.
“We are looking at the back of the government’s 100-day plan, and the changes to the bright line test back to two years, and the latest reintroduction of interest deductibility on investment properties for landlords. With a significant increase in property listings, the rise in the total number of properties sold, and an increase in the median sale price, some buyers are holding out for the ‘right’ property while others are getting ‘into the market’ before competition rises as investors return. This buoyancy is a positive sign that we haven’t seen for a while,” added Jen Baird.
The house price index (HPI) for New Zealand, stood at 3,700 in February 2024, a 1.1% increase compared to the previous month and a 3.2% increase for the same period last year. The average annual growth in the New Zealand HPI over the past five years has been 5.9% per annum, and it is currently 13.5% below the peak of the market reached in 2021.