Kiwi houses selling as fast as 2016 boom

Homes are selling as quickly as they did during the 2016 housing boom.

By Trade Me 1 October 2020

The New Zealand property market is running hot, with properties selling as quickly as they did during the 2016 housing boom, according to the latest Trade Me Property data.

Trade Me Property spokesperson Logan Mudge said the site has analysed the time a property spends onsite to determine how quickly they’re selling. “This time last year, the average time onsite for a property in New Zealand was 53 days. However, in the past month, we have seen this drop to just 39 days. That’s a 26 per cent drop, it’s absolutely incredible we’re seeing a rush to buy like this in the midst of a recession.

“Spring is always a popular time for both buyers and sellers to hit the property market, but we haven’t seen movement like this in a very long time.

“Anecdotally, we are hearing of deadline sales, tenders and auctions being brought forward to meet demand as buyers are desperate to secure a property, and our data is backing this up.”

Mr Mudge said increased demand was behind the drop. “In August, nationwide demand for properties for sale was up by 19 per cent when compared with the same month last year, with all regions seeing more prospective buyers. Supply, however, dropped by 3 per cent year-on-year in August, with most regions seeing less properties coming onto the market.

“Faster sales don’t mean you miss out on price either. It’s a bloody great time to be selling your house - demand is extremely high right across the country and supply isn’t keeping up which means potential buyers are having to put their best foot forward.”

Wellington properties the fastest to go

The Wellington region saw the average time onsite drop by a quarter when compared with this time last year.

“Wellington properties are getting snapped up in just 23 days on average - the shortest average time onsite of any region in the country.

“If we look at Wellington City specifically, properties are selling even faster with an average time onsite of just 21 days.”

Mr Mudge said this is not surprising given demand for Wellington City properties jumped a record-breaking 41% year-on-year in August.”

Buyers eager in the Super City

In the Auckland region, listings were also selling much faster than this time last year with an average time onsite of 42 days, 25% less than in 2019.

“The fastest-selling district in the region was Waitakere City, where listings were onsite for an average of 30 days, marking a 40% decrease on the same period last year when they were onsite for an average of 49 days.”

Waitakere was followed by Auckland City, where listings were onsite for 34 days, down from 43 days last year.

Mr Mudge said this reflects the 19% year-on-year increase in demand seen in the Auckland City district in August. “With demand for properties in Auckland on the increase, buyers are having to get in the door early to view a property, get their ducks in a row and make an offer fast.”

Regional New Zealand sees biggest drop in length of listings

The biggest year-on-year percentage changes were seen in the regions with properties in the West Coast (-38%), Taranaki (-33%) and Marlborough (-33%) all seeing huge drops in time onsite.

“Nelson/Tasman also saw an impressive 32% drop in the average number of days properties were listed onsite in the last month.

“We reckon there are a few factors at play contributing to this. There will be a number of Kiwis who have become accustomed to working from home after the lockdown who now see it as a viable option long term. They can get more bang for their buck by buying a property outside the main centres and setting themselves up to work away from the city.

“We also think that with the borders closed for the foreseeable future, more Kiwis could be considering buying a holiday home in the likes of Nelson/Tasman and Marlborough. There’s also the ‘brain-gain’, with many Kiwis coming home to escape the global pandemic needing houses and pushing up demand.”

Mr Mudge said the only regions that did not see year-on-year increases were Otago and Southland. “These regions actually saw listing durations increase by 15% and 22% respectively, while Gisborne, saw no change in average listing duration.”

How property listing times on Trade Me have changed between 2019 and 2020
RegionAverage number of days properties listed on Trade Me Property 2019Average number of days properties listed on Trade Me Property 2020Year-on-year change
Bay of PlentyBay of Plenty56564343-23%-23%
Hawkes BayHawkes Bay33332828-15%-15%
West CoastWest Coast1461468888-38%-38%

Notes: The average time onsite was analysed from 27 August to 27 September 2020.