Result in line with market expectations, CEO says
Lifestyle property sales in the three months ending September dropped by 60, a decrease of 4.7%, compared to the three months ending August, fresh figures from REINZ have revealed.
In total, 1,225 lifestyle properties were sold during the three months to September, representing a 12.6% decline from the 1,402 sales made during the same period in September last year and down 4.7% from the 1,285 sales during the three months to August.
In the year to September, 5,440 lifestyle property sales were recorded, down by a substantial 27.8% from that of the previous year. The cumulative value of the lifestyle properties sold for the year to September was $6.14 billion.
Shane O’Brien (pictured above), rural spokesman at REINZ, said the lower volume of sales was in line with market expectations as buyers looked to adjust to higher interest rates, the slowing of the residential market in some areas, and the October general election.
O’Brien also noted that better weather conditions had led to increased levels of inquiries and open home attendees, which bodes well for the upcoming spring market and the lead-up to Christmas.
During the September quarter, the median price for all lifestyle properties sold was $907,500, less by $114,000, or 11.2%, compared to the median price for the same three-month period in September 2022.
Over the same period, the median price for Bareland Lifestyle properties was $450,000, which was $20,000 less, or down 4.3%, than in September 2022. For Farmlet Lifestyle properties sold during this period, the median price was $1,020,000, which was $170,000 less, or down 14.3%, compared to the median price in September 2022
“The small reduction in the median value of Bareland sales will in some part be accounted for by buyers considering higher building costs that are being reported across much of the country when buying these properties,” O’Brien said.
“A recent government directive around the subdivision of productive rural land is starting to constrain the supply of Bareland lifestyle blocks in some areas as councils look to accommodate this directive.”
O’Brien said that a particularly wet winter across New Zealand had caused many sellers to delay listing their properties, although there appeared to be an increase in the number of lifestyle properties coming to the market.
“It would appear sale numbers should increase over the next three months as we head towards the year’s end,” she said.
Compared to September 2022, four regions saw an increase in sales, with Taranaki (with 17 more sales) and Nelson/Marlborough (with 12 more sales) seeing the most substantial increases. In contrast, Northland (with 67 fewer sales) and Wellington (with 47 fewer sales) recorded the most significant declines in sales during the three-months to September compared to the same period the prior year. When compared to the three months to August, five regions registered an increase in sales.
Southland had the highest increase in median price for lifestyle blocks, rising by 19.2% between the three months to September 2022 and the September 2023 quarter. On the other hand, Otago and Manawatu-Wanganui saw the most significant declines, with decreases of 23.3% and 19.7%, respectively.
The median days to sell lifestyle properties in the three months to September was 78 days, longer by 28 days compared to September 2022. Southland and West Coast had the shortest selling times at 61 days, while Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman had the longest at 123 days.
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