First $2m house sale in Southland finalised

This amid rapidly increasing number of seven-figure house sales

First $2m house sale in Southland finalised

A Te Anau property has been sold for just over $2m – the highest sale in Southland, a real estate company has confirmed.

According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, there had been no $2m residential house sales in Southland in its records between 1992 and 2022, nor had it recorded the sales figures prior to that period. 

Wayne Ellis, Harcourts Invercargill manager, confirmed that the sale of the first $2m residential house in Southland was finalised in January, amid a rapidly increasing number of million-dollar-plus residential house sales in the region, Stuff reported.

Before that, the highest sale of a Southland residential property in the past three calendar years was a Howden St, Te Anau property, which was priced at $1.95m in early 2022.

The milestone $2m figure came following an increasing number of million-dollar-plus sales in the region over the past three calendar years, with REINZ recording seven in 2020, 18 in 2021, and in 2022.

Ellis pointed to the building cost rises as one of the reasons for more million-dollar home sales in Southland, with people upgrading to bigger homes for lifestyle reasons.

“Kiwis love their homes,” he said.

People from outside the region were selling their homes for higher prices, then moving to Southland where homes were still cheaper than other parts of the country and where they could get more value for their money.

“The affordability is better,” Ellis said.

There were “certainly” residential properties in Invercargill worth more than $2m, he said, but they hadn’t been put on the market yet.

Sean Bellew, Bayleys Southland Real Estate agent, said selling a home in excess of $1m was so rare, he used to “cartwheels and handstands” when he did it, but now it was the “new norm.”

“The market has a new benchmark, a million dollars isn’t impossible any more in Invercargill and Southland...” Bellew said. “In 2022, it became natural behaviour to sell properties for beyond $1m.”

He expected the number of million-dollar homes sold in Southland to double again this year, to around 72.

Despite the rapid increase in seven-figure sales, they only made up 0.9% of total house sales in Southland in December, and 2.4% in November, REINZ said.

In September 2021, median house prices in Southland rose 29% from September 2021, then fell in 2022.

According to REINZ, Southland’s median house sale price in December was $432,600 – that’s a 4.9% drop, or a $455,000 decrease, from the same period the prior year.

Jen Baird, REINZ chief executive, said the 4.9% decline in Southland was considerably less than the 12.2% drop nationally, from $900,000 to $790,000.

Baird said the figures indicated that people saw value in Southland, given houses were still relatively affordable.

Across New Zealand, the total number of house sales last year was about one-third fewer than the number of sales in 2021, largely due to the uncertainty around the economy, she said.

“There are less sales in Southland as well, but values are holding up a little more,” Baird said.

Looking ahead, such things as predictions of a recession and increases in unemployment and interest rates traditionally affected the property market, she said.

Southland’s median sale price was $432,600 in December – a sharp contrast with the $547,000 average asking price in the region for the same month, Stuff reported.

Use the comment section below to tell us how you felt about this.