July the first. A date famous for the invention of sunglasses in 1200 – thanks China – and the introduction of the Sony Walkman in 1979. In 2012, it will be known as the day Realestate.co.nz released its NZ Property Report for the month of June.
And what an interesting month it was for real estate. The winter months are not always a popular time to list, yet vendors made a mockery of that theory in May. June, however, saw a big reversal: the national inventory is now at a four-year low. Basically, if there were no more listings, we’d be out of houses for sale in just under 30 weeks.
Better news on the asking price if you’re a home buyer: the mean has dropped over $11,000 from May to now sit at $424,315. Across the regions house prices mostly dropped or stayed steady, which is weird considering the lack of supply. Overall, when seasonally adjusted, the last 18 months has seen a steady, rather than rocketing, price rise – although there are cases of some of our properties selling for far above the asking price.
To the main centres, as Jim Hickey would say:
Auckland’s asking price, at $555,594, is down 4% from last month but 2% up on this time last year. People are still nervous about listing as inventory stands at 18.1 weeks – up on last month but still down 31% on May 2011. Wellington and Canterbury are seeing their respective asking prices remains steady, while listings are not enough to increase inventory.
Unconditional has all the tables and graphs you could possibly want. Definitely check them out for the full report.
Something else from the weekend: Olly Newland, over at interest.co.nz, is predicting rising house prices and suggests first home buyers should “borrow till it hurts” to get into the good suburbs.
Not sure if anything should be done until it hurts too much, but with super low mortgage rates still available it’s a great time for first timers to get on the ladder. It doesn’t have to be in the exclusive suburbs, have views of Everest or contain 23 bathrooms either. It’s called a ‘property ladder’ because it’s meant to be climbed.
We certainly agree it’s a good time to buy as well as list, so pop on over to Open2view.com (now with new improved front page!) and see what’s on offer.
UPDATE: I wrote all this on Monday and – as is the way – some more info was released this morning on housing affordability.
The latest Roost Home Loan Affordability Report reckons it now takes a little bit more to pay the mortgage, due to a $4000 increase in the median house price. It now takes 53.6% of a single after tax income “to service an 80 per cent mortgage on a median house”, up from 53.1%. So it’s slight, really. And with interest rates still low, we agree with the Herald that “affordability for young working couples remained near its best levels in almost eight years.”
UPDATE 2: Oh yes, July the first was notable for something else – the launch of Open2view’s Be Prepared Month. If you haven’t entered our competition for an emergency Grab and Go Food Kit, head to our Facebook page and go for it!