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Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 79 more lifestyle property sales (6.2%) for the three months ended May 2023 than for the three months ended April 2023. Overall, there were 1,355 lifestyle property sales in the three months ended May 2023, compared to 1,795 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended May 2022 (-24.5%), and 1,276 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended April 2023.
5,831 lifestyle properties were sold in the year to May 2023, 2,465 (-29.7%) less than were sold in the year to May 2022. The value of lifestyle properties sold was $6.80 billion for the year to May 2023.
Shane O’Brien, Rural Spokesman, at REINZ says May 2023 followed an expected trend with a reduction in lifestyle sales across most regions.
“In line with a reduction in the number of listings available in the first 4 months of the year as well as a reduction in sales volumes in most residential areas highlighting the flow of buyers from residential to lifestyle areas. We should note that this trend is nationwide with no areas appearing to buck the trend that has been evident through most of 2023. As we now move into the winter months, we expect sales volumes to decrease before an expected upturn again in Spring.”
The median price for all lifestyle properties sold in the three months to May 2023 was $1,000,000 and was $50,000 lower compared to the three months ended May 2022 (-4.8%). The median price for Bare land Lifestyle properties sold in the three months to May 2023 was $430,000 and was $70,000 lower compared to the three months ended May 2022 (-14.0%). The median price for Farmlet Lifestyle properties sold in the three months to May 2023 was $1,100,249 and was $149,751 lower compared to the three months ended May 2022 (-12.0%).
“It is encouraging to record however that while sales volumes are back sale prices are maintaining in line with much of 2022. Factors affecting the buyer demand is the increase in interest rates, general uncertainty leading into the general election and concerns over the strength of the NZ economy. While no one of these factors is driving the reduction in sales volumes, cumulatively they are causing buyers to adopt a cautious approach to home buying decisions. We expect this to continue in the lead up to October’s elections,” says O’Brien.
Two regions recorded an increase in sales compared to May 2022, with Gisborne/Hawkes Bay (+4 sales) and Manawatu-Wanganui (+1 sales) observing the biggest increases. Northland (-100 sales) and Auckland (-80 sales) recorded the biggest decreases in sales in the three months to May 2023 compared to the three months to May 2022. Compared to the three months to April 2023, 8 regions recorded an increase in sales.
Five regions saw the median price of lifestyle blocks increase between the three months ending May 2022 and the three months ending May 2023. The most notable examples were in Gisborne/Hawkes Bay (+41.2%) and West Coast (+15.8%) with the biggest decreases being in Otago ( -21.8%) and Auckland ( -19.3%).
The median number of days to sell for lifestyle properties was 22 days more in the three months to May 2023 than in the three months to May 2022, sitting at 65 days. Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman (46 days) recorded the shortest number of days to sell in May 2023. Gisborne/Hawkes Bay (88 days) recorded the longest number of days to sell.