August 2019 - Devonport house prices on the rise

When it comes to assessing the state of the property market, it’s worth remembering that there is no ‘one market’ and at this moment this could not be truer. For whilst the media is reporting that Auckland house prices are flat or falling, when you examine the local Devonport market that is not the case.

The fact is that Auckland is not one property market; nor is the North Shore. To really understand the property market, you have look at individual suburbs and even categories of property sales within a suburb. This is best demonstrated in this chart below which tracks the 12-month moving trend of median sales price for just houses; comparing Devonport with the North Shore and wider Auckland region. Whilst the median sale price across the Auckland region remains flat as it has for over 2 years now, and the North Shore slips lower, Devonport median house prices have rebounded.

Devonport Auckland North Shore median sales price 12 months Aug 2019.png

The median sales price of Devonport houses began to ease, back in March 2018, just as North Shore house prices were easing. Across the wider Auckland region prices had already at that stage plateaued some 12 months earlier. Devonport median sales price fell for the next year until in April of this year a recovery began. Recoveries can be false dawns; however, 4 months later the fact is prices are continuing to rise. Certainly, as yet prices have failed to recover all of the fall of the prior year, but current median sales prices are now within 3% of the peak, having fallen by 10%.

This recovery of sales price for houses is though set against a backdrop of low sales volumes. In the past 3 months just 23 houses sales were recorded (down 30% year-on-year) with just 25 new listings. Traditionally price increases follow increases in sales volumes, but at this time the low turnover would appear to be the driver with stronger demand set against limited options of property for sale leading to this pricing pressure.

The market is without quieter in terms of turnover than has been seen for many years. Earlier this year this slow sales was facing off against a fast flow of new listings, that resulted in a steep rise in inventory which at one point topped 83 properties for sale across Devonport - a record. Skip forward 5 months and that surplus inventory has all but been absorbed through steady sales and slower levels of new listings to the situation where 46 properties were for sale at the start of September, pretty much in line with this time last year. The next 3 months are certainly going to be interesting to see to what extent the traditional rise in new listings copes with the demand that is certainly in the market from buyers.

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Property Statistics

The key statistics of the Devonport market are detailed in the table below and show that whilst the segment of family homes is highly active it is not reflected in other segments.

Devonport Property August 2019 Summary table.png


The market for owner-occupied and investment units continues to show growing interest with sales volumes up 24% year-on-year, however this is off a low base, and availability is affecting this segment with no available units on the market at the end of August. For whilst sales have grown the median sales price remains weak showing a 6% decline vs. last year at $642,250, well down from the peak of the late 2017 when prices topped $900,000.

Devonport Property August 2019 Units variance of sales and prices 3 MMT.png

With the start of Spring, the market has been buoyed by a raft of new listings with 11 in one week, more than the total of the prior 5 weeks, more choice is sure to come in the next few weeks, setting the scene for an interesting Spring market.

July 2019 - Sales price of Devonport houses on the rise

The median sales price of houses across Devonport is on the rise.

Over the latest 3 months the median price has risen to $1,975,000; that’s up 26% compared to this time last year. Since the start of this year sales prices have risen by $155,000.

However, we are certainly not in any kind of boom market, far from it. The fact is, median sales prices are rising, but at the same time the number of properties sold is actually falling. The current level of sales (on an annualised basis at 178) is the lowest level of sales seen in the past decade. That’s the power of economics – the balance of supply and demand are exercising significant influence that’s resulting in rising prices.

Just look at the property data in the table below. At the end of July there were just 32 houses for sale, in the past 3 months, 27 houses have been sold with just 30 new houses listed. That is the very definition of a tight market.

Devonport Property July 2019 Summary of property market.png

Certainly, the next few months will very likely see a rise in new listings as prospective sellers plan to come onto the market in Spring. However the question remains, will the scale of this new inventory satisfy the demand? I personally don’t think so. In my judgement sellers have yet to recognise this market dynamic and therefore overall remain reserved about entering the property market at this stage of the property cycle.

Why is this situation arising? Well the fact is Devonport is effectively a micro-climate when it comes to property. This current situation of rising prices at a time of low sales is simply not reflective of the market across the wider North Shore or the overall Auckland region. The economic environment we face today is such that the cost of finance is cheap and getting cheaper (sub 4% mortgage rates are available and will become more available), however for those on average salaries the banks are making it harder to borrow with ever tighter lending criteria. However, for those on higher salaries, these low mortgage rates (which they can afford to service) are definitely attracting such buyers to Devonport where the lifestyle and relative prices offer better value than other city suburbs on the other side of the bridge. It doesn’t take many such buyers to create strong demand with the resultant rising of sales price.

Devonport Property July 2019 trends in house sales 3 month sales.png


Whilst the specific segment of the Devonport market of family houses is showing this strengthening of prices, the other key segment, that of owner-occupied and investment units is struggling to show real signs of recovery. As has been highlighted in previous reports this segment has been in the doldrums for well over a year with lacklustre sales activity and weakening prices.

The analysis of the 3 months to June shows that sales volumes are strengthening. However the base upon which this strengthening is matched means that actual sales volumes are not really worthy of note. The figure in the chart below is a 69% increase in sales volume for the year-on-year comparison. That actually means that in the 12 months to June of this year, 27 units were sold. That is only just over 2 per month. This compares to a moving annual total of just 16 sales in July last year - barely 1.5 sales per month. Sure an increase, but not of the scale of 35 to 40 sales per year seen a year or so ago.

Devonport Property July 2019 trends in unit sales 3 month sales.png

And when it comes to median sales price, the rise in volume sales is failing to generate any movement with the July latest 3 month movement against last year down 9% at $650,000. This is a far cry from the peak sales price of $903,000 reached at the end of 2017.

Devonport Property July 2019 trends in unit median price 3 month sales.png

June 2019 - Shortage of new listings sees prices begin to rise

The change in the local property market identified last month has been reinforced by the latest statistics for June. A significant shortage of new listings matched to a steady level of sales has resulted in a significant reduction in inventory. This is beginning to put pressure on buyers resulting in the first signs of a strengthening in prices.

The adjacent chart ably demonstrates the change in the market. The red trend line tracks the level of new properties listed for sale as it dips below the blue line denoting the level of sales. This is clearly a position that is not sustainable for long.

The median sale price of houses over the past 3 months edged up 11% as compared to this time last year at $1.825m, additionally the sales price of units edged up 2% as that segment of the market continues to show signs of recovery.

June report table.png

Whilst this upward pressure on price is good news for sellers; it’s important to recognise that actual sales numbers remain very low. Just 37 properties were sold in the past 3 months, down 22% compared to the same time last year. This low sales volume is largely a function of insufficient choice for buyers who don’t feel pressured to buy. The chart below shows the trend of sales volumes with a consistent sales volume tracking below the same time last year as it has been for the past 8 months with little sign of any improvement.

Devonport Property June 2019 variaince of sales and price 3 MMA.png

Typically, Winter tends to be a quieter time for new listings, however it does open up the opportunity for people thinking of listing their home for sale as they will be competing for buyers in a less cluttered market. This could just turn out to be the best opportunity in the market. My advice is don’t wait for Spring – get on the market now, find those keen buyers, lock in a longer settlement and thereby secure yourself a great negotiating position come Spring to be cashed-up and able to negotiate hard for the best choice of new properties as they come onto the market.


The majority of Devonport properties are traditional stand-alone family houses and this segment is experiencing strength, albeit off low volumes, The chart below shows the unusual sight of divergent trend lines, with property sales showing continued weakness and yet the trend line shown rising.

Such can be the situation in certain circumstances in economics as a shortage leads to rising prices. This is not that common in property markets where normally sales volumes track ahead of prices. Strong sales growth generates confidence, which tends to lead to rising prices. Conversely slowing sales tends to foresee weakening prices.

The current situation is not likely to remain for long, as the supply side of the market, aware of the steady demand and strengthening prices will naturally lead to new listings, which will then flow into rising sales volumes. It is also likely that the rising inventory will remove some heat from the pricing side of the equation.

Devonport Property June 2019 Houses variance of sales and price 3 MMA.png
Devonport Property June 2019 Houses sales price 3 MMA.png


The market for owner occupied and investment units is enjoying somewhat of a resurgence in terms of sales volumes which are trending up significantly, albeit off a low base. Having seen year-on-year sales volumes down 70% this time last year we now see sales volumes up 70% as compared a year ago.

The reality is that two years ago the annual rate of sales of units was 43, last year at this time it fell to 14 sales per year. In the past 12 months total sales have risen, but only to 25; far from the levels of two years ago, such are the vagaries of statistical analysis.

This somewhat more active market is though not as yet having an impact on the median sale price of units which at $665,000 is up just 2% as against this time last year.

Devonport Property June 2019 Units variance of sales and price 3 MMA.png
Devonport Property June 2019 Units sales price 3 MMA.png

May 2019 - A Change in the market

The expression “a week is a long time in politics” would seem to have a corollary within the real estate market “3 months can change a market” – not quite as much of a call to action, however such has been the change in the local property market since the summer, I feel drawn to make such a statement.

I’m referring to the availability of properties for sale. Back in late February, there was, as I described at the time an abundance of options for buyers. I used the phrase ‘the market is awash with properties for sale’. At that time there were 79 properties for sale, a month later it has risen to peak at 83. Since then, the market has been devoid of new listings, just 31 new properties in 10 weeks. The same 10-week period last year saw 56 properties listed. This lack of new listings has led to a significant decline in inventory, such that there are now just 56 properties on the market for sale, not far off the level at this time last year.

Comparative inventory of Devonport property for sale June 2019.png

Overall Market Summary

This swing in market sentiment is yet to flow through to sales volumes. Sales of 48 properties in the past 3 months represents a decline compared to last year, however the first indication of price pressure can be seen. The median sales price of houses rose by 1% to $1.9m in the 3 months to May, recovering some of the loses of the past 9 months.

Devonport Property May 2019 Master Table of data.png
Devonport Property May 2019 All properties variance of sales and price 3MMA.png


The data for the sales of houses in the past 3 months (March / April / May) indicates a strengthening in sales prices, with a rise of 1% over the past year to $1.9m as the median sales price over the past 3 months. As the chart below highlights the median sales price has been recovering gradually since August last year when prices reached a bottom at $1.54m following a 3 month fall from $1,890,00 which was the level 12 months ago.

Devonport Property May 2019 Houses median sales price 3MMA.png

The tracking of the year-on-year change detailed in the chart below for both volume sales and median sale price, shows this recovering in sales prices. At the same time the year-on-year performance of sales continues to show a decline as compared to this time last year. This is the nature of statistics, at this time last year sales volumes were still healthy. The change in the market began in the winter months of June and July last year with prices falling a few months later. It is likely that the next months report will begin to show strengthening in sales volumes of houses.

Devonport Property May 2019 Houses variance of sales and price 3MMA.png


Having reported that house sales volumes are languishing as a function of strong performance at this time last year, the sale performance of units is reacting to sales measured against a very weak level a year ago resulting in this unexpected spike. Units sales volumes, even when measured on a 3 months basis are still small and therefore year-on-year variances of 50% are possible and not the result of massive sales. For March / April / May period this year total sales volumes were just 4.

Devonport Property May 2019 Units variance of sales and price 3MMA.png

The median sales price remains fairly static, hovering around the level of $750,000, a level pretty much the same (save for a few blips) over the past 2 years. The improvement in sales volumes and listings though could portend to a rising interest in this segment of the market.

Devonport Property May 2019 Units median sales price 3MMA.png

April 2019 - How sentiment drives the property market


The property market unlike share markets does not respond in fractions of seconds as buyers and sellers trade positions to eke out fractions of cent gains. Property is a considered and emotional purchase, with sentiment playing a large part. That sentiment drives the decision to sell, and it’s so interesting to note the changing sentiment in the the local market over the past year.

This time last year the market was bubbling along with sales up 6% and prices up 2%. However, the market was already showing early signs of slowing. By October the market had experienced a significant correction, sales were down 9% and prices down 16%. Despite these headwinds, property listings driven by sentiment and seller expectations remained strong. The next 6 months bore witness to these impact of this continued confidence as the inventory of properties for sale grew and grew. From just 43 at the start of October to peak at 83 at the end of March.

The latest data now clearly shows that the market has corrected. Sales levels remain quiet with 44 in the past 3 months, down 17% compared last year. In April alone there were just 11 sales, down slightly from the 13 last year. New listings though have never been scarcer, with just 11 new properties listed in April, that’s less than half the number listed this time last year.

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There is now a clearer sentiment in the local market. Sellers are cautious, but at the same time far more realistic when deciding to sell. Buyers equally are weighing up all the options to make the right decision. This is a market where there is time to consider the right move. If you need help in making that decision; be it looking to buy or sell, then please feel free to give me a call and let me help you make the right decision by leveraging my experience and market insight to get you the best price in today’s market.

Overall Market Summary

Devonport Property Report April 2019 Sumary table of data.png
Devonport Property Report April 2019 Total Property variance vol and price 3M .png


The inventory of houses for sale has fallen significantly over the past month as new listings have been scarce. Just 6 new houses were listed in April as compared to 17 this time last year and 31 in February this year - such has been the correction in the market.

As far as sales are concerned there were 7 sales in April as compared to 9 sales last year - this reflects the trend of the past 6 to 9 months of quieter sales. The impact on the median price as shown in the chart below has been to see prices continue to ease - down 8% as compared to last year at a median sale price for the 3 months to April of $1,697,500.

Devonport Property Report April 2019 Houses price 3M .png


The market for investor and owner-occupied units continues to improve, albeit with volatility as the scale of this sector of the market remains so small. As far as sales activity goes there is brighter indications with 3 sales in the past 3 month, whilst far from massive this has added to sales over the past year to lift annualised sales by 19% as compared to prior year. At the same time the median sales price for the past 3 months continues to hover around the same level of $760,000 representing a fall of 3%.

Devonport Property Report April 2019 Units variance vol and price 3M .png

March 2019 - Harvest time in the property market

The summer season is now behind us, and in some ways it feels like it will not be remembered as a ‘golden summer’ for property. Having said that, I feel we are all too often conditioned to the belief that the property market should be hyper-active, with prices spiralling ever-upwards. The reality is today’s market is a great market. It’s a normal market.

Buyers have a great selection, sure they are judicious about what to purchase and what to offer; but with such attractive mortgage rates they are not slow in coming forward. Sellers on the other hand are confident to bring their property to the market, with realistic expectations around market price which reflects the state of the market.

The key number in this month’s report remains the inventory of properties for sale. From a high at the end of February of 79, one month later that’s risen to 83, with the addition of 23 new properties advertised in March, contributing to a total of 84 new listings coming onto the market since the start of the year. This compares with 68 for the same period a year ago.

This growing inventory can best be seen in the chart below with a widening gap between new listings and sales. This began at the start of spring last year and has widened through the summer. There are though signs, as the chart highlights, that the gap may be narrowing as sales slowly edge up and new listings ease. Certainly, the early weeks of April have seen very few new listings hit the market.

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Overall Market Summary

Devonport Property NZ - Mar 2019 summary table of the property market.png

Property sales remain subdued with 44 properties sold since the start of the year down from 53 for the same period last year. The level of 83 properties on the market represents an inventory level equating to 24 weeks stock (assuming the current rate of sale to clear the 83 properties on the market). This level of inventory is a very stable level. Levels much below 16 weeks which we’ve experienced over the past 5 years are a function of a very tight market, one in which prices spiral upwards.

The chart below tracking the 3 month moving sales and price changes continues to show the market below the levels of last year as has been the case for the past 6 months.

Devonport Property - Property sales price var Mar 2019 3M.png


There are exactly twice as many houses for sale at the end of March (66) as were on the market a year ago. As stated earlier this is more a reflection of the end of the ‘golden summer’ last year when the property market was still powering-on albeit on the last drops in the fuel tank before the market corrected as the year progressed.

Sales of houses are down 16% compared to this time last year but in absolute terms we are talking about 37 sales as compared to 42 sales. The median price at $1.7m based on the most recent 3 months of sales is down 8%, but as the chart below shows prices move around quiet considerably and the overall trend of the past couple of years shows a more stable market.

Devonport Property - House sales median price Mar 2019 3M.png


There is certainly more stability in the market for investment and owner-occupied units that there has been at any time in the past 12 months. Whilst low listings and low sales continue to impact this segment, the fact is that there is strengthening in median sales price which had been weak for much of the past 18 months. At $772,000 the current 3 month median price is just 1% below the same time last year again reflecting a new stability in the market.

Devonport Property - Unit sales price var Mar 2019 3M.png

February 2019 - The market is awash with property for sale

As a buyer, what you most want to find is choice. The property market in Devonport is currently a haven of choice. As we enter autumn there are more properties for sale than we have seen for many years. A record level of 79 properties are currently on the market for sale. That represents a staggering 75% increase compared to this time last year.

A fresh new selection of 71 properties were listed over the 3 months of December, January and February. In the month of February alone there were 40 new property listings.

This rich shopping list of options is certainly attracting buyers, who are noticeably active in the market. Evidenced by the number of people attending open homes, which have been incredibly busy during February. However, all this activity and abundance of stock is not leading to higher sales.

Overall Market Summary

Devonport Property NZ - Feb 2019 summary table of the property market.png

A total of just 38 properties were sold in the 3 months to February. This was down 14% as compared to last year at a median price of $1.43m which was down 10% as compared to last year.
This sluggish pace of the local property market is replicated across the rest of Auckland as the pressure of bank lending restrictions continue to bite and buyers become more cautious. Having said that, the fact is that the right property, well-marketed, continue to sell. In just the past 2 weeks 2 properties sold within the first 7 days on the market. The key to success in this market is the right presentation of the property, matched to a smart marketing campaign and strong negotiation skills of the agent.

Devonport Property NZ Feb 2019 Total property sales and price variance 3MT.png


Drilling deeper into the latest statistics shows that the somewhat unexpected spike in median house prices in January of $1.82m was as predicted an anomaly. The 3 months to February saw the median sale price of houses return to the December level of $1.6m, representing a 12% fall compared to this time last year.

Devonport Property NZ Feb 2019 House median price 3MT.png


The January report heralded what was seen as a rejuvenation of the market for investment and owner occupied units, this on reflection now seems somewhat premature. That flush of life quickly petered out with sales and prices falling this month.

Devonport Property NZ Feb 2019 Units sales and price variance 3MT.png

January 2019 - Some brighter property news to start the year

The new year has kicked off with a significant rise in house prices. For the latest 3 months to January, the median sale price of houses sold across Devonport rose to $1,820,000 from $1,600,000 last month.

Devonport house price chart Jan 2019.png

This rise heralds some degree of a recovery in prices that had been weak though the greater part of 2018. As a typical quirk of statistics though, this month-on-month rise actually represents a 14% fall when compared to the same time last year. This is due to a significant spike in prices at this time last year. Next month’s report will be key to see if this January result is also a one-off spike or represents a strengthening of prices. The above chart shows the tracking of median sales price for houses based on 3 months aggregated sales. By comparison the chart below which tracks 12 months aggregate sales results provides a longer term trend perspective on sales price of houses sold in Devonport over the past 5 years. This better shows the degree with which the local property market saw price adjustment through 2018 and then the small inflection from the latest data to January.

Devonport median house prices 12MMT Jan 2019.png


Devonport property Jan 2019 summary table.png

The general state of the market remains well balanced with strong levels of new listings providing good choice for eager buyers of which there are plenty in the market as seen from strong open home numbers. A total of 62 new properties were listed in the past 3 months, that compares with 57 at the same time last year. However, when you do the comparison with this time last year, the available stock of properties for sale was just 38 whereas at the end of January this year it was considerably higher at 57. Through the first few weeks of February this has grown even more to reach 75 properties by the mid month.

With this strong inventory it is not surprising that buyers have a degree of leverage, given the options that the market provides. Sellers clearly need to manage the sale process smartly with their agent to maximise the emotional attachment that can arise in the early marketing period, well before those buyers get too distracted by the latest ‘shiny’ new listing.

Looking at the trend analysis of sales and prices it is clear as detailed in the chart below that when viewed as the year-on-year change the volume of sales lags behind last year as does prices, although both are showing signs of recovery.

Devonport property analysis sales and prices Jan 2019.png


Sales volume of houses through the past 3 months was down 11% at 35 sales set against 49 new listings, this has pushed out inventory levels to 48 as compared to 45 at the end of December which is not a huge change and demonstrates that activity levels are still good in the market. Whilst sales volumes year-on-year are down, so too is the median selling price down 14% as compared to this time last year, although as stated earlier there was an unexpected peak in median sales price at this time last year which could be somewhat misleading.

Devonport trend analysis of house sales and prices Jan 2019.png


A somewhat brighter spot on the property market is the resurgence of the market for units. Whilst a small segment of the market; this segment has languished for over a year with declining sales and prices, however the latest 3 months shows early signs of a resurgence with volume up and median prices up as compared to this time last year.

Devonport unit sales and median price analysis 3MMT Jan 2019.png

A small but significant recovery in median sales price of investment and owner-occupied units needs to be seen in perspective as the chart below shows as it tracks the median sale price over the past 5 years. At the latest level fo $772,500 unit sale median prices are still well down on the last peak of the market over two and a half years ago in mid 2016.

Devonport median units prices 3MMT Jan 2019.png

2018 - A property year in review

I thought it would be of interest to review the past 12 months, and provide a longer term perspective of the Devonport property market, something I look forward to doing regularly in future years - who knows how things will look 12 months from now?

So, some top line numbers. During 2018 some 196 properties were transacted across the Devonport peninsula (Devonport / Narrow Neck / Stanley Point). Of these the vast majority were family homes (149 or 76% of the total), a further 27 Units were sold with 10 Apartments and 10 Townhouses.

When compared to prior years, transactions levels were low. At 196 sales, this total was only the third time in the past 26 years that sales have fallen below 200.

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In terms of property prices; the median price for all the sales in each of the calendar years of the past 26 years shows a predictable rise over the long term as seen in the chart below. However the median sale price for all sales in 2018 fell from a year earlier at $1.51m, down from the record high of $1.64m in 2017.

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The 196 properties sold in 2018 added up to a total sales value of $348 million. The single highest sale price was $10 million and the lowest recorded sale price was $465,000.

The following analysis highlights the top 10 streets of Devonport by the measures of highest average price (this is limited to streets with 3 or more sales in the past year), the total sales value of all property sales and the streets with the most sales.

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By reference the most active streets in Devonport by measure of the number of property sales over the past 15 years are in order: Stanley Pt Road (the Devonpark apartments certainly influence the total), Vauxhall Road, Ngataringa Road, Lake Road, Victoria Road, Church Street, Aramoana Avenue and Calliope Road.

Based on this comparison it looks like Queens Parade has been especially active in the past year with 3 sales of units at number 16 contributing to the overall sales. Ewen Alison also has been more active, with 7 sales comprising a couple of sales of units and the sale of number 24 twice. At the same time Calliope Road with just 4 sales was a surprising omission from the Top 10 streets for sales for 2018.


With 75% of all sales in Devonport being family houses it is always appropriate to examine this sector in isolation given the largely uniform nature of this housing stock with such a strong heritage component.

A total of 149 houses were sold in the past year in Devonport with a total sales value of $294 million. Just as with overall property sales this total is the 3rd lowest since 1992.

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Just as the median sale price of property in 2018 showed a fall from a record high in 2017, so it is with house sales. The median sales price for houses fell from $1,750,000 to $1,670,000. However this still represents a more than doubling in median sales price compared to 10 years ago when the median sale price of houses in 2008 was $800,000.

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December 2018 - The market remains subdued with prices easing

The month of December can surprise many people who sense that people are far more occupied with Christmas plans, parties and the fast encroaching summer holidays, than buying and selling property. The fact is that transactions are often made right up until Christmas eve and this year proved no different with 14 sales completed before Christmas; 5 more than sold in December last year.

Despite this slightly more active December, the final 3 months of 2018 saw sales volumes 9% down compared to 2017 with 41 transactions. Adding to this lower level of sales was a higher level of new listings, with 75 properties brought to market in just 3 months which kept inventory levels over 50 for the third report in a row. Just by comparison there were 32 properties on the market at the end of December last year.

Devonport Property December 2018 Summary table.png

Sales volumes tend to track ahead of prices and as with lower sales volumes over the past 3 months so prices have continued to ease. For sales in the final 3 months of 2018 the median sale price at $1,400,000 was down 16% compared to the same time last year. As the chart below shows the market continues to track below last year in both sales volume and prices as it has done since early spring, although sales volumes look to be edging back somewhat.

Devonport Property December 2018 All property analysis sales and price 3MMA.png


Just 29 house sales in the final 3 months of 2018 as compared to a surge of 60 new houses coming onto the market demonstrates the state of the Devonport market which at this time certainly favours buyers. Adding to this a median price which is looking very stable at around $1.6m which should offer incentive for these buyers active in the market. The comparison of median sale price with this time last year showing an 11% decline is a little bit misleading and will be again in January as the market last year hit an unexpected spike when median sale prices for houses topped $2m before falling back through the first half of 2018 to a more normal level.


As has long been commented in prior reports through almost all of 2018, the market for investment and owner-occupied units has been subdued with volumes and prices below prior year, however the market seems to be definitely adjusting. Whilst volume sales in the last 3 months still show a decline, the scale of that decline has slowed to just 4%. The chart below shows the trajectory is likely to see sales return to growth in the start of 2019. As for sales prices the median price in the final 3 months of last year continues to show a decline, down 16% at $760,000 but there are signs of strengthening when seen as a tracking chart of median price over the past 5 years.

November 2018: A challenging property market heading into Summer

Just how much the property market has turned in the past 3 months has caught many buyers and seller by surprise. The traditionally hectic period leading up to Christmas generally sees a flood of new listings as sellers motivated by the longer and warmer days, traditionally look to put their property on the market dreaming of a new home for Christmas or over the summer. This year is no exception.

The level of new listings has been huge, with 82 properties listed in just the last 3 months. This compares with 73 new listings over the same 3 months last year. However, at the same time the level of sales activity activity across Devonport has not risen to meet this surge of new listings. In the past 3 months there were just 40 property sales. This compares with 66 sales for the same time last year. This imbalance of listings vs sales has resulted in a record high level of property for sale with over 60 properties being consistently marketed through November. Just be comparison if you look back just 4 months ago at the July report the market was so different with just 33 properties for sale, 54 sold and just 50 new listings - how different to November.

Devonport Property Nov 2018 - key data table.png

Clearly with this abundance of listings coupled with slow sales, the market is very much in the hands of buyers who hold the relative strength of negotiating power over sellers. This is flowing through to prices which have slowed throughout 2018 and are now showing a 13% year-on-year decline.

Devonport Property Nov 2018 - Total property variance 3MMT.png


The median price for houses sold in Devonport over the past 3 months was $1,607,500 that’s a 7% decline as compare to a year ago, representing a fall of $118,000 as compared to the same time last year as sales volumes of traditional homes are down 18% over the same period.

The reality is that property markets regularly re-adjust both sales volume and price levels, as growth rates become unsustainable. Compared to 5 years ago, the median sale price of a Devonport house has risen by $350,000; whereas over the past 3 years the median sale price has only risen by $60,000. The fact is property prices eventually slow their growth as they reach that peak which clearly looks to have been around the end of 2017. What we are now experiencing is a re-balancing; it may not feel like it, but it is healthy as it avoids the catastrophic effect of a full scale bursting of a property bubble.

As to the question of where we are likely to see the market in 2019? The key driver of the market will remain the cost of finance which remains low; the access to finance which remains tight, although recently announced changes to LVR rules will help. The economy and immigration levels are likely to continue to push demand, but overall the market is likely to start the new year much as it closes off the old year – with buyers in the driving seat.


Sales of owner-occupied and investment units are beginning to show some signs of recovery. A recovery from a very slow market of the past 2 years. Volume sales of units are still showing year-on-year declines, however the level of decline is lessening and if the trend were to continue we may see in the next few months some year-on-year growth. That growth would though be at 3 monthly sales levels of a dozen or so - far from the levels seen 2 years ago when sales over a 3 month period topped 17.

The median price of units sold in Devonport over the past 3 months edged up slightly from the winter period reaching $755,000 demonstrating some strengthening in demand.

October 2018: Buyers in the driving seat as listings flood the market

Spring is the most active period of the property year and no single month is more active than October. This year is no different with a very high level of new listings come onto the market. What is unusual and significant, is the slow-down in sales volumes. This fall-off in sales now places the local Devonport market firmly in the category of a ‘buyer-market’. There’s ample choice for buyers, who now wield power to select and negotiate; this presents a significant challenge for sellers as the competition for buyer attention is tough and their negotiation power is slipping away.

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Over the past 3 months, 77 new properties have come onto the market. This has been offset by a sales total of just 40 properties, pushing available inventory to the highest level of the year – at the end of October buyers had a choice of 57 property options from which to choose. By comparison at this time last year buyers had just 37 properties as options to buy a rise of 50% in available inventory.

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Sales volumes which had held up well through the winter months showing single digit percentage increases through the first half of the year, have now slowed significantly with a fall of 9% compared to the same time last year.

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The specific sector of the market made up of family homes as separate from units and apartments is not immune from this change in the market. Sales volumes are down 6% with just 29 sales of houses in the prior 3 months, well down from a figure of 51 in the final months of autumn, showing clearly how much the market has slowed.

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As the sales volume has slowed, so has the median price which whilst stubbornly refuses to decline, remains flat as it has been for the past 3 months. The current median price of $1,600,000 is identical to this time last year, but has fallen significantly over the past 6 months since hitting $1,890,000 at the end of autumn.

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This segment continues to weaken with sales down 11% and median price down 16%. The tracking of this market for owner occupied and investment properties is now entering its 15th month of consecutive declines with just 8 sales of units in the past 3 months. With 14 new listings ,the market is not denuded of stock however buyer interest appears to be cautious and somewhat picky.

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The median price over the past 3 months at $730,000 is down by a whopping $170,000 as compared to the peak of the market back in 2016 and at this time shows little signs of appreciating anytime soon.

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