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.

Devonport Property Summary Oct 2018.png

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.


Devonport Property total property variances of volumes and price Oct 2018 12 MMA.png

HOUSE SALES

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.

Devonport Property Houses variances of volumes and price Oct 2018 12 MMA.png

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.

Devonport Property Houses median price  Oct 2018 3 MMA.png

UNIT SALES

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.

Devonport Property Units variance of price and volume Oct 2018 12MMA.png

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.

Devonport Property Units median price  Oct 2018 3 MMA.png







September 2018: Devonport house sales buck the Auckland trend

The latest statistics of property sales and prices for Auckland over recent months have continued to show that prices are flat or falling slightly. The September report from the Real Estate Institute showed that across the wider Auckland region the median sales price for all properties was $850,000, no change from a year ago. The volume of sales at 1,616 was down 2.1%. These statistics represents all properties sold by licensed real estate salespeople and include apartments, units, townhouse and lifestyle properties. It is really important when assessing property statistics to examine categories of properties separately as I do for the Devonport market.

Analysing the market for just family homes shows the comparison between Devonport, the North Shore and the wider Auckland region in the chart below.


Devonport Property - relative price and sales to Auckland region Sep 2018.png

Over the past year the sales of just houses across Devonport totalled 171, a rise of 16% with a median price of $1,750,000 in September up very slightly on the same time last year. Compare that to the North Shore generally and you see that from a total of 2,933 house sales in the 12 months to September, volumes were down 9% and prices have eased back 3% to $1,110,000. Looking to the wider Auckland region, house sales over the past year have seen volume down 2% and prices ease 1% to a median price of $915,000.

Taking a view of the key stats for the Devonport market for September.

Devonport Property summary table of property sales and price September 2018.png

Across all property types, the most recent 3 months (July to September) has seen the local Devonport market with a total of 42 sales, with 54 new property listings hitting the market. This strong selection of new listings has gone some way to providing a greater purchase options for eager buyers in the market. Early indications based on the first weeks of October are showing a a strong rise in the availability of properties for sale and this is likely to continue as the market gets into full gear for Spring and Summer.


HOUSE SALES

It is clear that the local market is what would best be described as stable, a state that is in the best interests of buyers and sellers; for whilst homeowners naturally love to see appreciating values the uncertainty this brings makes purchasing decisions more fraught and anxious. In today’s market the key metric is not sales price which is flat, but the volume of sales which proves that properties are selling. The key to these successful sales is not a function of a hot market, but well presented properties and a seller who is realistic to this new static property price market and who understands the different sales process with a greater focus on marketing and negotiation.

Devonport Property - variance of sales and median price of houses Sep 2018.png

UNIT SALES

Whilst the majority of sales across Devonport are houses. One in five of all sales are units, townhouses and apartments. The market for units has been, as previously reported experiencing a significant slump over the past year. There are though, early signs of a pick-up in this sector with 22 sales of units over the past 12 months, which whilst down from the peak levels of 42 sales 18 months ago is an improvement on the bottom of the market 3 months ago with just 15 sales in the preceding 12 months. Prices for units though remain weak with a 13% year-on-year decline to $713,000.

Devonport Property - variance of sales and median price of Units Sep 2018.png




August 2108: Improvement in selection of properties for sale as Spring arrives

A new selection of 23 properties were listed for sale in August, taking the total for the past 4 months to 47 and in so doing helping to raise the available inventory of properties on the market at the end of the month to 42, a significant improvement from just 33 on offer at the end of July. This clearly heralds the start of the Spring property market in a fashion very similar to this time last year.

At the same time property sales across Devonport remain steady with 45 properties sold in the past 3 months to August, up 4% as compared to the same time last year.

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Whilst sales number remain steady, the median sale price based on the past 3 months of sales seems to be in free-fall. The reality though is that when measuring a small data set as is often the case in Devonport, changes in the composition of the sales can have a significant effect on the median price. By that I mean if in one period the composition of sales of houses is stronger in smaller 3 bedroom villas selling around the $1.5m mark and sales of 4+ bedroom houses is weaker then the median is pulled down, but such a "fall" in median price is not a true indicator of a decline in property prices or values. This is the case in the recent data. Prices have stopped rising and are flat.

For this reason I have decided that when it comes to median price data I'm going to rely more heavily on a 12 month moving data set rather than a 3 month moving data set as I have been doing up until now. The only downside of this change is that price movements that are a reflection of underlying changes in value resulting from demand changes in the market will be slower to be seen on the upside as well as the downside. Making this adjustment results in a revised table for August property summary as seen below.

In terms of the trends in volume sales and median price a revised chart below shows the 12 month moving total for all property types. What is most noticeable from the chart is the resilience of sales volumes, as median prices have weakened over the past 6 months. In the 12 months to August volume sales have seen a 4% rise whist median prices at $1,545,000 are down just 2%.

Devonport property total sales and median price Aug 2018.png

HOUSE SALES

This segment of the market remains the driving force of the market recording an 18% rise year-on-year with 35 sales in the past 3 months, very close to the level of new listings which totalled 37; continuing to show the tightness of this market which continues to see well presented and well-priced property selling with speed and efficiency, as long as they are well-marketed.

As the trend chart below shows volume sales of houses are strong but prices are flat with a median sales price of $1,760,000 up just 1% compared to the same time last year.

Devonport house sales and median price Aug 2018.png
Devonport property median sales price of houses Aug 2018.png

UNIT SALES

There is not a lot of change to be seen in the market for investment and owner-occupied units across Devonport. Sales volume whilst still weak appears not to be falling further, however there is no ignoring how far it has fallen from the situation a few years ago. A total of just 6 units were sold in the past 3 months down 51% compared to this time last year.

As for the median sale price, given the quieter level of activity prices continue to remain on a plateau which is trending slowly downward recording a 3% year-on-year decline.

Devonport property total sales and median price of units Aug 2018.png

At the same time median sales prices continue to edge down albeit slowly at 3% decline vs the same time last year with a median price of $761,250.

Devonport property median price of units Aug 2018.png

 

 

July 2018: Quieter property market sees sales exceed new listings

Whilst our collective thoughts maybe turning to Spring and the hope of warmer weather ahead, the property market has yet to see any significant Spring shoots. There are tentative indications as the level of new listings starts to increase but at the same time strong sales fail to dent the inventory shortage.

The real challenge for those thinking of buying is without doubt the current shortage of properties. For the first time in the past year, sales have exceeded new listings, a situation that cannot be sustained for long! At the end of July there was just 33 properties for sale across Devonport, this is though likely to Improve in the coming months as the Spring market arrives. Traditionally the months of September, October and November are the busiest of the year.

For those thinking of selling, a lot more thought and analysis needs to be applied to the process. The property market has changed significantly over the past year as it has moved from a sellers’ market to more of a buyers’ market. It is now more important than ever to maximise marketing impact of the selling campaign order to attract and engage the right buyers. There are keen buyers out there who are looking for the right house, however they are cautious and selective.

Devonport Property - Summary chart for July 2018.png

Property sales in the 3 months to July totalled 54, down just 4% compared to a year ago. Within the mix of these transactions the sales of family homes continues strongly with 45 transactions representing a rise year-on-year of 11%. The median sales price overall for the 3 months to July was down 6% at $1,482,500.

Devonport Property - all types var of sales and price chart July 2018.png

HOUSE SALES

This segment of the property market is experiencing the most activity, remaining in positive territory with year-on-year growth in sales volumes. In just the past 3 months 45 houses have been sold up 11% on the same time last year. 

However with just 44 new listings coming onto the market and an inventory of just 23 houses available for sale at the end of the July there is little choice for buyers. The median sales price for all house sales over the past 3 months was exactly $1.7million down just 1% when compared to the same time a year ago.

UNIT SALES


As has been commented on in prior months, the market for investment and owner-occupied units continues subdued, with just 4 sales in the past 3 months down 61%. As sales remain at this subdued level (and with a limited supply of new listings) the median price remains fairly static. In the 3 months to July median price for those sales was $745,000 down 4% compared to prior year.

June 2018: Winter brings a paucity of new listings as property prices dip

The month of June will be remembered for the extreme shortage of new listings. Just 10 properties were placed on the market for sale across the Devonport peninsula in the month, down from 26 in May and compared to the November peak of 32 properties.

This shortage of new stock is facing off against a steady pace of sales; which for the past 3 months showed no change from a year ago with 50 transactions in the 3 months to June. This situation of very low listings and robust sales has depleted the available selection for the active buyers, who are still very much evident in the market. This saw the month open with 49 properties available for sale, and 4 weeks later that number had fallen to just 35.

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The median sales price over the past 3 months is down 2%, reflecting the underlying trend of property prices across the wider region which is best described as subdued. The median price of all property sales over the past 3 months was $1,485,000.

Total property in Devonport June 2018 variance of sales vol and median price.png

HOUSE SALES

Total house sales of 39 in the 3 months to June was up 19%. The median sales price of these houses was $1,750,000 down 4% when compared to the same time a year ago. This fall in the median price is just the 5th time in the past 5 years that house prices have adjusted downwards, however this is consistent with the broader reports for property sale price across the North Shore and Auckland more generally.

Devonport Houses June 2018 median prices.png

UNIT SALES

The key driver of the market for investment and owner-occupied units in Devonport is the rate of sales. Just 3 sales have been recorded in the 3 months to June down a whopping 65%. The past 12 months has seen just 15 sales of units compares to a total of 43 sales this time last year. The impact of these declining sales has seen the median sales price slip 15% when compared to a year ago falling from $827,500 to the latest 3 months at just $700,000.

Please note however that such low level of sales can significantly effect median prices. The most recent 12 month median sales price of units was $780,000.

Devonport Units June 2018 median price.png

May 2018: Continued demand, matched to tight inventory keeps driving sales price

The Devonport property market enters Winter after what could best be described as an active Autumn. The trend for property sales remains steady with 59 sales concluded in the 3 months to May. Tracked over the past 12 months the total of sales at 202 is exactly the same as May last year. The median sale price is up, reflecting the demand in the market with an 11% rise to $1.75m. This places the local market in line or slightly ahead of the wider Auckland market where sales volumes have started to pick up but where median prices remains fairly static. This reinforces the view that Devonport remains a suburb in demand with a steady pool of active buyers.

Devoport property market in May 2018 analysis.png

The available inventory of properties on the market rose slightly in May to end the month at 49, an increase of 7 properties from April. This was largely the result of a higher level of new listings coming onto the market, 74 new listings in the past 3 months. This is encouraging for those buyers out there, as it offers greater choice, something the market has been lacking for the past few months. However the seasonal trend is to see fewer new listings over the Winter months, so it will be interesting to see how the levels of available inventory levels look as we emerge from the Winter months and hit the Spring market.

 

HOUSE SALES

The median sales price for house sales over the past 3 months topped $1.9m representing a rise of 9% year-on-year. Sales volume for the 3 months totalled 47 which represent a significant increase of 16% when seen as a moving annual total of house sales as compared to the same time last year. A strong rise in new listings added to the available selection across all price ranges resulting in a total of 39 houses for sale at the end of May.

Devonport House median sales price to May 2018.png

UNIT SALES

The market for investment and owner-occupied units remains subdued. The level of activity is sparse with just 7 new listings coming onto the market in the past 3 months and just 5 sales. This time last year there were 17 sales. This slower market is having a consequential impact on the median sales price which remains static for the fourth consecutive month at $780,0000, down 7% on the same period last year. With just 5 units on the market for sale at the end of May heading into the winter months it is not likely that the market will bounce back anytime soon.

Devonport Units median sales price to May 2018.png

 

April 2018 : Heading into winter the Devonport property market for houses remains active

The local Devonport property market is best described as active as we head into the winter period, a time typically thought of as a quiet period of the property year. It is interesting to what extent the perception of a quieter property market over the winter is refuted by the facts. I would recommend you have a read of a recent article I wrote on the analysis of seasonality in the property market "So... Should I wait to list in the Spring?" on my Properazzi site.

In the latest 3 months to April, 51 properties were sold across Devonport which added to a total sales of 208 for the most recent 12 month period, this represents a rise of 6% in sales as compared to this time last year.

Devonport property summary data April 2018.png

The future trend as far as sales volumes is concerned is becoming clearer. Sales have been falling for the past 18 months across the country and across the wider Auckland market, however the bottom of the sales cycle has appeared as we headed into 2018 and that is shown in the analysis of the latest sales figures from across the region which I recently published in a quarterly market commentary. Interestingly comparing Devonport sales data with the wider market shows some interesting variances . In April property sales across the Auckland region were up 2% but the North Shore district saw sales down 11%, whilst as stated Devonport sales were up 6%.

Property sales volume data should be seen as a lead indicator of the market; with the median price a following indicator, being as it is a reflection of the market demand and supply. As for median price, the 3 months to April in Devonport saw median prices rise 2% to $1,535,000, this compares to a 1% fall across the wider North Shore and a similar 0.6% fall across the Auckland region, again showing the importance of hyperlocal property data to fully appreciate the market when marketing a property for sale.

Devonport Property monthly variance in volume sales and price.png

 

Over the past 3 months the sales total of 51 properties has represented a clearance rate of 67% of the 76 new listings that have come to the market supporting an inventory at the end of April of properties, down from the 43 at the end of March.

In aggregate the property market in Devonport looks to be fairly active, however as ever underlying the total is the very different dynamics of the key segments of both house sales and unit sales.

 

HOUSE SALES

In the past 3 months ending April, sales for all sizes of houses totalled 38, adding to a 12 month total of 169 sales. This represents a rise of 23% compared to this time last year. The market continues to be active, with a strong flow of 56 new listings coming to market over the past 3 months with a clearance rate of 68%. The inventory of available listings of houses at the end of April totalled 33, the same as at the end of March.

A noticeable trend over the first few months of this year has been the metric of 'time-on-market' measuring the elapsed time from listing date to unconditional date. As the adjacent chart shows the time-on-market for Devonport houses has begun to reduce, if seen from the longer term perspective. Most noticeable is the significant spike seen in Spring 2016 through summer 2017 as the market  slowed, this was followed by a significant reversal as 2017 progressed, although current levels demonstrate that the market is far from the level of activity seen over the 2015/16 period.

The median sales price continues to edge up to $1,848,500 in April, an increase of 4% adding close to $100,000 over the past year.

Devonport houses median sale prices 5 years to April 2018.png

UNIT SALES

As I have outlined in previous reports, the local market for investment and owner-occupied units continues to be weak, with just 7 sales in the past 3 months. This represents a fall of 45% and such volumes pale into comparison to levels of 15 to 17 sales over the same period last year. New listings are at the same time weak with just 10 new properties brought to the market in the past 3 months with an available stock of just 4 at the end of last month. These metrics undoubtedly tend to lead to a weaker median sales price at which for the 3 months to April was $781,500 down 6% compared to last year.

Devonport Units - sales volumes and median price movements 5 years to April 2018.png

 

 

March 2018 : House prices continue to edge upwards

Those days of a red-hot Devonport property market through 2014 to 2016 are now well behind us, as are the double-digit percentage price rises that were experienced back then.

Today the Devonport property market is best described as steady. Such a market though offers benefits for both buyers and sellers, allowing more time for consideration and contemplation.

The challenge for buyers today undoubtedly remains the level of available stock. At the end of March there were just 43 properties on the market down from 48 last month, these levels remain low compared to historical averages. For sellers the main issue is pricing. Median sales prices are still rising albeit at a slower rate, so the issue is all about setting a clear price expectation. In the past 3 months median sales price for all Devonport property edged up 4% to $1.58m, a rise of $68,000 over the past year. In terms of the number of sales, activity is relatively healthy with 53 properties sold in the first 3 months of 2018 up 6% year-on-year.

In summary, if price expectations are realistic to this changed market situation then there are buyers out there looking to move.

Devonport property report March 2018 key data table.png

Houses

Looking at the specific market for house sales. The median price for all houses sold in the first 3 months of this year was $1.84m up $90,000 as compared to this time last year. In total 41 houses were sold in this period as compared to 35 for the same period last year a rise of 12%.

This level of house sales for the first quarter of the year is pretty much in line with the long term average of the past 10 years at 40 sales. This indicates that the Devonport market is sustaining a stronger level of current activity than other parts of the Auckland region which for the first quarter of this year is down 18% compared to the long term average.

Devonport property house median sale price March 2018.png

 

Units

The market for investment and owner-occupied units is however a very different story to house sales. In the past year total sales of units have fallen from 34 sales in the 12 months to March 2017, to just 24 sales in the most recent 12 months; a fall of 24% year-on-year. The median sales price is currently fairly weak down 4% comparing the first 3 months of this year to the prior year at a level of $776,750.  

Devonport property unit sales and median price chart March 2018.png

February 2018 : Slow property market still shows signs of life .. and demand

Traditionally the 3 months of December, January and February are the quietest of the year for property sales, and this year is no different with just 36 sales across these 3 months. This does though represented a small, but significant rise of of 2%. This variance is based on the most recent 12 months total property sales in Devonport which totalled 216 properties sold in the year to February. Interestingly the highest 12 month total sales in the past 5 years was 263 in the 12 months to September 2015; and the lowest level? The 12 months to April 2017 at just 196. So clearly this current market is amongst the slowest we have seen over this period.

In terms of inventory of properties to choose from, Devonport buyers continue to see slim pickings with just 52 new properties listed in the past 3 months, leading to a choice of 48 properties on the market at the end of February. Turnover of properties remains healthy with few properties on the market for longer than 60 days.

Houses

In terms of price trend, the upward spike of median sale price of houses in January was not as expected sustained and eased back from that record $2m level to $1.8m, however the trend in median price for houses continues to climb, indicative of the market demand with a year-on-year increase of 4%.

Units

The market for investment and owner-occupied units has really slowed over the past 6 months. Sales in Devonport in the three months to February totalled just 3. For the past year the total amounted to 28 units sold representing a fall of 18% year-on-year. At 28 sales in the past 12 months, this total falls well short of the peak activity in the winter of last year when the annual total topped 43 sales in the year to July, just showing by how much the turnover in this segment has slowed. The result of supply side constraints as much as demand with median prices at $781,500 down just 2% year-on-year. 

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January 2018 : Median sale price for Devonport houses breaks through to a new high of $2million

The new year has brought with it a new record in the sales price of classic Devonport houses for the 3 months ending January. Compared to this time last year, the median price of house sales is up 28%, breaking through the $2m barrier for the first time. As we know from past experience, the median price may well dip down below this level in coming months, but the underlying trend remains strong. Interestingly, it was back in back in early 2011 that the median price of house sales broke the $1m level for the first time.

Set against this rise in median price, is the continued quiet level of overall sales, with just 43 properties sold across all property types in the past 3 months, such rising prices and weak sales ably demonstrates the continued strength of buyer demand.

As is expected in January, a fresh new batch of listing hit the market, however with a total of just 57 listings coming to the market across the 3 months, it failed to make a significant impact on inventory which at the end of January standing at 38 was only slightly improved from the 32 at the end of December.

Property sales volumes coupled with low numbers of listings continue to be the key driver of the market at this time, comparing the start of this year with the far more active period of 3 years ago certainly demonstrates this. Back then in 2015, 3 months sales at the start of that year topped 69. Indications for the balance of this year are that we are likely to see a steady market, as access to finance improves and interest rates look to remain stable.

Whilst Devonport houses show continued median price strength, the slower activity in the market for Units is having a dampening effect on median sale prices, which for the past 3 months shows a 11% fall as compared to this time last year, with total moving annual sales at 27 which is 16% down compared to this time last year.

Table Jan 18.png

December 2017 : Median prices remain strong in spite of weaker sales volumes

The last month of the year always sees a slowing of the property market and fore-shadows the quiet month of January before the market bounces back for the key summer months of February and March. This year the trend witnessed in the past few months continues, with weak sales volume across all property types down 2% compared to last year with just 58 sales in the final quarter of the year. The recovery in sales volumes in November seems to have failed to sustain and we appear to be stuck back in a quiet market.

What is significant though is the weakness in inventory, which finished the year with just 32 properties of all types on the market, such slim pickings for buyers is clearly the key behind the strength in sales prices, which for all property types across Devonport saw a 18% rise against last year at just over $1.6m.


The market for units appears to be fairing slightly worse than for house sales, where the sales volumes have eased significantly over the past 6 months after what was a sustained period of strong sales growth - peaking with a 62% year-on-year growth back in May. As the volume growth has come off, so has to some extent the median price, which was showing strong growth of around 20+% through much of 2016 into 2017, but has slowed to a much lower rate of growth and turned down into a decline in prices in the second half of 2017.

Table Dec 17.png

November 2017 : Active market heads to the close of the year

The 3 months of September, October, November traditionally represent one of the two most active periods of the property year with a real sense of Spring, heading into great Summer weather which tends to infect the property market with a strong shot of adrenalin. This year, whilst overall activity is not as high as has been the case as compared to say 2015, we are seeing growing sales volumes of properties sold in Devonport and strength of median prices clearly indicating a strong buyer demand.

Total property sales in the 3 months to November at 66 contributed to the current annual total of 225 property sales up 10% on the same period last year. Whilst at the same time median prices of all property types across Devonport continued what has been a positive trend rising 17% in the past 3 months to $1.583m.

Units

The market of investment and owner-occupied units in Devonport continues to come off what was a strong market through much of the past 18 months, but recent months have seen a significant slow down in the level of sales. With just 4 sales in the past 3 months adding to a year-to-date total of 28, which represents a 20% fall as compared to this time last year.

As the volume has come off this segment of the Devonport market, the median price has eased considerably sitting at a level of $866,000 now for the past 3 months and representing a figure almost identical to November last year, a far cry from the heady market rises seen during 2016. As the market has cooled so has availability, although in such tightly held markets it is often the result of a lack of listings which precipitate the lower sales, time will tell going into 2018.

Devonport property all property data Table Nov 17.png