The Breaking News story today is about property again. Seems like lately everything is about property property property. Today’s headline states Property sales plunge in January – January house sales worst in nearly two decades…
Sounds terrible doesn’t it! This story is quite a different picture that was being painted last month when the authorities were talking about the market in December. It is clear that there is a huge amount of instability within the market place. People are unsure what exactly is going to happen and the media is always reporting on the has been or the statistics. Here are some of the facts relating to the latest data that has been released.
- Home sales plummeted in January to their lowest level in nearly two decades
- January saw just 10,272 new listings coming onto the market; the first time in 4 years that the January figure has been lower than December
- The total figure of 3,666 dwellings sold in January this year was the lowest monthly total since electronic records began in 1992 and was only the second time the total figure had dipped under 4,000.
- The national median of $350,000 was up 7.7 per cent on the corresponding figure of $325,000 for January 2009, but was $10,000 down on the median price for December 2009.
- The national median for days to sell in January was 43, 16 fewer days than the corresponding period a year ago but 10 more days than in December 2009. Sales were quickest in Southland at 33 median days and in Auckland where the median days to sell was 36.
So why the big change between December and January when January is typically the busiest month for Real Estate transactions in New Zealand. SO what is holding it up. The answer isn’t as simple as one answer. There are many reasons. Some of these include the recent news about the possibility of tax reforms relating to property, some factors include New Zealand heightening unemployment ratio, other things such as the media releases stating that house prices are at levels not seen since the 2007 peak.
I think all these factors have put the brakes on people making decisions relating to property. Naturally because property is a massive investment people don’t want to be making investments when there is uncertainty around it.
The next step in the equation is almost anybody’s guess. There are no hard and fast rules. When it comes to property investment it would be fair to say that many people will be holding off, including myself until it is clear what the government is going to do regarding the tax reforms relating to property and gst. The recent Speech done by the prime minister will have adverse effects on peoples perceptions of residential property investment. This is the key part to the speech.
It will be a long awaited Budget in May and I can’t wait to see what it produces. There will be big change and until then unfortunately I feel the property market might be quite subdued because many investors will be holding off buying. But on the flip side to this with a relatively higher property inventory compared to the number of sales there could be some great buying opportunities for people who wish to buy their own home as some vendors could become pressured due to the lack of interest in the market.
There is also one other point to take into consideration which could cause all of what I have said above to be a uncredible. Since the Real Estate act changed in 2009 agencies do not need to be members of the REINZ who usually supply all the stats for the sales etc. SO just possibly maybe there is a slight problem with the stats from here on in and the real estate stats are not up to date. This could be the case because agencies do not have to submit their results to the REINZ. This would cause a dip in the stats if someone didnt enter their data. this is something I will investigate further.
Definately interesting times.
If you want to view the entire John Key speech visit this link to download a copy of it.