Peter Newbold talks to us about... Market settling back into established patterns
March 2024

Peter Newbold talks to us about... Market settling back into established patterns

Recent sales data for lifestyle and residential property shows that the market is beginning to reorient following a downturn last year, re-establishing long term trends.

We are generally returning to a ‘steady state’ situation, a market where results are possible, though generally hard earned. However, in some regions residential and lifestyle property is attracting elevated attention.

In the northern and central North Island, mortgage interest rates are putting pressure on some homeowners, reducing their cashflow, prompting some to preempt what could otherwise become a budgetary challenge by offering property to the market. While this effect is minor at present, if the predicted continuation of high interest rates plays out, residential and lifestyle listings may increase, potentially affecting sales values.

While buyers are active and reasonably motivated, many sales are conditional on purchasers first selling another property, which leads to complications and delay before transactions can be completed. In many sales purchasers are not facing great competition and are therefore not under pressure. Therefore, according to statistics from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), the median number of days to sell a lifestyle property increased by 13 days in the three months to January 2024, compared to the corresponding period in 2023, and now sits at 65 days.

North Island regions with stronger property market activity include Horowhenua, where improvements to the national roading network have put the locality within easier reach of Wellington. At present Horowhenua property prices represent excellent value. Dannevirke is similarly attracting attention. When completed next year the new Manawatu Gorge highway is set to ease the commute from there to Palmerston North. Dannevirke is one district where residential property is still available below $300,000. In Hawke’s Bay some insurance payouts for property damaged by last year’s floods are being re-invested in other properties, therefore activating the market.

In the South Island more positive market trends started to become apparent just prior to Christmas. North Canterbury, Ashburton, Timaru, Oamaru, Cromwell, and Te Anau are attracting particular interest, including from North Island buyers seeking to re-locate. While prices are steady, buyers want to know vendors’ pricing expectations, and will ignore anything that is over-priced.

Residential property sales volumes in the central and lower South Island are up on last year, which may well flow on to the lifestyle sector in the coming months.
If you are looking to buy or sell residential or lifestyle property in rural or provincial New Zealand, PGG Wrightson Real Estate is a national team of local experts: a reliable, trustworthy partner ideally placed to assist you to realise your real estate objectives.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Explore similar articles in our most recent edition of the Lifestyle & Residential Collection.

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