Fewer overseas investors buy homes

Median house prices gained almost 25% in the Clutha district last month; pictured, Balclutha...
The Clutha district had a more than 30% increase in prices, rising from $190,000 a year ago to $250,000. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON
House sales across Dunedin, Central Otago and the Queenstown Lakes District picked up in May, as did median prices, which were up in a range from 8% to almost 19%.

Around Otago and Southland, the majority of median house price gains were at least double-digit.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand regional commentator Liz Nidd said median prices in Dunedin had continued their steady upward trend, with the number of properties sold having increased 16.2% from May last year, reflecting the market's strength at the moment.

"Open home attendances are still good but with fewer than expected listings coming to market, choice is again becoming limited," she said.

Liz Nidd
Liz Nidd

REINZ regional director Gail Hudson said the volume of sales for some areas around Queenstown was down, reflecting the impact of the foreign buyer ban.

The ban stops foreigners not intending to live here from buying most home types, apart from new apartments in large developments and multistorey blocks; with Singaporeans and Australians exempt because of trade agreements.

"Anecdotally, there appears to be less investors in the market," she said.

The Clutha district had a more than 30% increase in prices, rising from $190,000 a year ago to $250,000.

However, Gisborne notched up a blistering new record price increasing 54.4% from a year ago from $285,000 to $440,000, a $155,000 increase.

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said the strong Gisborne showing meant the April to May gain of 22.9% equated to $2645 a day.

"We haven't seen price rises on this scale for a number of years now, showing just how strong regional growth is in parts of New Zealand," Ms
Norwell observed.

Around the country, median prices increased annually in 11 out of 16 regions with strong growth recorded in Southland, up 16.7%, Manawatu/Whanganui, 14.4%, Hawke's Bay, 9.3% and Otago up 8.2%.

The number of residential properties sold across New Zealand in May fell by 7.8% from the corresponding time last year, from 7876 to to 7263, although month-on-month, the number of properties sold increased by 20.1%.

Housing data for May
$560,000 (March 2018)
$578,000 (March 2019)
3.2% (% price change)
Central Otago
Queenstown Lakes


I’m confused!
Wasn’t the increase in housing prices being pushed along by the speculative Chinese buyers? That’s s what we where being told, right!
I’ve got nothing against more NZers owning more of NZ but it has always seemed to me that blaming someone else for problems of our own making was standard human behaviour and this is yet another example of that.
Put 12 economists in a room and you’ll get 13 different opinions, they say.
Do you know the story about how China killed off it sparrows? Now there is an interesting story about politics and blaming the other. Look it up on YouTube.
Mass hysteria, that’s probably over stating it, is the dream of every political movement.
Beware anyone that claims one causal factor, destabilises, otherwise stable but complex systems. Like economies and climate.

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