THE PROPERTY MARKET IN NEW ZEALAND

 

The New Zealand puzzle: low population, high property prices (and high rents).

Auckland has the country’s most expensive housing with an average price of NZ$825,000 (US$586,988), followed by CentralOtagoLakes, with an average price of NZ$694,500 (US$494,137) and Wellington, with an average price of NZ$480,000 (US$341,520). In contrast, Southland has the cheapest housing, with an average price of just NZ$200,000 (US$142,300).

Growth increases until 2018 before declining later in the forecast:
June year annual average real GDP growth is forecast to lift from 2.9% in 2017 to 3.2% in 2018, and then decline to 2.8% in 2019 and 2.5% in 2020. Key drivers of growth are expected to steadily return to their long-run average levels. Growth in goods exports is forecast to pick up in the 2018 June year owing to a recovery in soft commodity prices as trading partner growth gains traction and dairy supply growth slows. Rising terms of trade are expected to support business investment growth, while previous high population growth boosts residential investment growth. However, the decline in net migration from previously elevated levels and softening real income growth in 2017 are expected to lead to slower private consumption growth, while real public consumption growth moderates as inflation rises and growth in government spending slows. The slowdown in GDP growth over the last two years of the forecast reflects lower net migration inflows, a steady rise in interest rates and the levelling-off in the terms of trade after a period of increases.

Annual growth in the labour force is expected to slow from 1.9% in June 2017 to 1.1% by June 2020. A relatively solid outlook for GDP growth is expected to support employment growth, which encourages people to seek work, and the participation rate is projected to rise from 68.4% in the June quarter 2017 to 68.9% in June 2019.

Prime Minister John Key shocked the country by announcing he would step down on 12 December for family reasons. Key, who served for three terms as Prime Minister, is credited with implementing sound macroeconomic policies that have enabled the Kiwi economy to weather a global economic cooldown and outperform most industrialized economies in the past few years. The current Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Bill English, was chosen as the new Prime Minister after being endorsed at a meeting of the ruling party. While the political landscape has shifted dramatically, the economy remains resilient. Businesses in November were upbeat and retail sales, despite decelerating from Q2’s multi-year high, remained solid in Q3.

 

MEDIAN PRICES BY REGION, Q3 2016

Regions Median price m-o-m change y-o-y change
NZ$ US$ % %
Nelson/Marlborough 450,000 320,175 4.7 21.6
Waikato/Bay of Plenty 458,500 326,223 5.4 17.6
Wellington 480,000 341,520 4.1 16.1
Northland 390,000 277,485 7.7 15.4
Taranaki 350,000 249,025 12.9 14.8
HawkesBay 320,000 227,680 0.0 14.7
Auckland 825,000 586,988 -2.0 7.0
Manawatu/Wanganui 256,600 182,571 4.1 6.9
Otago 296,000 210,604 3.9 5.7
Canterbury/Westland 434,250 308,969 3.4 3.4
CentralOtagoLakes 694,500 494,137 6.8 2.7
Southland 200,000 142,300 -4.3 0.3
NEW ZEALAND 515,000 366,423 4.7 6.3

Source: Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ)