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What's my home worth?

Is the Only Way Up?

Who knows where the New Zealand property market is heading?

Peter Matthews

When the general feeling is that things can't get any worse, phrases such as "The only way is up" tend to crop up in the media.

Whilst it would certainly be reassuring, given the current state of the housing market in New Zealand, to believe that the only way is up - is there any basis in fact or logic to support that position?

According to the REINZ (Real Estate Institute of New Zealand), last month saw the lowest level of residential house sales in this country since they started keeping records in their current format in 1992.

The REINZ maintains an index called the HPI (Housing Price Index). Without going into detail about how it is calculated, this index gives us an overall idea of of the strength, or otherwise, of the housing market. The HPI is down 12% on April last year and it is down 17.5% from the peak of November 2021.

The length of time it takes to sell a house (known as 'Days to Sell' or 'Days on Market') now sits at around 47 days. That is up 9 days on April last year.

Whatever your opinion, and there are many, there is not a lot happening, and there does not seem to be much evidence of imminent improvement.

I would feel fairly safe in saying that if you are looking to buy property in New Zealand; in terms of price this can't be a bad time to do it. But there are many other considerations, not least interest rates, which impact upon people's ability to transact.

The airwaves are full, and the internet is full, of people saying what they think is about to happen in the local and wider property markets. Some have official qualifications, in various fields, and others have experience 'in the field'. Whatever experience people may have, it does not appear to make them any better at predicting the future.

Reading the comments attached to news articles on line is often a good way to see what 'the people are thinking'. Only this morning I have seen predictions that the next 12 months will see a further 30% fall in the market and also a 25% rise in the market.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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