The rate of decline in residential property sales across New Zealand has slowed.

While total residential real estate commissions are estimated to have fallen by $227 million in the 12 months to March, there are indications that the slump in sales volumes that has occurred over the last 18 months may be starting to bottom out.’s latest quarterly analysis of residential property market activity shows that while sales are still running well below where they were 12 months ago, the rate of decline has slowed markedly.

In the 12 months to the end of March almost 73,000 residential properties were sold across the country, down almost 17% on the previous 12 months.

That trend was evident to a greater or lesser degree across the country, even in regions that were supposedly experiencing buoyant conditions such as Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu and Wellington.

The rate of decline both nationally and in Auckland, has been steadily decreasing over recent months.

While the Auckland market was particularly hard hit, with sales in the region down 24% compared to the previous 12 months, the rate of decline both nationally and in Auckland, has been steadily decreasing over recent months.

Nationally, the number of sales in the first quarter of this year was almost unchanged from the fourth quarter of last year, and was down just 2.9% on the first quarter last year. That was a big improvement from the second quarter of last year when sales were down 25% compared to the same quarter of 2016, with this trend broadly evident throughout most of the country.

Market-watchers are reflecting on two prime drivers of the quiet lift in activity: banks offering  ‘off market incentives and interest rate deals’ as they seek to use their overstocked coffers, and with the country generally now being ‘over’ the impacts of the change of government, which certainly created concern and consequent inactivity of investors, first home buyers and family home buyers since well before the election and through the coalition process.


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