Property market slow and steady ahead of summer


Local agents are reporting a lot more activity across buyer groups, while vendors are willing to be realistic with their price expectations, reflected in October’s median house price, REINZ Chief Executive Jen Baird says

Across October, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) reported an increase in sales activity, a rise in property listings, decreased time to sell, and an overall sense of growing confidence in the market compared to the previous year.

The recent trends reflect a slow but steady improvement in property market activity post-election, signaling a more active phase in the property cycle.

This month witnessed consistent activity, with a slight 2.5% decline in the number of properties sold (from 5,762 to 5,619) compared to the previous month, yet an 8.0% increase compared to October 2022. For areas excluding Auckland, there was a similar pattern: a 2.2% decrease month-on-month and a 2.6% increase year-on-year in the total number of properties sold.

Among the regions, twelve out of sixteen experienced year-on-year increases in properties sold, with Northland (+36.1%) and Southland (+29.6%) marking the most significant growth.

Regarding median sale prices, the national median remained unchanged at $795,000 from the previous month, consistent with the trend seen throughout the year. There was a slight 2.8% decrease nationally year-on-year, while areas excluding Auckland saw a 4.7% decrease to $691,000 from $725,000.

Some regions experienced year-on-year increases in median sales prices, such as Tasman (+2.0%), West Coast (+2.6%), Canterbury (+3.2%), and Southland (+2.4%). However, most other regions witnessed a decrease in median sales prices compared to the previous year.

Local agents observed heightened activity among various buyer groups, including investors and first-time home buyers, alongside sellers more open to realistic pricing. This trend is reflected in the median prices for the month.

The market pace accelerated slightly, with a decrease in the average days to sell: down by three days nationally year-on-year to 37, and by two days for areas excluding Auckland, totaling 39 days. Roughly half of the regions (9 out of 16) experienced a decrease in the days to sell both month-on-month and year-on-year, contributing to a seven-day drop in national days to sell compared to October 2022.

REINZ’s Monthly Ambassador Survey highlighted increased engagement and buyer certainty in larger centers post-election, supported by favorable weather conditions. Properties are taking slightly less time to sell on average, indicating a positive outlook for the market ahead.

By the end of October, the total properties available for sale in New Zealand decreased year-on-year by 3.7% to 25,602, with a monthly increase of 8.6%. For areas excluding Auckland, there was a 0.7% year-on-year decrease to 16,120 properties, coupled with a 9.7% monthly increase.

New listings nationwide increased by 2.6% year-on-year and surged by 21.9% compared to September 2023. Areas excluding Auckland saw a month-on-month increase of 23.4% and a 1.2% year-on-year rise. Each region experienced a rise in listings month-on-month, notably with significant increases in Northland (over 58%), Wellington (40.2%), and Marlborough (36.8%), among others.

The surge in listings signifies a gradual improvement over the past year, indicating heightened confidence among vendors post-election, fostering a better selling environment and a favorable time for buyers, suggesting positive market improvement ahead.

However, it’s important to consider the impact of high interest rates, living costs, and post-election effects despite the stabilized trends in REINZ data for this month. Observing the next three months of REINZ data will be crucial, considering the influence of the new coalition Government’s policies, ongoing high migration affecting both residential sales and rentals, seasonal changes, and global factors on the market.

As of October 2023, the New Zealand House Price Index (HPI) stood at 3,652, showing a 1.1% increase compared to the previous month but reflecting a 2.5% decline from the same period last year. The average annual growth in the New Zealand HPI over the past five years has been 5.8% per annum, currently standing 14.6% below the market peak in 2021.

National highlights

  • The national median price has remained the same at $795,000 month-on-month and decreased slightly (-2.8%) year-on-year from $818,000.  For New Zealand excluding Auckland, the median sale price decreased 1.3% from $700,000 to $691,000 month-on-month.
  • At the end of October, the total number of properties available for sale across New Zealand was 25,602, down 3.7% (975 properties) from 26,577 year-on-year, and up 8.6% month-on-month.
  • The total number of properties sold across New Zealand in October 2023 increased 8.0% year-on-year to 5,619 and decreased 2.5% month-on-month.
  • Nationally, new listings decreased 2.6%, from 9,289 listings in October 2022 to 9,529 listings in October 2023, and increased 21.9% month-on-month.
  • Days to sell have decreased by 3 days for October 2023 month-on-month and decreased 7 days year-on-year.
  • The REINZ House Price Index (HPI) for New Zealand showed an annual decrease of 2.5% in the value of residential property nationwide.

Regional highlights

  • Four of the sixteen regions had positive year-on-year median price movements, the largest being Canterbury with +3.2%.
  • Tasman had the largest regional median price change, increasing 5.8% month-on-month.
  • Northland had the biggest decrease in days to sell, reducing 23 days compared to September 2023, and the largest number of properties sold, increasing by 36.1% year-on-year.

More information on activity by region can be found in the regional commentaries visit the REINZ website.

Median Prices

Four of the sixteen regions had positive year-on-year median price movements, the largest being Canterbury with +3.2%.

Seven regions had positive month-on-month movements, with Tasman leading the way with a 5.8% increase.

Auckland has recorded 18 consecutive months of year-on-year median price decreases for the first time since records began.

Wellington has recorded 17 consecutive months of year-on-year median price decreases for the first time since records began.

There were no record median prices at the regional level this month.

There was one record median price at the TA level this month – Gore District with a median price of $440,000 which beat the prior record of $435,000 set in November 2022.

  • 82% of all TAs have had no median record price in any of the past 12 months.
  • Queenstown-Lakes District and Westland District have had four consecutive months of year-on-year increases, the most of all TA’s.
Sales counts

This month, Nelson experienced its second-lowest sales count for a month ever, with the lowest being the lockdown impacted April 2020.

In terms of the month of October, this October saw the lowest sales count in

  • Nelson and Wellington since records began
  • Manawatu-Whanganui since 2010
  • Gisborne since 2011

Median Days to Sell

Auckland had its lowest Days to Sell since January 2022

Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand had its lowest Days to Sell since March 2022

In terms of the month of October, October 2023 had the lowest median Days to Sell in Auckland since 2020

In terms of the month of October, October 2023 had the highest median Days to Sell in:

  • Southland since 2000
  • Nelson and Tasman since 2008
  • Gisborne and Taranaki since 2013
  • West Coast since 2018


Eight of 16 regions have had a decrease in inventory in October 2023 compared to one year prior.

Gisborne and Wellington have had an extended period where their inventory is 30% or more below the inventory of the year prior

Conversely, Nelson and Taranaki have had year-on-year increases in inventory since November 2021.


Ten of the 16 regions had a year-on-year increase in listings.

Marlborough has had four months in a row of year-on-year increases in listings whereas Auckland has seen three months in a row of increased year-on-year listings.


Nationally, 14.7% (714) of properties were sold at auction in October 2023, compared to 14.9% (837) in September 2023.

New Zealand excluding Auckland saw 9.6% of properties (347) sell by auction compared to 8.8% (331) the month prior.

Auckland Region saw 367 properties sold by auction for the month of October compared to October 2022. That is 51.4% of the total auction sales for October and the region with the most sales.

House Price Index (HPI)

No regional HPI records this month.

Both Canterbury and Otago had year-on-year HPI increases this month. Canterbury is now 6.4% below its peak HPI and Otago is 4.0% behind its peak.

Canterbury is the top-ranked HPI year-on-year movement this month. Otago is second and Southland is third.

In terms of the 3 months ending HPI movement, Southland ranks first, Auckland second and Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay third.

More information on activity by region can be found in the regional commentaries visit the REINZ’s website.