Monthly Property Update – September 2020

Apartments or the family home – what is for sale in your area? 

I’ve heard a few anecdotes recently about what types of properties are selling. Some are saying that properties priced for first home buyers are being snapped up, while others suggest the top end of the market is performing well. This month, the team at has looked into the current listing data around the country to see where vendors are active and what opportunities there are for new home buyers.

The analysis below looks at the number of properties within different pricing bands:

  • First Home priced properties: Listings with a HomesEstimate in a town’s lower quartile, or less than’s First Home Buyer HomesEstimate
  • Low – mid priced properties: Listings with a HomesEstimate in a town’s 2nd quartile, or less than’s median HomesEstimate
  • Mid – high priced properties: Listings with a HomesEstimate in a town’s 3rd quartile, or above’s median HomesEstimate
  • Highend priced properties: Listings with a HomesEstimate in a town’s top 25%, indicative of the higher end of the market in each centre.

With all being equal, we could expect 25% of a town’s listings to fall in each of these categories, but in some areas, this isn’t the case.

As reported in our property report last month, there are a high number of apartments listed for sale in Auckland, explaining why 37% of current listings are priced below Auckland’s median First Home Buyers HomesEstimate Estimate of $748K. This is confirmed by Jono King from Bayleys Real Estate in Ponsonby, Auckland; “A noticeable lift in demand for quality freehold apartments across our Auckland city fringe suburbs has been evident over the past 30 days.” The demand does not appear to be impacted by COVID restrictions either; “A Ponsonby apartment listed under alert level three restrictions generated significant interest with the maximum number of viewings per day under our guidelines and sold in just six days with multiple offers while a near-new apartment sold at Auction with multiple bidders on the first day of level three”.

The opposite is true in Hamilton and Tauranga, where the current listing stock is skewed towards the higher end of the market. 35% of Hamilton listings are priced above the upper quartile HomesEstimate in the city of $784K, with 34% of Tauranga listings above the upper quartile HomesEstimate of $844K. Mark Keesom from Ray White Hamilton City explains that “Housing Stock levels under $700,000 are low, due to high levels of buyers mainly first home buyers, people moving back into the region and increasing amounts of investors looking to capitalize on low-interest rates snapping up everything. Traditional areas of Hamilton are seeing great results and older homes are seen as the go-to with the ability to renovate and add value or remove and build new houses.”

The other main centres have a more even spread across the market, with opportunities for buyers right across the different price bands.

Monthly HomesEstimate Property Update

The Monthly Property Update is generated using’s September 2020 HomesEstimates, providing an up-to-date perspective on house values around New Zealand.

Trends in our Main Cities

The high number of apartments selling in Auckland has resulted in the median HomesEstimate decreasing this month to $973K, although still up 9.8% from a year ago. The annual growth is similar to other North Island centres, with the median HomesEstimate increasing between 8 and 11% p.a., even during a very uncertain last 12 months.

The story is slightly different in the South Island, but recent trends are continuing. Dunedin HomesEstimates continue to grow at over 20% p.a. to $529K in September. Christchurch property prices continue to grow modestly, but consistently, now up 5.4% since this time last year to a median HomesEstimate of $461K.

NZ’s First Home Buyer HomesEstimate

The “First Home Buyer HomesEstimate” is’s estimate of what a typical first home may cost. It is calculated to be the lower quartile HomesEstimate in a town.

How do we calculate these figures?

The Monthly Property Update is generated using’s monthly HomesEstimates and provides an up-to-date perspective on house values around New Zealand. By valuing the entire housing stock, the Monthly Property Update can compare median values from month to month in a consistent and reliable way. Our HomesEstimates are calculated for almost every home in New Zealand by an algorithm that identifies the relationships between sales prices and the features of a property.

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