Pro Residential Property

Positive mood to the fore in Hawke’s Bay real estate market – Fraser Holland

Our Napier and Havelock North teams are feeling good, armed with knowledge, skills, and terrific marketing tools they are performing really well in a property market that is active and transacting an increasing number of properties.

But you won’t read that in the media. I can bet you a dollar that as the May real estate statistics are released in mid-June, media outlets across the country will find the negative to headline. Copy editors like to shock, so it either must be good for sellers, conversely bad for buyers or bad for sellers, conversely good for buyers. The middle ground just doesn’t generate enough click throughs in the modern world of media. Meanwhile our New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty team are meeting buyers and sellers every day, creating opportunities and making them count by selling homes for our vendor clients, and creating new beginnings for new owners. It sounds simple, but when we look at the

market playing out through a Sotheby’s lens things are pretty optimistic. I’d suggest surrounding yourself with optimistic people every day, local experts whose mind is not limited by negativity, but full of market knowledge and fact-based success.

And so, I turn to the numbers to check my own self-belief. As you will know Sotheby’s specialises in the upper end of the market, we like to say the mid to high end. While we read that first home buyers are slowly coming back to the market with CoreLogic Buyer data from April quoting a national first home buyer presence of 25.6%. It isn’t primarily first home buyers Sotheby’s are working with however; our average Hawke’s Bay sales value sits around $1.2M and we are selling more than 30 homes in each of the last two months. While the Sotheby’s team have had a stellar start to the year, the total volume or number of sales across the entire market in the last quarter (Feb – Apr at time of writing) are strong relative to the last couple of years.

In the property space, many have an infatuation with the Spring season, so I benchmarked our Feb – Apr three month period with Sept – Nov of 2023 and 2022. Spring 2022 wasn’t booming, but still 517 dwellings transacted, Spring 2023 saw an increase of 8.5% to 561 dwellings sold. Our Hawke’s Bay Feb – Apr 2024 number hit 603, up 7.5% on last Spring, and up approximately 17% on 2022. A side note – you will see I am quoting dwellings, which excludes sections. Quite simply there are very few sections being sold (REINZ recorded only 3 in HB for April), but sometimes with the release of titles, the number transacted in a given month can skew a picture. People buy and sell primarily for lifestyle reasons, not a specific time of year. A change in circumstance, a time in one’s life when changing homes is right for them. It’s a terrific time to buy and sell in Hawke’s Bay because the values are stable. Looking at the same data set, the average sale price has moved up, but less than 1% in value. It’s the cost of change one needs to consider, buying and selling in the same market provides greater certainty. Yes, it is classically described as a buyer’s market, but for someone considering change, isn’t it great for sellers to know there is an increase of buyers out there to enable that change? Small changes can make a difference, presentation, marketing and price. Hiring an optimistic agent with skill, knowledge and care is paramount.