REINZ Wrap Up of 2021

Date: 19th Jan 2022

Last year was a record breaker in real estate, with prices soaring across New Zealand and several regions reaching median house prices of $1,000,000.  But despite higher demand the nation saw fewer house sales.

REINZ’s report for December 2021 analyses the country’s year in property with some interesting figures coming to light.  Here are some of the report’s highlights: 


REINZ Summary, December 2021

December sales data caps off a strong year in the New Zealand property market, with prices and activity holding steady into 2022. 

However, data and insight from REINZ - home of the most complete and accurate real estate data in New Zealand - has received commentary from agents across the country suggesting market headwinds are gathering strength.

New Zealand median prices for residential property increased annually by 21.5%, from $745,000 in December 2020 to $905,000 in December 2021.  Though year-on-year growth continues, this was a 1.6% decrease compared to November 2021.

 REINZ map

Waikato Regional Summary: 

Waikato reached a new median price of $850,000 — up 25.9% year-on-year.

Four districts in Waikato also reached record medians: Hauraki District hit $695,000; Matamata-Piako District reached $760,000; South Waikato District saw $535,000; and Waipa District hit a massive $890,000.  Borders re-opening and easing domestic restrictions have allowed more people to travel and view properties, and it was easier to complete settlements than in previous months.

The Waikato market remained active in December, with a rise in listings and appraisals.

Some vendors chose to list their high-end properties in the hope that Aucklanders in the market over summer would purchase.

Finance continues to be a central obstacle for buyers, and this impacted the number of deals in December.  It's expected that the Waikato market will see an uplift in sales in January and February as people continue to move about the country freely.

Comments: Neville Falconer - REINZ Regional Director


Bay of Plenty Regional Summary: 

Bay of Plenty region as a whole saw a 27.8% increase in its median house price reaching $920,000 in 2021— a new record high.  The Rotorua District also reached a new record high of $700,000.

It felt like the market in December slowed down earlier than usual.  Attendance at open homes dropped noticeably in mid-November rather than mid-December, which saw activity in the market ease — in some cases due to existing finance agreements being pulled altogether.

As a result, properties are spending longer on the market with days to sell up from 27 days in December 2020 to 30 days in December 2021.  This increase is relatively minimal and indications are that the market remains strong notwithstanding the uplift in median days to sell.

The number of new listings increased in the Bay of Plenty, and inventory levels are slowly replenishing after the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2021, seeing an increase in properties heading into 2022. 

Comments: Neville Falconer - REINZ Regional Director


Hawke's Bay Regional Summary: 

Hawke’s Bay reached a median price of $820,000 — a 22.8% increase annually.

Two districts reached record median prices in Hawke’s Bay: Central Hawke’s Bay District shot up to $675,000 and Napier City hit $848,000.

Similar to other regions across the country, Hawke’s Bay saw a decrease in its number of first home buyers and investors due to the new tax legislation and fiscal tightening.  These factors also impacted the median days to sell which increased by five from December last year.

Despite the market slowing down nearer to Christmas, Hawke’s Bay saw an increase in its listings, and inventory rose significantly heading into the new year. 

Although the region saw a decrease of 17.3% in sales count, it has been noted that higher-value property is selling well, but mid-priced property enquiry appears low.

Comments: Jen Baird REINZ CEO


Noticeable impacts on the real estate industry from 2021 include the amendment to the Credit Contract and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA) on 1 December 2021.  This requires stricter scrutiny of borrowers’ financial health, and it seems to have had an immediate effect on the market.  Feedback from several regions notes a falloff in buyer numbers — particularly first-time buyers — as a result.

However, 2022 looks promising with more listings becoming available on the market.