As the country moved into the height of the summer season, market activity in the real estate sector experienced some positive increases in sales volume and activity across many New Zealand regions in December.

Jen Baird, REINZ CEO, commented ‘December showed that the trend of steady improvement in property market activity has set in thanks to the Government announcing more details of its plans, and the arrival of the more active months in the property cycle.’ Nationally, the volume of properties sold in December increased by 14.1% year-on-year to 5,145.

In contrast to the positive sales activity, stock levels continued to decline due to a lack of new listings, with’s latest Property Report naming December 2023 as the lowest month on record for new listings nationally (excluding the April 2020 COVID-19 lockdown).

Bay of Plenty

There were 355 sales across the Bay of Plenty in December, a 24.1% increase year-on-year. The median days to sell also showed notable improvement at 43, 8 days less than December 2022.

Tauranga reported an impressive 129 sales last month, a 34% increase on the same period the year prior. The median days to sell also showed significant improvement at 38 days, 7 days less than the same period the year prior. Only the median sale price of $850,000 reflected a downward trend with an 8.6% decrease year-on-year.

Mount Maunganui and Papamoa recorded 99 sales and experienced a 2% increase year-on-year for median sale price, which now sits at $972,500. Rotorua, with 62 sales in December, has a median sale price of $620,000, an optimistic 11% increase year-on-year.

Across the Bay of Plenty, 346 new listings came to the market, a -6% decrease compared to December 2022.  

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The Waikato region reported an optimistic 24.1% increase in sales volume year-on-year, with 490 sales recorded for December 2023. According to the latest REINZ Property Report, first home buyers and owner occupiers were the more active buyer groups.

Janine Missen, Branch Manager EVES Rototuna, commented 'Salespeople returned from their summer breaks with a bounce in their step sensing that the tide has turned and 2024 is going to be a good year on the back of a tough 2023. Buyers and sellers have returned from their summer holiday ready to move forward with their real estate plans.

We are seeing quality new listings across our four offices with a number of sellers opting for the Auction method of sale. Buyer enquiry and viewings are up in January resulting in sales being written, multi offers presented and success in the Auction Room. All in all there are positive signs in the Waikato as we head into the last quarter of the financial year.'

The median sale price in Hamilton is now $765,000, a 2% increase year-on-year. Sales volumes for the city are up 26% compared to the same period in 2022, with 214 sales reported last month.

South of Hamilton, the Putaruru, Tirau and Arapuni area has had an 11% increase in median sale price, which now sits at $585,000.

In North Waikato, the positive trends continue with Huntly recording a median sale price of $580,000, a 0.8% increase year-on-year.

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Further north, shifts in activity and active buyer demographics were evident, with Nikki Boulcott, Manager of EVES Whangarei, providing some insight on activity in the area:

‘The real estate market is experiencing significant changes, driven by trends like decreasing interest rates and a notable increase in first-home buyer and investor activity. At EVES Whangarei, our December auction clearance rate was 60%, with a strong presence of first-home buyers. The median sale price reached $630,000, the highest since September 2023, showing a 2.4% month-on-month increase but a -9.9% decrease from December 2022.

Despite a slight dip in the number of sold properties from November, there's an overall uptick from December 2022, reflecting market dynamics. The median days to sell is currently 55, slightly up from November 2023. The real estate sector is demonstrating resilience and adaptability amid changing interest rates and evolving market conditions.’

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For more information on recent market activity in your area, get in touch with one of our knowledgeable salespeople.

*Statistics and information sourced from the REINZ December 2023 Property Report and the December 2023 New Zealand Property Report