Post sponsored by

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: CoreLogic

Kelvin Davidson, Senior property economist takes a break from COVID-related analysis and looks at the CoreLogic Buyer Classification data relating to property type. In particular, the figures show that investors continue to dominate the markets for existing apartments in both Auckland and Wellington, with a combined share of purchases across cash and mortgaged buyers greater than 50%. But when it comes to new apartments in Auckland, first home buyers have become more prominent lately.

We’ve been looking at the impact of COVID-19 on the property market pretty steadily for about four months now, so this week it’s a chance to take a step back and instead look at some other interesting data for its own sake. We’ve recently had a request for insight on buyer activity for Auckland apartments split by new versus existing/second-hand, and thought the data was worth sharing more widely in a Pulse article.

To set the scene, across all property types, first home buyers (FHBs) and mortgaged multiple property owners (MPOs, or investors) have been the key buyer groups in Auckland for the past 12-18 months, as the first chart shows. In 2020 to date, mortgaged investors’ share of purchases has just edged ahead of FHBs, but the gap is small.

So what about apartments? The second chart shows market share for existing/second-hand properties in Auckland, and you can see that investors dominate – the share in 2020 to date for cash investors has been 29% and mortgaged 25%. But perhaps the more interesting pattern has been the continued rise in market share for FHBs, now accounting for 15% of purchases of existing Auckland apartments, up from 10% 2-3 years ago. Some of that has come at the expense of the ‘new to market’ category, which includes foreign buyers. Of course, that’s not entirely surprising, given the ban that was introduced in October 2018.