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Christchurch – Shoppers spent more on long-lasting goods such as cell phones and laptops in November than last year, but almost a third more Kiwis sold their houses last month compared with 2019.

Total retail card spending rose 1.4 percent in November 2020, up $85 million, compared with November 2019.

Some sectors, like electronics, are doing much better than last year, but others are lagging behind because of the international travel restrictions introduced to slow the spread of covid-19, along with a drop in petrol prices.

Spending on long-lasting or durables goods had the largest retail industry rise, up $143 million (8.5 percent) from November 2019. These industries includes furniture, electrical, hardware, department stores and sports goods.

The rise in durables was mainly driven by furniture, electrical, and hardware retailing, up $141 million over the year to the highest November month since the series began.

Kiwis are also continuing to spend on their homes, as well as on sporting and outdoor activity equipment leading into the summer holidays. Grocery and liquor spending had the next largest increase, up $115 million (5.3 percent).

November 2020 spending on eating out was down just 0.7 percent on November 2019, despite the much lower international visitor numbers. Kiwis are eating out almost as much as in November last year.

The fuel industry experienced the biggest fall, down $101 million (17 percent) compared with November 2019, reflecting lower fuel prices.

Prices at the pump were down around 30 cents compared to this time last year while strawberry prices fell 43 percent in November as covid border restrictions reduced exports.

But Kiwis are also selling. As a nation, we sold 29.6 percent more houses in November than the same time last year, or the highest number of properties sold since 2007.

In Auckland alone, the number of properties sold in November increased by 53.9percent . Regions with the largest increase in annual sales volumes last month were:

  • West Coast: +74.4 percent (from 43 to 75 – 32 more houses) – the highest since March 2004
  • Northland: +36.1 percent (from 219 to 298 – 79 more houses) – the highest since June 2016
  • Canterbury: +31.7 percent (from 1,012 to 1,333 – 321 more houses) – the highest since March 2007
  • Bay of Plenty: +29.5 percent (from 498 to 645 – 147 more houses) – the highest since May 2016
  • Nelson: +25.8 percent (from 93 to 117 – 24 more houses) – the highest for the month of November in 18 years
  • Waikato: +21.9 percent (from 828 to 1,009 – 181 more houses) – the highest since September 2015.