|Listings Slump Across New Zealand
New property listings slumped across New
Zealand in December, with sales volumes also low despite a high level of total
housing stock. Slower market conditions have yet to reverse prices, however,
with the average national asking price reaching an all-time high and median
prices also holding up across much of the country. According to many analysts,
the lack of urgency has made Auckland a "buyers' market" for the
first time since 2011, a situation that could spread around the country if
conditions stay cool over summer.
New listings were down in 13 of the 19
regions across New Zealand, having decreased by 6.2 percent in December
compared to the year before - 7133 homes compared to 7606. Just 1908 new homes
were listed in Auckland, down 7.8 percent from 2070 the previous year. The
biggest falls were in other regions, however, with the Wairarapa region down a
massive 32.9 percent to 98 and Hawke’s Bay down 21.7 percent with only 220 new
properties. According to Vanessa Taylor from realestate.co.nz, “Central Otago /
Lakes region also showed a significant drop, with new house listings down 26.6
per cent to 212 properties. This would appear to have had some effect on the
region’s climbing asking prices."
Barfoot & Thompson sold just 674
properties in Auckland during December, the lowest level in seven years. The
Auckland sales agency also managed to sign up just 571 new listings over the
month, the lowest level since data became available in 2001. Despite the
monthly drop in new listings recorded by Barfoot & Thompson, total national
housing stock continues to build, with 9.3 percent growth recorded for the year
according to figures from realestate.co.nz. Auckland’s overall housing stock
also continued to rise on an annual basis, increasing by 26.1 percent to 8,497.
Big increases were also recorded by Wellington - up 21 percent to 971, and
Canterbury - up 18.6 percent to 3,642.
Cooler conditions on the ground are yet to
affect property prices, with the national asking price managing to hit $660,798
in December, up 3.8 percent from November. According to figures from Barfoot
& Thompson, the average selling price for Auckland during December was
$939,871, 2.9 percent higher than a year ago and 2.9 percent above the November
average. The median Auckland selling price in December was $870,000, 3.6
percent above the same month a year ago and 4.8 percent higher than November
Interestingly, the Central Otago/Lakes
region moved ahead of Auckland with an average asking price of $984,719. Areas
which experienced the biggest asking price increases included Nelson & Bays
with 11.3 percent growth to $618,712, Marlborough with 10.0 percent growth to
$479,288, West Coast with 8.7 percent growth to $265,396, Southland with 6.3
percent growth to $309,174, and Wairarapa with 5.4 percent growth to $429,488.
Areas which saw the biggest asking price drops included Central North Island -
down 7.4 percent to $403,648, and Gisborne - down 4.7 percent to $287,928.
According to Vanessa Taylor, “This is the
first time we have seen Auckland shift to a buyers’ market since February 2011.
The average asking price is still increasing despite high levels of stock.
Auckland saw new property valuations last year which may be leading vendors to
expect more than the market wants to pay... December is always a low month on
the housing charts, so it will be interesting to see if these trends continue
Image source: Sean Locke