Mixed view for New Zealand real estate markets

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Long term trend of steady increase in asking price over last three years

The New Zealand property market saw a further tightening of supply in December, more especially in the three major cities where the market remains very firmly as a sellers market, according to the latest NZ Property Report.

‘In overall terms the number of new listings coming onto the market in December was considerably lower than expected given the surge in November. This lower level means that inventory levels of property on the market slipped again to remain below the long term average,’ explained director Alistair Helm.

‘The country overall is still balanced between a buyers and a sellers market with the provincial areas seeing less tightness in new listings and available inventory of property on the market,’ he added.

The truncated mean asking price of $420,109 for all new listings in December eased slightly again from the peak in October of $434,161. On a seasonally adjusted basis the asking price actually rose 0.4%.

The long term trend has been a steady increase in asking price over the past three years. The seasonal trend each year tends to see asking prices rise through from mid winter to October before falling back.

Across the 19 regions covered by the report the view is mixed with 10 regions showing an increase in asking prices as measured against the recent three month average. There were four regions showing significant rises in asking prices of over 5%; Central North Island, Nelson, Central Otago/Queenstown Lakes and West Coast.

Amongst the nine regions showing a fall in asking price there were six regions where the falls were modest, between 1% and 5%,; Coromandel, Hawkes Bay, Wellington, Canterbury, Otago and Southland. The largest fall in asking price in the month was in the Wairarapa which saw asking price fall by 11% compared with December 2010.

The inventory of unsold homes on the market eased slightly in December following a fall in November.

‘The expectations from October was to have seen some rise over the summer but with keen buying activity to the rise in new listings in November did not result in building inventory, quite the reverse,’ explained Helm.

Across the country there were a total of nine regions where the advantage is to sellers. Of these the seven regions of Auckland, Manawatu/Wanganui, Canterbury, West Coast, Central North Island and the Waikato remain very much in strong sellers markets.

There are however still five regions, Central Otago/Queenstown Lakes, Wairarapa, Southland, Taranaki and Gisborne, were the market is certainly favouring buyers with high levels of inventory set against long term average.

‘The market is now firmly in the peak summer season and with the more balanced market in terms of inventory of unsold properties on the market the options seem more open for both active buyers and sellers,’ added Helm.

With the largest database of properties for sale in NZ, realestate.co.nz is uniquely placed to immediately identify any changes in the marketplace. The realestate.co.nz NZ Property Report is compiled from new listings coming onto the market from the more than 1,000 licensed real estate offices across NZ, representing more than 95% of all offices.

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