Press Release – Realestate.co.nz
New Zealand’s major cities are heading towards a shortage of homes for sale in the New Year following a significant drop in the number of new listings that came onto the market in December.
According to data released today in the NZ Property Report – a monthly report of housing market activity compiled by Realestate.co.nz – just 8,732 new listings of property for sale came on to the market in December. This represents a 35% drop from the previous month’s post-Rugby World Cup surge of 13,369 new listings, and a 6% decline overall on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Alistair Helm, CEO of Realestate.co.nz, says that the drop in new listings was seen most acutely in the key cities of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, which he says will likely face a shortage in early 2012 if the trend continues.
“New listings are one of the clearest indicators of the health of the property market. The more new listings there are, the more fresh choices there are for buyers, which produces a less stagnant market,” says Mr Helm.
In December, Wellington saw just 571 new listings come onto the market – a drop of 52% from November. Auckland saw a 44% drop in new listings, while Canterbury’s new listings fell 31%.
“December is traditionally a quieter month for new listings, however the demand for good quality homes has continued to be high, with sales remaining strong at the tail end of 2011.”
“As we have seen over the past few months, the tightening market is continuing to clearly favour sellers. While Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury are witnessing the greatest extent of this trend, 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.”
Mr Helm says the drop in new listings combined with a higher level of sales has resulted in inventory of unsold houses slipping back down to 36.7 weeks following a slight lift in October and November.
“This remains well under the long term average of 42 weeks, and we can anticipate that this will continue into the New Year” says Mr Helm.
The average asking price for homes remained fairly steady at $420,109 – a 1% drop on the previous month – indicating that while the market is leaning in their favour, sellers are keeping their expectations realistic to the market.
Realestate.co.nz is the country’s most comprehensive property listing website profiling listings of licensed real estate agents with more than 112,000 real estate listings covering residential, commercial, business and farms for sale.
The latest issue of the NZ Property Report, covering December 2011, plus more analysis of the property market can be found on www.unconditional.co.nz, the news and information website for New Zealand real estate.