According to RealEstate.co.nz’s May data, the level of new listings in May was counter-seasonal, when a slowing of new listings is anticipated heading into winter; instead there has actually been a significant rise in the real estate market, a 16% increase on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The rise in available properties for sale has lead to a fast adjustment in a number of provincial regions where the market was favourable to sellers, and now shows a more balanced market.
In Auckland and Canterbury however, where despite this surge of new listings, the inventory as measured against the rate of sale has actually fallen.
The unseasonal rise in listings has come with an ensuing surge of confidence in new sellers, who have raised their asking price expectation and setting a new record level, especially so in the two key markets of Auckland and Canterbury.
The question will be, in the coming winter period, whether the surge of listings will continue, what impact will that have on the inventory, and will the buyer demand continue and be evident through the summer/autumn?
Barfoot & Thompson, Auckland’s largest real estate agency reported its listings fell in April to 17.6% to 1,266 from 1,537 in March. Barfoot & Thompson, also stated that, the total listings were 4,621 at the end of April, down from 4,771 at the end of March, and down from 5,580 at the end of April a year ago.
The latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) monthly figures, also for April, showed Auckland recorded its highest number of sales in an April month since 2007, although the April 2012 total of 2,157 sales was still well below April 2007′s 2,843. The median Auckland price fell by NZ$5,200, or 1.1%, from March’s record high of NZ$495,200.
And the stratified REINZ Housing Price Index for Auckland, which provides an averaging of sales prices for common groups of houses and was developed in conjunction with the Reserve Bank, was at a record high in April, 2.3% higher than a previous peak in July 2007.
Meanwhile, in April the Productivity Commissioncalled for both the development of greenfields sites and moderate-density brownfields development to lift the number of houses on the market in and around Auckland and to help alleviate housing affordability problems.