Matthew Theunissen is a business reporter

'Auckland now a buyer's market'

Auckland has become a buyer's market for the first time since February 2011 according to realestate.co.nz. Photo / Doug Sherring
Auckland has become a buyer's market for the first time since February 2011 according to realestate.co.nz. Photo / Doug Sherring

Auckland is now a buyer's market as new listings drop and the housing stock increases, according to realestate.co.nz data.

It reflects a national trend where, although the average asking price for houses hit an all-time high in December, new listings dropped to the lowest level on record.

New figures from the property website show the national average asking price was $660,798 in December 2017, up 3.8 per cent on November.

This coincided with a drop in new listings of 6.2 per cent, from 7606 in November to 7133 in December.

The most notable change was in Auckland, where for the first time since February 2011 it was now a "buyer's market", realestate.co.nz spokeswoman Vanessa Taylor said.

It was also no longer the region with the country's highest asking prices.

"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," Taylor said.

New listings were down 7.8 per cent to 1908 while total stock and average asking price were heading in the opposite direction; up 26.1 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively.

While the average Auckland Council house valuation was still more than $1 million, vendors and buyers needed to remember this was an average, not necessarily a starting point, Taylor said.

"December is always a low month on the housing charts so it will be interesting to see if these trends continue throughout 2018."

The Central Otago Lakes region now has the highest asking prices in the country with sellers asking an average of $984,719.

Other areas to experience big bumps in their asking prices included Nelson and Bays (up 11.3 per cent to $618,712), Marlborough (up 10 per cent to $479,288), West Coast (up 8.7 per cent to $265,396), Southland (up 6.3 per cent to $309,174) and Wairarapa (up 5.4 per cent to $429,488).

The biggest decreases were the central North Island (down 7.4 per cent to $403,648) and Gisborne (down 4.7 per cent to $287,928).

Taylor said there was a slump in the number of new listings in 13 of the country's 19 regions.

The biggest fall was in Wairarapa (down 32.9 per cent to 98 new listings), followed by Central Otago Lakes (down 26.6 per cent to 212), Hawke's Bay (down 21.7 per cent to 220) and Auckland (down 7.8 per cent to 2070 new listings for the month).

Meanwhile, the national housing stock continued to grow last month. While it was still slower than November, there were 9.3 per cent more houses than in December 2016.

Auckland (26.1 per cent), Wellington (21 per cent) and Canterbury (18.6 per cent) were behind the increased stock numbers thanks to new builds in the regions, Taylor said.

"With Auckland leading the charge into a buyer's market due to increasing stock levels, it will be interesting to watch if Wellington and Canterbury follow suit," Taylor said.

This map shows the total number of residential dwellings that are for sale on the penultimate day of the month.
This map shows the total number of residential dwellings that are for sale on the penultimate day of the month.
The average asking price is calculated by taking every residential listing’s indicated asking price and dividing it by the total number of properties.
The average asking price is calculated by taking every residential listing’s indicated asking price and dividing it by the total number of properties.
New listings are properties that have been added to realestate.co.nz during the month. This is compared to the number of new listings in the same month in the previous year.
New listings are properties that have been added to realestate.co.nz during the month. This is compared to the number of new listings in the same month in the previous year.
Inventory means if no new listings were to come onto the market, all the existing properties in each region would be sold within the number of weeks stated based on historical trends.
Inventory means if no new listings were to come onto the market, all the existing properties in each region would be sold within the number of weeks stated based on historical trends.

- NZ Herald

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