A pre-winter surge in new listings of homes for sale has produced yet another record high for New Zealand property prices, as confident sellers finally respond to the ongoing shortage of listings in the face of continuing high demand.
Data released today in the NZ Property Report - a monthly report of housing market activity compiled by Realestate.co.nz - revealed that 11,544 new listings arrived on the market in May, an unusual counter-seasonal rise for this time of year, which traditionally sees new listings drop off as winter approaches.
Alistair Helm, CEO of Realestate.co.nz, says this represents a 16% rise in new listings; the highest seasonally adjusted total month of listings recorded since July 2010.
"The state of the overall property market, for the past six months at least, has been a growing shortage of supply in spite of on-going high demand. Sellers seem to have finally heard the message, producing this unseasonal lift, and responded with confidence reflected in their price expectation."
Helm says the national record high asking price of $435,887 (seasonally adjusted) was boosted by regional highs in Auckland ($578,533) and Canterbury ($383,504), where property continues to sell fast.
However, Helm says this demand has also produced the lowest levels of inventory recorded in both these centres in the past five years - 20.6 weeks for Auckland and 20.8 weeks for Canterbury.
In spite of this, the surge of new listings across the country went some way towards easing the pressure on national inventory, which rose to 35.7 weeks - still significantly below the long term average of 41 weeks.
"Some balancing of the market is clearly occurring, with several provincial regions moving away from being sellers markets. However, sellers in the main centres are overturning the myth that winter is the wrong time of year to try and sell a house. Market demand is still high and shows no signs of easing over the coming months."
Realestate.co.nz is the country's most comprehensive property listing website profiling listings of licensed real estate agents with more than 110,000 real estate listings covering residential, commercial, business and farms for sale.
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