Property market sees record drop in homes for sale

After years of heat the property market appears to be suffering from a winter chill, as new property listings plummet accross the country.

July saw a record low in the number of houses being listed, caused by a perfect storm of market conditions.

"What we've come off the back of is three or four years of a very hot market and generally what goes up must come down," spokesperson Vanessa Taylor said.

The impending election, Loan to Value Restrictions (LVRs) and school holidays saw new listings drop 17.5 percent in July, compared to the same time last year.

Most notably, Central Otago/Lakes new listings fell 32.4 percent, while Otago listings dropped by 28.8 percent.

Waikato listings were down 27 percent, Bay of Plenty down 26.3 percent, while Auckland listings fell by 13.9 percent.

Barfoot and Thompson director Peter Thompson says winter months can often bring a slowdown.

"The listings are fewer to come on the market, especially those that have outside appeal, like swimming pools, tennis courts, they tend to be listed in the sunny months," Mr Thompson said.

So what does that mean for prices?

"Given that demand is dropping at the same time as supply, it means that pricing is stabilising. So average asking price this month only dropped in two regions out of the 19 that we measure and nationally, it stayed very stable," said Ms Taylor.

Property asking prices nationally only fell by 0.3 percent in July compared to the previous month, while Otago and Wairarapa saw the largest falls.

But Coromandel bucked the trend with a 11.2 percent lift, followed by Northland, Marlborough and Central North Island, which all saw increases in asking prices of more than five percent. 

While it continues to be a sellers' market across New Zealand, Auckland has seen a shift, now teetering on the edge of a buyers' market.

"Vendors have got to make sure they do list their property to sell, they can't dream that ultimate figure any more," Mr Thompson said.

So while we're seeing a pre-election winter chill, there's certainly no sign of the bubble bursting.

Buyers and sellers are likely to continue to sit tight for the next eight weeks but after that, it's anyone's guess.