Total homes for sale drops to lowest in years, regions hit new average asking price highs

Several regions saw all-time high average asking prices in August, while the total stock of homes for sale dropped to its lowest since July 2016.

Realestate.co.nz has released it's monthly average asking price data, showing the national average price was $677,736 in August - an increase of 1.2 percent on July.

The country's biggest market - Auckland - remained flat in August, with an average asking price of $925,391. However, the number of new listings in the city dropped 14 percent while the total number of homes for sale increased by 1.8 percent.

But while things are relatively quiet in the big smoke, regions like Manawatu-Wanganui, Otago, and Northland saw record prices.

Realestate.co.nz spokesperson Vanessa Taylor said Manawatu-Wanganui has become a "stand-out" region in 2019, with it hitting a new all-time asking price high in five of the last eight months.

In August, the region had an average asking price of $427,040 - a 0.6 percent increase on the previous month.

"While at times the incremental increases have been small, the Manawatu-Wanganui region keepings beating its own record," Taylor says.

In Otago, which has seen new records three times this year, the average asking price rose 4.6 percent to $475,645. It also had an injection of new listings, with 308 newly listed homes representing a 22.7 percent bounce compared to August 2018.

Northland also saw a new record, with the average asking price jumping 8.4 percent from July to $640,971. However, new listings in that region dropped 15.4 percent compared to August last year. The total number of houses on sale jumped 12.1 percent. 

"It's an interesting mix of property fundamentals, while there are few new homes to market, there is a healthy pool of total listing from buyers to choose from," says Taylor.

Asking prices.
Asking prices. Photo credit: Realestate.co.nz

The total number of homes for sale has dropped to its lowest since 2016. In August, there were 20,712 homes for sale, with only 7729 new listings propping that up. The number of new listings was down 11.6 percent compared to August last year.

In Gisborne, there were only 68 homes for sale - a drop of 46.3 percent since August 2018. 

"With the surprise interest rate cuts in August, we will be watching to see how this could translate to increased listing activity, particularly in spring which has traditionally been when sellers go to market as the weather improves," says Taylor.

"In the meantime, people are doing their homework on the implications of the interest rate cuts and what it could mean for them in the housing market."

Total housing stock.
Total housing stock. Photo credit: Realestate.co.nz

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