New data for December shows the national average asking price for a property skyrocketed over the year prior as housing stock fell to record lows in almost every region.
According to the figures from realestate.co.nz, the average asking price was stable between November and December 2020, with just a 0.3 percent increase to $799,190. However, that's a massive jump of 13.6 percent on December 2019 when it was $703,780.
The Central North Island region hit a new all-time high in December at $685,044, up a massive 20.7 percent on November and a huge 38.8 percent on December 2019. The Bay of Plenty also reached a record high, up 8.1 percent year-on-year to $780,475.
"Although this might be welcome news for sellers, it may not be time to celebrate just yet," says spokesperson Vanessa Taylor.
"We saw a significant number of high-end and large lifestyle properties come onto the market in the Central North Island during December, which has pushed the average asking price up."
It comes as realestate.co.nz reports New Zealand had just 12,932 available for purchase at the end of December, down 29.1 percent on the same time in 2019. That's a 13-year record low.
Stock was at record lows in 16 of 19 regions, with only Auckland, Gisborne and Central Otago/Lakes not hitting their lowest stock levels.
Wairarapa, Coromandel and Nelson & Bays had the lowest stock compared to 2019, down by 58.5 percent, 50.3 percent and 49.2 percent respectively.
"The stock shortage will likely continue to prove challenging for buyers at the beginning of 2021," says Taylor.
"This is a long-term factor impacting the New Zealand market and the number of Kiwis returning from overseas, combined with low mortgage rates and lack of international travel, are only adding to the demand for property."
New listings were up 19.2 percent year-on-year to 6592. While Taylor said that is "promising", it was largely the main centres doing the heavy lifting. More than half of new listings are from Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury. The biggest decrease was in Marlborough which saw 23.5 percent fewer properties coming on the market.