Low housing stock is being blamed for continuous average asking price rises as the nationwide figure edges towards $900,000.
In a report released by realestate.co.nz on Monday, the national average asking price hit $893,794 in July - up from $875,917 (1.8 percent) in June. Auckland's average asking price was $1,177,528 (up 1.2 percent), coming in second to Central Otago/Lakes at $1,210,233 (up 21.1 percent).
Over the July month, 12,684 properties remained on the market - the lowest number in 14 years and 34.8 percent below the same time last year. The only region that defied that trend was Wairarapa, where housing stock was up 13.3 percent, with 136 properties available to buy.
Looking at data on national average asking prices over the last 14 years, realestate.co.nz spokesperson Vanessa Williams said over the last two years (2019 to 2021), there was a $200,000 jump.
That jump is four times' higher than the seven years from 2007 to 2013 and is the same as over the five years from 2014 to 2018.
“When records began in 2007 through to 2013, national average asking prices rose by about $50,000 over that period," Williams said.
"In the following five years, they rose by about $200,000. But since the end of 2019, they’ve gone up by $200,000 again in the last two years."
Following COVID-19, more Kiwis were returning home. First-home buyers were still looking to buy and there were people with spare money in the bank.
The combination of factors has "exponentially increased the demand". Anecdotal feedback showed unless they'd been able to buy before selling, homeowners were holding onto their properties.
"It's a bit of a vicious cycle...ordinarily what you'd do is put your house on the market and start looking...perhaps that behavior has changed so that people are now looking before they put their house on the market," Williams said.
Properties available to buy in July were most scarce in Northland, Coromandel and Nelson and Bays. In each of these regions, stock was just over half that of June 2020, at 53.6 percent, 60 percent and 53.5 percent respectively.
Realestate.co.nz said there's a 'lifestyle element' in owning properties in these three regions. While borders remain closed, there could be no reason for homeowners to sell their beach house, crib or batch.
"Given those regions are lifestyle, perhaps that's what's hindering some of the transactions in that market," Williams said.
At 7812, new listings were down 11.3 percent year-on-year. In Auckland, there were 3155 new listings over the month, down 7.9 percent year-on-year. Realestate.co.nz expects more properties to come onto the market in Spring, the months of September to November are typically "busy months".
As new-build supply increases, retail banks offering lower interest rates for those looking to build (including purchase of 'turnkey' homes) and new-build exemptions under loan-to-value restrictions, this could relieve some of the pressure on demand for existing homes, Williams said.