New Zealand property: Cooling of housing market sees sellers shy away from auctions

There's been a major shift in how properties are being sold as the heat comes off the housing market - with many sellers shying away from auctions.

The latest data from shows the number of auction listings have dropped by 34.3 percent, with vendors preferring instead to enter into negotiations with buyers.

According to the data, listings with displayed prices have increased by 24.8 percent.

Housing stock levels were up nationally by 77.6 percent year-on-year last month, the data showed.

Rising interest rates and inflationary pressures were contributing to cooling the housing market, experts have said.

The Reserve Bank last month hiked the official cash rate by 50 basis points to 2 percent. chief executive Sarah Wood said the decrease in auction listings suggested sellers and agents were adjusting sales strategies to meet the cooling market.

"We've gone off a period of really, really unprecedented demand - last year there were a lot of buyers in the market and so we saw a lot of action," she told AM Early.

"What I think we're seeing now is… different ways of selling their property based on their circumstances; the type of property they have and also the market that we're in."

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand last month revealed five auctions were cancelled in Auckland alone in May, due to the Super City's housing market downturn. 

Wood told AM Early host Bernadine Oliver-Kerby because there was less competition, auctions were becoming less appealing for sellers.

She said because the demand has dropped, so too has the hype and there wasn't the same sense of "FOMO".

"There are more homes for sale and that gap between buyers and sellers is closing," Wood said.

Properties were staying on the market for longer - a positive for buyers who now had more time to consider their options, she said.