NZ property: Housing market 'cooling, not crashing' as latest data shows prices dip, stock increase

Buyers around the country will be licking their lips with house prices dropping and stock increasing, according to the latest housing report. 

Inflation, interest rate hikes and speculation of a property market crash are enough to make homeowners nervous - especially if they are looking to sell. 

The latest data from shows there is a buyers market nationally but most notably in Auckland, Wellington and Waikato. 

Year-on-year prices around the country are up or stable in all but two regions - Auckland and Wellington - and since the national average asking price peaked in January at $992,659, it has decreased by 7.2 percent to $921,187 in September 2022. 

NZ property: Housing market 'cooling, not crashing' as latest data shows prices dip, stock increase
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Vanessa Williams, spokesperson for, said the market is cooling rather than crashing. 

"The national average asking price has decreased by around $10,000 per month since January. If this cooling continues at the same pace, the national average could be around $890,000 in December," William said. 

But Williams said while this speculation might sound scary for property owners, it's essential to consider these changes in context and remember property is generally a long-term investment. 

"Even if prices continue to trend down until Christmas, it only takes asking prices back to mid-2021 levels - a time when prices in the late $800s were all-time highs," Williams explained. 

She said the market is cyclical and suggests this is a levelling out of the market following COVID-19 disruptions over the last two years.

NZ property: Housing market 'cooling, not crashing' as latest data shows prices dip, stock increase
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With the market cooling off, buyers will be licking their lips in Auckland, Waikato, and Wellington as the market continues to favour them over the last month. 

New Zealand tipped into a buyers' market in September and other than July this year, this is the first time the country has moved into a buyers' market in a decade, the report from said.  

The regional rate of sale in Auckland was 59.1 percent, slower than the 15-year average during September and Williams added this could make it a good time to buy in the region. 

"While a buyers' market doesn't necessarily mean bargain basement prices, a slower market gives buyers more time to do their due diligence when searching for their ideal property," Williams said. 

The data also backs up that it's a buyers' market with stock levels in the Auckland region up 73.4 percent compared to the same month last year.  

"There were more than 10,000 properties for sale in the Auckland region last month, so there are plenty of opportunities for buyers to find a home that fits their lifestyle," Williams said.

In a less competitive market, both vendors and buyers have the time and space they need to negotiate to get the best outcome for both sides, Williams adds.  

New listings "spring" up in September

With large parts of New Zealand in the middle of the August COVID-19 lockdown this time last year, it's not surprising to see new listings up nationally by 12.0 percent last month compared to September 2021.

But, when compared to pre-pandemic levels in September 2019, 1020 fewer homes came onto the market in September 2022. 

Williams said better weather and the desire to change living arrangements "before Christmas" typically means an increase in new listings during spring. 

"We're not quite up to pre-pandemic levels when it comes to new listings, however. 1,020 fewer homes came onto the market in September 2022 than in September 2019," Williams said. 

"Perhaps Kiwis were busy making the most of the extra daylight and the long weekend to prep their homes for sale during September this year."

NZ property: Housing market 'cooling, not crashing' as latest data shows prices dip, stock increase
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Stock levels more than double in 10 of 19 regions

Stock levels were up year-on-year in all regions during September, with 10 regions seeing supply more than double and another four areas increasing by more than 85 percent. 

"Buyers are spoilt for choice right now, and the high stock levels contribute to market sentiment favouring buyers in some of our regions," Williams said 

"The good news is buyers are more likely to find a property that supports the life they want to live now than they were a year ago," says Vanessa.