New house listings down year-on-year as seller hesitancy hits -

There could be a case of house-seller hesitancy across the country, a real estate website suggests, with new listings down year-on-year.

After reported rising housing stock levels, buyers' markets in major centres, and downward trending asking prices since the property market's peak in January 2022, they said their new data suggests the changing market may have spooked some potential vendors this October.

When compared to October 2021, new listings on their website were down both nationally and in 14 of New Zealand's 19 regions.

Spokesperson for Vanessa Williams said it's noteworthy to see such a drop in new listings when considering that much of the country was in and out of COVID-19 lockdowns this time last year.

"Year on year, -16.3 percent fewer new listings came onto our site during October, suggesting that property owners shied away from putting their homes on the market in October, which is usually a major month for residential listings," Williams said.

"Uncertainty has an impact on the property market. Last year the pandemic was impacting buying and selling. Now the uncertainty has shifted to the cost of living and inflation, as well as rising interest rates. This might be driving vendors to sit tight as we navigate this changing landscape."

The biggest drops in new listing numbers were seen in Central Otago/Lakes District (190, down -35.2 percent), Wairarapa (97, down -33.1 percent), and Gisborne (50, down -30.6 percent).

But bucking the trend with double-digit growth in new listings were Coromandel (132, up 38.9 percent), Nelson and Bays (186, up 17.7 percent), Waikato (797, up 13.7 percent), and Marlborough (126, up 13.5 percent).

National asking price ticks downward said cooling asking prices in major centres has driven the national average asking price downward since its peak in January 2022.

Wellington saw the largest month-on-month decrease, dipping -7.7 percent to $891,375, followed by Auckland (down -6.2 percent to $1,159,906), Wairarapa (down -5.6 percent to $767,961), and Coromandel (down -2.9 percent to $1,074,809).

Williams said this is still a good time to be a seller. In October, users to increased by 11.7 percent month-on-month and page views also increased.

"When prices ease, it reignites hesitant buyers back into the market - from all different segments. Anecdotally we have heard of many first-home buyers coming back into the market, along with investors," Williams said.

"But prices are a mixed bag across Aotearoa; not all regions are softening."

There were still five regions with double-digit year-on-year price growth. They were the West Coast (up 22 percent to $463,184), Northland (up 16.8 percent to $917,761), Marlborough (up 15.1 percent to $805,240), Taranaki (up 12.5 percent to $675,330), and Canterbury (up 10.4 percent to $712,171).

"Despite the cooling average asking prices in our major centres, 13 regions still bucked the trend, five of which showed double-digit year-on-year growth. And we did have one very notable anomaly," Williams said.

Central Otago/Lakes became the first region to hit a $1.5 million average asking price - which is a first in New Zealand's history, said.

"A home near the Remarkables is now priced, on average, at $1,541,082, up 8.3 percent year-on-year - now about $400,000 dearer than a home in Auckland," Williams said.

"It's fascinating that, despite the shifting market and challenges we've faced in the economy, there are still pockets around the country where property is still at a premium. We'll certainly be keeping an eye on Central Otago/Lakes in the months ahead."