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NZ Auckland and Canterbury set new property price highs as market hots up

Sean Wang - Friday, June 01, 2012

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The level of new listings in the residential property market in New Zealand surged in May, up 16% on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest data from RealEstate.co.nz.

It represents the highest seasonally adjusted total month of listings since July 2010 and shows that sellers have responded to the message of the past six months of a , said chief executive officer Alistair Helm.

Asking prices also set a new high, reaching $435,887, driven by new peaks in both Auckland and Canterbury where the shortage of homes for sale has been more acute especially in the suburbs.

‘The level of new listings in May was counter seasonal. When we normally see a slowing of new listings coming onto the market heading into winter we actually saw a rise, and quite a significant rise,’ said Helm.

‘This rise in new stock has lead to a fast adjustment in a number of provincial regions where the market was firmly biased to sellers and is now showing a more balanced market. This however is not the outcome in Auckland and Canterbury where despite this surge of new listings, the inventory as measured against the rate of sale has actually fallen, demonstrating the levels of activity in these markets where property is selling fast,’ he explained.

‘The unseasonal rise in listings has certainly come with an ensuing surge of confidence in those new sellers.They have signalled this confidence in the asking price expectation, which has again set a new record level. The challenge for the market in the coming winter period will be if the surge of listings continues and what impact that will have on the inventory and the ability for the buyer demand  evident through the summer/autumn to continue, potentially less of an issue in the major metros than provincial regions,’ he added.

Across the 19 regions of the country the price movements are varied with 11 showing increases and eight decreases.

The major movement are very evident on the East Coast with Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Manawatu/Wanganui showing steep declines, joined by the West Coast.

In contrast the five regions of Wairarapa, Northland, Coromandel, Nelson and Taranaki showed big increases, in the case of the latter region an increase of 15%.

The major metro regions showed slight movement with Auckland being the largest with a 1.7% increase to set a new record asking price of $578,533. Canterbury with a seasonally adjusted increase of just 0.5% though did also set a new record asking price at $383,504. Wellington by contrast was down 0.1% in seasonally adjusted asking price at $429,836 which is 5% below the peak asking price of February 2011.