The highest regional asking mean price for property -
$642,251 - was reached in the Central Otago-Lakes district
last month, rising 16% on the January asking price and 21%
for the year ended January.
Realestate.co.nz figures showed the mean asking prices in New
Zealand reached $443,734 and two regions reached record highs
- Central Otago-Lakes and Wellington, which rose to $453,220.
The Auckland asking price rose 0.6% to $603,781.
In contrast, the asking price in Otago fell 7.2% in February
to $278,240. In Southland, the price rose 4.6% to $235,939
and in Canterbury, it rose 0.7% to $405,436.
Reinz Queenstown spokesman Kelvin Collins said the high
asking mean for February was not a reflection of the market
in the area, more a result of the small market size. It would
take only two to three sales in the higher price sector to
cause an anomaly.
''We certainly haven't seen a lift in the market,
Realestate.co.nz marketing manager Paul McKenzie said that
following seasonal listing expectations, February delivered a
healthy start to the year with 13,145 new listings coming to
the market, down only 2%.
While up significantly from both December and January
figures, the flow of new listings was not enough to meet the
buyer demand in the main cities where inventory fell to
between 14 weeks and 17 weeks - measured by the number of
weeks of equivalent sales.
''The increase of new listings came with a higher asking
price expectation from sellers, who are eager to capitalise
on the demand they are seeing in the property market.''
As had been seen for the last year, the pressure in the
market caused by a shortage of listings was very focused in
the main cities. Provincial New Zealand still had not seen
anything like the level of buyer demand or activity in the
main cities, Mr McKenzie said.
Listings in Auckland were down 4.2% year-on-year in February
while sales in January rose 26.7% on last year.
The trend continued to show strength in seller expectation on
the back of low listings and strong demand in main centres,
As forecasted, new listings increased substantially in
February. The 13,145 new listings were a 49% increase on 8849
in January. But that still represented a fall of 2% on last
On a 12-month moving average basis, a total of 132,236 new
listings had come on to the market since February 2012,
compared with 127,054 in the previous 12-month period.
The number of unsold houses on the market at the end of
February (44,698) was up slightly compared with January
Mr McKenzie said the market remained firmly a sellers'
market, with 13 of the 19 New Zealand regions showing
inventory levels that were well below their long-term
ASB senior economist Jane Turner said there was yet to be a
''meaningful'' increase in new house listings to alleviate
the supply constraints in the Auckland and Canterbury housing
markets. As housing demand continued to gradually recover,
the imbalance between buyers and sellers would continue to
drive prices higher in those regions.
The recent lift in building consents was an encouraging sign
that new supply was in the pipeline, she said. However, a
larger and more sustained increase in new house building this
year was required in order to have a meaningful impact on
Auckland and Canterbury constraints. Outside those regions,
the housing market appeared more balanced. Supply quickly
lifted, in response to stronger demand, over the second half
of last year.
The Reserve Bank had become increasingly wary of housing
market developments, particularly in light of the recent
acceleration in credit growth.
''The Reserve Bank will continue to balance the pick-up in
housing and credit demand against the elevated New Zealand
dollar, the gradual pace of economic recovery and subdued
Ms Turner continued to expect the Reserve Bank to leave the
official cash rate at 2.5% until March next year.
Central Otago Lakes