The low level of new housing supply has contributed to an
imbalance in the housing market and resulted in strong
increases in Auckland and Canterbury house prices, ASB senior
economist Jane Turner says.
Commenting on the September realestate.co.nz statistics, Ms
Turner said the Reserve Bank hoped its high loan-to-value
lending restrictions, which took effect on Tuesday, would
reduce demand by locking out some potential buyers from the
However, given the broad-based strength in housing demand -
from investors and first-home buyers - and that much of the
imbalance was due to low levels of construction, she expected
the restrictions would only have a modest impact.
Nationally listings fell 5.3%. Auckland and Canterbury
listings fell 2.1% and 8% respectively.
''The decline in listings in these regions is particularly
concerning, as they remain the most supply-constrained.''
The fall in listings followed a tentative increase in the
previous two months, Ms Turner added.
The low level of new listings reflected subdued levels of new
housing construction. Recent building consent data suggested
the lift in house building demand might be stalling and
reinforced the housing market remaining tight for some time,
Realestate.co.nz figures showed the overall stock of houses
available for sale remaining low, as demand continued to
Housing inventory in Auckland remained at 11.5 weeks of sales
and inventory in Canterbury remained at 15 weeks.
The national average was 24 weeks. Inventory was measured in
terms of equivalent weeks of sales. Realestate.co.nz acting
chief executive Phillip Dunn said seller confidence had
pushed up the seasonally-adjusted mean asking price to a new
high of $466,526.
The rise in asking price was noticeable across more than half
of New Zealand, as 14 regions reported a rise in asking
On Tuesday, Housing Minister Nick Smith announced a plan to
help families buy their own home.
FirstHome would help modest income earners in provincial New
Zealand to buy their first home by giving them a 10% deposit
and priority to purchase vacant state houses no longer needed
by Housing New Zealand.
The first 41 of the homes would be ready for sale on October
7. They include properties from Otorohanga to Invercargill.
They had an average market valuation of $120,000.
One hundred properties would be available in the first year
and about 400 available for sale over the next three years,
Dr Smith said.
Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford said the announcement
was a desperate distraction from a national housing crisis.
There was no housing crisis in Otorohanga or Invercargill.
''What the country needs is 10,000 new affordable homes built
every year in areas where there is a housing crisis.''
Otago: $288,396, up 1.6%
Central/Lakes: $617,740, down 2.3%
Southland: $238,421, up 2.4%
Canterbury: $418,032, up 3.2%
Otago: 449, down 2.7%
Central/Lakes: 252, up 14%
Southland: 292, up 5.8%
Canterbury: 1178, down 2.5%
Otago: 22 weeks, long-term average 27 weeks
Central/Lakes: 61 weeks, LTA 93 weeks
Southland: 41 weeks, LTA 34 weeks
Canterbury: 15 weeks, LTA 29 weeks