House listings eased last month on a seasonally adjusted
basis, the New Zealand Property report shows.
ASB economist Daniel Smith said the rise in the number of
homes going on to the market seen around the middle of last
year seemed to have been short-lived.
In particular, new listings in Auckland had dropped off
''quite significantly'' since the introduction of the Reserve
Bank's loan-to-value lending restrictions. In the five months
since the restrictions came into effect, new listings in
Auckland were down 4% compared with the previous five months,
despite a surge in listings in October, the first month after
''While the restrictions have marginally dented demand, they
may also have scared off potential sellers.''
The figures released by realestate.co.nz showed Otago
listings down 26% in February from January, the
second-largest fall in the country after Coromandel, which
had a 29% fall in listings.
Canterbury had a 3% lift in listings, Southland was down 15%,
Central Otago-Lakes was down nearly 7% and the West Coast was
Nationally, asking prices reached a record in February of
$483,099, but again Otago showed a fall. Otago's asking price
was down 4% to $292,816, compared with January. Canterbury
was up 1% to $444,227, Southland was up 7.3% to $247,378,
Central Otago-Lakes was up nearly 8% to $666,845 and the West
Coast up 7.7% to $320,245.
The report commented seller confidence had driven asking
prices of new listings to record levels in February. The rise
in asking price was noticeable across more than half of New
Zealand, with 11 regions reporting a rise in asking price.
Nationally, the level of unsold houses on the market at the
end of February (41,731) was up when compared with January.
''The market remains firmly a seller's market and inventory
on the market remains well below the long-term average of 37
weeks of equivalent sales,'' realestate.co.nz said.
The fall in inventory during the past month was seen in 14 of
the 19 New Zealand regions, with record levels of 44 weeks of
stock seen in Central Otago-Lakes, well below the long-term
average of 91 weeks.
In Otago, inventory, as measured in terms of equivalent weeks
of sales, fell in February to 25 weeks compared with the
long-term average of 27. In Canterbury, inventory was 16
weeks compared with
38, and in Southland it was 46 weeks compared with 34. Mr
Smith said the general rise in listings seen around the
middle of last year seemed to ease, or at least stabilise,
some pressures in the housing market.
At a glance
• New listings down in Otago, Southland and Central
Otago-Lakes but rise in Canterbury and the West Coast.
• Asking prices fall in Canterbury and Otago but rise in
Southland, Central Otago-Lakes and the West Coast.
• National asking price reaches a high of $483,099.