Average asking prices for houses for sale in the Central
Otago-Lakes District fell nearly 9% in March, along with a
12.4% fall in the West Coast and a 10.2% fall in Marlborough.
While the national asking price rose to a record of $484,263,
thanks mainly to rises in Auckland and Wellington, the South
Island did not fare so well, according to figures released by
The Auckland asking price rose 0.9% to $683,169 compared with
the Central Otago-Lakes price of $608,134.
The two areas continue to lead the country but Central
Otago-Lakes has fallen behind Auckland this year.
Average Auckland asking prices rose 12% last year.
Wellington's asking price rose 7% year-on-year to $469,487
and Waikato rose 10% in the period to $393,169.
Realestate.co.nz national marketing manager Paul McKenzie
said new national listings in March showed lower levels than
historic years with 12,488 new homes on the market.
''This equates to 2% less than the number of new listings
seen in March 2013. However, Auckland, Wellington and
Christchurch all saw a healthy increase in new listings,
providing more selection in the biggest New Zealand
Of the 14 regions reporting lower new listings than in
February last year, the most significant fall was seen in
Coromandel and Nelson, 29% and 25% respectively.
Five regions reported year-on-year increased listings.
Wellington's was the largest, up 11% from March last year.
Inventory of unsold homes on the market recovered slightly in
March, rising 8% from February to 28 weeks of stock, showing
the market was starting to see rebalancing.
Due to the rise in listings, Auckland began to see a recovery
in inventory, rising 19% from 13 weeks to 15 weeks of stock,
The rise in inventory during the last month was seen in 13 of
the 19 New Zealand regions but overall, the market remained
firmly a seller's one, Mr McKenzie said.
The market remained well below the long-term average of 37
weeks of equivalent sales.
ASB economist Daniel Smith said the most encouraging sign
from the March data was a lift in availability in both
Auckland and Canterbury, the regional markets under most
But because the data series did not go back a long way, the
seasonal adjustment that is applied by realestate.co.nz
should not be relied on totally.
''There does seem to be a seasonal element to the adjusted
Auckland listings data, in particular. But to see the number
of homes coming on to the market lifting back towards the
levels seen before the Reserve Bank's LVR restrictions came
into effect is encouraging.''
There had been a significant drop-off in listings over the
first few months under the restrictions, he said.
Mr Smith expected house price inflation to ease this year as
interest rates rose and more supply became available.
But it would take several years for supply constraints in
Auckland and Canterbury to be fully addressed, the key being
continued growth in construction activity.
ASB expected the Reserve Bank to lift the official cash rate
again in April, July and December this year, on the way to a
peak of 4.5% by the end of 2015.