Housing asking prices at record levels as pressure continues

House sellers nationwide are asking more than ever for their properties. Aucklanders want a record $732,240 and Central Otago Lakes is in second place, up 10.5% at almost $670,000.

Analysts expect further price pressure, especially in Auckland, as national house listings are down 2% on a year ago.

Fifteen of the country's 19 regions showed increases in vendors' asking prices, while the number of newly listed homes was the lowest on record for June of any year and down 20% on the number of May listings.

Realestate.co.nz marketing manager Paul McKenzie said the record Auckland asking price drove the national average up to a record $490,550.

''In June, the average asking price for homes in Auckland reached an all-time record of $732,240. This represents a significant increase from the previous record of $685,426 set in April,'' he said in a statement.

Four regions recorded their lowest number of monthly new listings on record: Central Otago Lakes, down 25% to 166; Bay of Plenty, down 13% to 562; Central North Island, down 27.5% to 87; and Gisborne, down 36.5% to 47.

ASB economist Daniel Smith said the housing inventory remained ''very tight'', particularly in Auckland.

With prices likely to go up further, Mr Smith still expected the Reserve Bank to continue to lift the official cash rate (OCR) by 25 basis points later this month, before pausing the rate rises until later in the year.

Nationally, the number of new listings fell for the second month in a row, and (seasonally-adjusted) was about 2% lower than the same time last year. In Auckland the issue was even more acute and new listings were 9% below year-ago levels, but Mr Smith said the Canterbury supply problem appeared to be easing. New listings there in June were 7.3% higher than a year ago.

Mr McKenzie said all but four of the country's 19 regions recorded higher average asking prices compared with the same month last year.

''The high asking prices in Auckland, in particular, suggest that home sellers are confident they will get their price,'' Mr McKenzie said.

''A factor in this may be the low overall supply of homes on the market,'' he said.

However, the Reserve Bank's loan to value ratio restrictions on banks and the rising OCR would continue to impact activity.

''On balance, we expect house prices to continue rising, but not at the same kind of pace seen over 2012-13,'' Mr Smith said.

- simon.hartley@odt.co.nz

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