September big month for residential listings spokeswoman Vanessa Taylor. PHOTO: SUPPLIED spokeswoman Vanessa Taylor. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
It was a blooming busy month for residential property listings across the country, with the highest number of homes on the market in four years, new real estate figures show.

According to the online listings agency there were 10,373 new property listings during September, up almost 12% on the same month last year.

The total number of homes listed at the end of the month was 22,847, the highest level in any September since 2015.

The stats ascribe the jump to a "deluge'' from the Auckland region, with owners adding 3896 homes to the site, up by nearly a third compared to the same time last year. spokeswoman Vanessa Taylor said that while main regions had reported subdued sales, the regional numbers were buoyant, with five regions recording their highest average asking prices since the website started compiling stats 12 years ago.

The regional numbers pushed the overall asking price by 1.2% to $685,746, compared with August.

Coromandel, Central Otago/Lakes and Nelson and Bays were the standouts, with Coromandel registering 128 new listings in September, a 28% increase on the same month last year.

Central Otago/Lakes had 214 new listings on site, a 6.5% increase on September 2018, while Nelson and Bays saw 213 new listings - a 10.4% increase on 2018.

"These are all regions with lifestyle appeal,'' Ms Taylor said.

"They all touch the coast, you can holiday or work in these regions and for people looking to leave the hustle-bustle of the big cities for a more balanced lifestyle, they're all good options.''

By contrast, the average asking prices in Otago, Canterbury, Auckland and Waikato either remained static or fell.

The average asking price for housing stock in Otago fell by 1.9% for the month, to an average of $466,817.

The average asking price in Auckland also dropped by 1%, to $916,162.

"Following the Reserve Bank's announcement in early August of the cutting of the official cash rate (OCR), September was the first full month for the property market to see any potential effects.

"Its still very early days but it will be interesting to watch what impact, if any, the disparity in pricing levels and activity between the regions and main centres may have on prospective buyers and sellers,'' Ms Taylor said.

Kiwibank general manager, borrowing and investments Chris Greig said the level of activity in the regions has increased approximately 10% for the bank in comparison to the same time last year, while applications for new lending in the major centres is static.

"The last quarter, however, had seen a decrease in the amount of first home buyers taking out new lending,'' he said.

However, Ms Taylor said that there had been strong levels of demand, with more than one million unique browsers searching the website in September.

"These vendors may be taking into account the time it takes to search for a property, sell an existing home, transact for a holiday bach or a change of lifestyle, before the start of the summer holidays,'' Ms Taylor said.


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