The Queen City bucks the usual holiday season trend with a sharp rise in the number of properties listed, little rise in asking prices, and a higher inventory of unsold stock: realestate.co.nz

Content supplied by realestate.co.nz

Auckland continued to provide potential buyers with plenty of new listings in December while other regions went into a typical Christmas listings slowdown.

Real-time market statistics from realestate.co.nz show that although nationally the new listings figure was down -5.1% when compared with December 2015, Auckland saw a healthy increase in new stock of +12.9%. All other major population centres followed the national trend with decreases; Waikato down -13.8%, Bay of Plenty down -12.5%, Wellington down -20.2%, Canterbury down -25.5% and Otago down -9%.

“Clearly there is still strong interest in the Auckland property market with many people still thinking it is a good time to sell and not being influenced by the festive season,” said realestate.co.nz CEO Brendon Skipper.

The total number of properties for sale in Auckland was up +18.4% compared with December 2015. But in all other regions of the country, total stock was down.

Asking prices still on the move

While the national average asking price inched up further to a new all-time high of $617,847, there were several variations in the asking price around New Zealand.

The average asking price in Auckland went up marginally in December compared with the previous month – just under $950,000, at $949,898.

Gisborne went up +12% to $328,107 while neighbouring Hawke’s Bay went off the boil, down nearly -8% to $373,169. Other upward movers were Southland which gained +8.2% to $277,476, and Coromandel, up nearly +7% at $684,927.

The biggest drop came in the Marlborough region, down nearly -9% to $435,297.

“Overall, there are more regions going up in asking price than down, and the trend appears to be towards higher prices, albeit at a slowing rate,” Skipper said.

Tightening of stock in most of the major centres

In terms of inventory, Auckland is again against the trend in December. Auckland has gone up from 14 weeks to 15 weeks – the only one of the main centres to show an increase in this measure.

The customary tight market supply in Wellington was exemplified with inventory of listings dropping from eight weeks to six weeks. In Waikato the measure went down from 13 weeks to 12 weeks, and in Canterbury the figure dropped from 18 weeks to 16 weeks. Inventory of listings tells us if there were no new properties to come onto the market as of today, theoretically there would be no properties left for sale in these regions within 6, 12 and 16 weeks respectively.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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47 Comments

70,000 Immigrants plus internal migration to Auckland will easily buy up current housing stock.

The Desire to buy something and the Capacity to buy it can be two different things. "will easily buy up current housing stock" might be a lot harder than many a desirous buyer might realise once they set foot inside their friendly lending institution. The days of "But I have 60% of my own equity. Where's the 40% from the Bank!" appear to have ended, as the people I have spoken to say the Banks questions are not about equity or security these days, they are about primary income, followed by outstanding debt. Loan-Income may not yet be a statutory requirement, but it sure looks like the Banks are getting into the spirit of things.

Internal migration TO Auckland?

No.

70k in external net to NZ. Maybe 30-40k start off in auckland.

Internal migration between cities within nz is OUT of auckland as record rates, driven by the record cost of living difference now seen between auckland and most other cities.

Increase in new listings is a warning that people are wanting to get there money out of what is now commonly seen as very over valued.

The latest internal migration data that I know of is for 2006. Do you have anything later - say based on the 2013 census? I would be keen to find updated information because a lot has changed since 2006.

Yep totally agree with you both we need to know. I'm finding in the creative IT industry here in Auckland that even if we offer good salaries above the $70K we're still finding it very difficult to attract overseas staff since they take one look at rent and property prices on line and say; thanks but no thanks.

Realistically prices need to drop to the $500 to $600 range to be even at a vaguely stretched attainable.

That's whole problem. A salary of 70k is considered good but against a million dollar mortgage it's a pittance. Why face that scenario in Auckland when a similar salary can be achieved elsewhere in the country with half the mortgage.

DC is right and it would be good to know the actual figure for net internal immigration. The flow out of Auckland (if true - check figures) has probably been longstanding, and for many factors, beyond just the current house price furore.

Interesting that the average asking price in Auckland went up marginally in December.

That'll be the KEY E Con Comic miracle
Rising home prices
Importing cheaper labour from the third world to fill Epomp snobs rentalz

Could someone please explain to me how Realestate.co and TradeMe is able to accurately advise what the asking prices are?

Don't believe it is possible at all, as most properties do not have an asking price, as they are NPM, Auction, neg over, POA etc.

Yes I know they put them in price range expectation but that surely can't give an accurate asking price can it?

Also, property prices often sell for more than the price expected and vice versa.
Happy New year to all, including Gordon.

watch the selling slow in Auckland for a couple of weeks from January 28th.
good time to go the auctions as bidders will be on holiday

Need change in immigration than have to vote for change in government

NZ First has my vote. And of many people I have spoken to

"Auckland saw a healthy increase in new stock of +12.9%". See that's the panic starting to setting in with the Overseas Investors who are trying to ditch their stock as they realize that they won't be able to renew their overseas mortgages.

If you need proof; go to Trademe click on Auckland, North shore and latest listings, see how many of them are going to auction - I think you'll find there's not that many. ALL of them would have been going to auction back in October before China announced it's capital flight restrictions.

Agree with your comments around less auctions but keep in mind Chinese capital restrictions are not new - but they have been getting increasingly stringent over the past 18 months or so.

The noose tightened even further yesterday;
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-30/china-tightens-anti-m...

And it will continue to tighten as China's foreign reserves fall in 2017.

Yep your on the money Zombie ponzi, and I have recognized that China has been chuntering on about increasing restrictions, though this time since Mr Trump has pushed his way to the forefront and voiced this anti globalization views on the world stage they have to finally had to act on those restrictions and now we're seeing the results. Still this is a good thing for NZ we need to stand on our own two feet so we can have more economic balance so we're not so dependent on property prices that only equals a false economy.

I'm not surprised that Mr Key did a runner recently, strangely it was around the same time that China announced its restrictions in November.

My advice is keep an eye on the USD to Yuan Renminbi, if it drops further than so will NZ's house prices.

China's $50,000 USD capital outflow restriction "resets" on Jan 1st 2017 so I guess we can expect a new round of synticatd buyers targeting the Auckland market very soon. We're the only OECD country not to have any foreign buyer restrictions....

They'll be a lot of Re Sets going on once Drumf takes office
It still amazes me how people think the world doesn't revolve around the USA when it actually does to varying degrees country to country.
NZs PM resigns after Trump wins & TPP gets trashed. Unless a helpful save by China to enslave the TPP signing nations even more to the China world view ?
Happy New Year Downunder

You know Trump's probably even more of a flip flopper than Peter Dunne. I think he's going to push the TPPA and TTIP though. He's appointed a bunch billionaire neocons, and he even wanted Jamie Diamon for Treasury secretary. Happy New Year from Germany!

I wouldn't hold my breath on that Pat, even if they are able to extract some capital out of China they're still going to find it difficult to get funding for a mortgage. And all the reputable news sources are highlighting that China is also clamping down on 'Shadow banking or Private banks' aka money laundering facilities as part of it's capital controls.

Since Mr Trump is likely to keep pressuring China branding them a currency manipulator etc, I think it's likely that they'll keep their restrictions.

Happy New Year everyone!

The last auction I went to had more Indian bidders than Chinese. The British are in the game too. A piece of Auckland real estate is quite a choice possession and will remain so for the foreseeable future. I reckon the important cities of British heritage nations will only continue to get more valuable as the English language continues to be the world's most important language.
This heritage is something we should exploit more actively. Actually we are exploiting it already.

Oh you are joking, I certainly wouldn't rely on the Brits wanting to buy property in Auckland. The Pound is at an all time low against the NZD and is likely to continue to depreciate once Brexit finally happens in the next few months. Also our Mortgage rates are sky high in comparison to what most Brits have been use to over the pass few years since the 2008 crash and even the Auckland salaries are less the average then those in the UK.

So not a lot of incentive there really to attract them to buy mostly tin roof shacks, is there.

I'm not relying on anything, it's just what I am seeing with my own eyes. British people are coming here and are actually buying houses. Let's wait and see what happens this year.

Zach ,how do you differentiate British people with your eyes, my curiosity pushed me to post .

... or , we could borrow from Phil Twyford , Labour's premier profiler of foreigners ... the English have particular surnames ... Ramsbottoms ... Smythe-Harrington , Clotworthy , Dingle-Dell .... and such ...

Which easily separates them from other foreigners , such as the Chinese ... Wong , Wing , Yang Tang Yiddle-li-po ...

... differentiating people is an absolute doddle the Twyford way ... and a lot of fun for the whole family over the summer holiday ....

Citizens of the United Kingdom who were born there and have British ancestry. Also anyone who was born to British born parents in former British territories but who returned to live in the UK. I have a brother who was born in Tanganyika and now lives in Kent. He is British surely.

I would not want to buy in Auckland now

Great time to buy Auckland right Zachary ?
Ha!

Well I look at trade me and there's listings from Oct still up,in Auckland which I find amazing.
places were selling on the same day in July, now its slowed down in wellington
I was looking at a particular suburb and did the averages of price over the rv and its dropped down since July too (thats not the new RV) I know thats not very scientific but I try figure out what the value is and im like OK. But then I look at an evaluer and its jumped up a massive amount in 1 month. Is really wierd.

The number of properties "to be auctioned" is now the minority, that is the biggest sign that something has changed.

A house in Glenfield just sold for less than GV. No one would sell that low unless desperate.

A house in Glenfield just sold for less than GV.

Link?

Someone I know who works at a big 4 bank. Not going to give out info.

I can't say I am very impressed. It just sounds like a rumour. It may have been a leaky home or something. I'm looking for cold, hard facts.

You're making excuses now.

Just give me the facts...please....pretty please.

The article states:
“Clearly there is still strong interest in the Auckland property market..."
An increase in properties for sale does NOT mean "strong interest in the market" it shows there are more sellers, and if you believe in supply & demand, that would tend to drive prices lower.
Also interestingly the 2 regions with the biggest increase in number of houses for sale are the 2 most expensive areas; Auckland and central Otago (Qtown)

Shh you're giving away the spin!! Need to continue the narrative.

I agree totally.
This whole article is "Auckland land agent speak' talking up the Auckland market which the figures clearly indicate it has turned from a sellers to a buyers market and significantly is likely that after many years prices are now likely to at best plateau or show some decline rather than continued in growth. How can there be a significant change in the nature of the market and the "speak" still be of the market going from a great one of the past years to a great one now?
This bias or positive spin of the article is not surprising as realestate.co.nz is owned by real estate companies who have a vested interest in assuring everyone that all is well with the market. .
The reality is that for first home buyers this is good news, but for the vast majority of Aucklanders who own property this is not good news in terms of their equity or if they intend to selling investment properties.
For other regions, the article has a negative emphasis with a focus on "decline" - in listings yes, but a likelihood of very buoyant market in terms of price increases in the New Year due to shortages of listings.
I have always thought that the term real estate agents is a misnomer; "agent" implies that you are working on someone's behalf but the reality is that real estate agents are only concerned with their own interests.

Let Y = REI sentiment
Let X = actual market conditions (% change in listings, price movements etc.)
Ostensibly Y = f(X) However the ‘dynamic range’ of Y appears to be quite narrow indeed, ie ranging from extremely bullish to bullish, whereas X can be quite varied. Because of the way the real estate industry functions I think it might be unreliable to use Y to infer X.

I should have put it more bluntly.
For positive spin, this article ranks alongside that of the Titanic's first officer's report - "All is well; only three compartments have been breached and flooded."

Ah, yes. And as has been know for some time, there was a coal fire in the Titanic boiler room that had burned for 3 weeks before its maiden voyage, and couldn't be put out - but it still sailed!
So it might be with asset markets. It's what most people don't see that sinks them eventually....

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rms-titanic-evidence-fire...

Lets talk in March as the house prices rise again. All this pessimism was on this site last year when houses sat on the market and prices went down in January.

February the houses rocketed up again. I promise and would love you to look at this comment in March.

The prospect of house prices rising further and kiwis getting less and less likely to ever be able to own their own homes is indeed a huge reason for pessimism.

Wishful thinking Ted, this is 2017 ....not 2016
Anyway, I admire your optimism and best of luck ......sold out of Auckland, March 2016 and in reality the market has not done much since.

Im a realestate salesperson and since mid December buyer interest has been overwhelming.
I predict a large increase in sales in January surprising the experts before the usual February upswing.
I have also noticed alot of British and Hong Kong buyers looking which is unusual.

Ted's friday night humour