There was a lift in the number of new listings and the total stock numbers on Realestate.co.nz in September, however the numbers remain well below where they were in September last year.
The property website received 8901 new residential listings from throughout the country in September, up 15.2% compared to August, but down 14.2% compared to September last year.
Similarly, the total number of properties available for sale on the website at the end of September was 21,174, up 2.2% compared to August but down 7.3% compared to September last year.
A seasonal lift in September compared to August is to be expected, but the fact that new listings are down so significantly compared to a year ago suggests the market could be headed for a reasonably quiet start to the summer selling season.
However the lower stock levels suggest there is not a substantial overhang of unsold properties sitting on the market which will help to support prices.
Compared to September last year, new listings were lower in all but two of Realestate.co.nz's 19 districts, with only Coromandel (+28%) and Queenstown-Lakes (+6.6%) recording higher levels of new listings than a year ago and every other district recording declines.
The biggest declines were in Southland (-34.7%), Wairarapa (-25%) Marlborough (-24.3%) and Auckland (-22.5%), while Wellington's new listings were down 17.6% and Canterbury's were down 6.8% (see chart below for the full regional figures).
The total stock of properties available for sale on the website at the end of September was down in 14 of the 19 districts (see chart below) and both the total stock available and new listings were at their lowest levels for the month of September since Realestate.co.nz began collating the data in 2007.
Going against the trend, asking prices were surprisingly buoyant with average asking prices rising in 16 of the 19 districts between August and September with many districts posting substantial gains.
Across the entire country the average asking price was $684,442 in September, up 2.8% compared to August.