There was a substantial number of new residential property listings in May, suggesting market activity could be heading back towards normal over winter.
Property sales website realestate.co.nz received 8324 new listings from throughout the country in May, down just 12.0% compared to May last year.
That was a substantial jump from just 2962 new listings in April, when the country was mostly in Level 4 lockdown.
The jump in new listings was strongest in the Queenstown-Lakes District, where May's new listings were up 21.8% compared to May last year.
Around the rest of the country, the strength of new listings varied widely, from being up 2.0% compared to a year ago on the West Coast, to being down 24.3% in Wellington.
In Auckland new listings were down 12.5% compared to a year ago and in Canterbury they were down 4.4% (see chart below for the full regional figures).
The total number of homes on the market is also bouncing back, with realestate.co.nz having 20,940 properties in total available for sale on the website at the end of May, which was the highest number since November last year.
However, that was still down 19.1% compared to May last year.
The total inventory levels in May were lower than May last year in all parts of the country except Central Otago-Lakes where they were up 13.0% compared to a year ago, and Otago where they were up 2.0% (see chart below for the full regional figures).
The national average asking price fell back sharply in May, dropping from its record high of $874,886 in April to $729,002 in May (-16.1%), but that was still up 10.0% compared to May last year.
Although sales activity was seriously reduced in April there was substantial settlement activity from sales that occurred earlier in the year, and April's prices reflected the buoyant market in late summer.
However, although the national asking price dropped sharply in May, around the country asking prices were down in May compared to April in nine regions Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Wairarapa, Wellington, Nelson Bays, Marlborough, West Coast, Central Otago-Lakes and Otago, and up compared to April in nine regions, Northland, Coromandel, Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Central North Island, Manawatu/Whanganui, Canterbury and Southland. with record asking prices being set in Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Central North Island, Taranaki, Manawatu/Whanganui and Canterbury.
Perhaps not surprisingly, during a period when the country was still in partial lockdown and many people were working from home, 1.2 million users visited the realestate.co.nz website in May, compared to 1,.1 million in February.
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