Here is the Realestate.co.nz report in full on Unconditional.co.nz and here is the text of the monthly report below.
December saw the lowest recorded level of new listings since 2007 with just 8,924 coming onto the market in December.
The stock of unsold houses dipped for the first time in 6 months as November sales showed some strength. Total inventory now stands at 50 weeks.New property asking price shows no price movement
The expected selling price of new listings remained stable in December at $415,750
The current asking price expectation of vendors remains 3.1% below the peak of the market back in October 2007 – at that time $429,033.
December traditionally is the quietest month of the year for listing of new properties for sale. The run up to Christmas tends to curtail the listing period to a part-month rather than a full-month with the consequential lower listing count. On a seasonally adjusted basis December this year shows no percentage change as compared to November, indicating the seasonal trend was expected, however the absolute level of listings is significant at this new low level.
The 2010 year has seen a consistent lower level of listings as the sales of properties has slowed through the year. In the full year 138,789 new listings were added to the market which began the year with 52,817 listings (at the time equivalent to 37 weeks of sales). The year ended with 53,077 barely a discernible difference in absolute number of properties on the market yet with a lower rate of sale the inventory of unsold houses now amounts to 50 weeks.
The recent sales report for from REINZ for November of 5,138 properties sold, did show a significant increase of 28% on a seasonally adjusted basis indicating that the market was showing some signs of life as the stability of interest rates and economic indicators moved into more positive territory.
The indicator of asking price expectation has shown a repetition of 2009 with a couple of peaks; currently returning down to a midpoint reflecting the fact that in the past 3 years vendors expectations of price increases have as yet not found a firm footing.
The truncated mean asking price for all new listings coming onto the market in December fell very slightly from $417,660 to $415,750.
On a seasonally adjusted basis the asking price actually rose by 1.3%. Asking prices seem to be showing volatility especially with such low levels of listings coming onto the market.
The current asking price continues to drift down below the peak of Oct 2007, currently off 3.1%.
The traditional seasonal fall in December was as expected, but when coming off a slower level of preceding months the actual level of 8,924 hit a record low. No single month since Jan 2007 has seen a total of less than 9,000 per month.
On a moving annual basis the past 12 months have seen 138,789 new listings compared to 135,416 in the prior year an increase of just 2.5%.
The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of December fell to 53,077 from 54,365 in November.
This represented the equivalent of 50.1 weeks of equivalent sales, as assessed on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The inventory of unsold houses, whilst dipping slightly as a consequence of a strong November sales continues to sit well above the long term average of 40 weeks of equivalent sales, this still sees the market showing a “buyers-market” inclination.
Regional Summary – Asking price expectations
Whilst the national asking price expectation remained steady with just a small fall from prior month, the regional analysis shows some significant variances. Amongst the 19 regions almost half showed a rise whilst the remained showed a fall. Strong increases in asking prices were seen in the North Island with Auckland showing a significant 5.2% increase as compared to recent 3 month average. The Hawkes Bay and Central North Island also showed strong increases, although in the latter region the volume of new listings was low.
Price movements in asking prices across the South Island were less significant with the Nelson / Marlborough region showing increases of over 5%.
Regional Summary – Listings
With the record low level of new listings in the month the sentiment of the market based on new properties fresh to the market would seem to show an inclination to a seller’s market. This however takes no account of existing inventory of unsold houses on the market
In spite of the overall fall in new listings across the country, both the Coromandel and the Wairarapa both saw rises in new listings as compared to December last year. There were 5 regions of the 19 across the country that saw year on year falls of more than a third – Northland, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Marlborough and Central North Island.
With the exception of the latter region all of the others still have a relatively high inventory of unsold houses on the market.
Regional Summary – Inventory
Despite the record low level of new listings and the relatively strong sales of properties in November the overall level of inventory of unsold houses on the market is still significantly above the long terms average (50 weeks as compared to 40 weeks). The Auckland region now sitting with 36 weeks of unsold houses as compared to a long term average of 34 weeks is more finely balanced and with a 25% seasonally adjusted increase in property sales in November is certainly a more active market than other areas of the country.
Also of note is the Canterbury region which whilst suffering a significant initial impact of the September earthquake reported a 38% seasonally adjusted increase in sales in November – such levels seeing a reduction in available inventory edging the region towards a more balanced market.