The average asking price for New Zealand houses rose to a new high in April, boosted by a strong Auckland housing market, the latest Realestate.co.nz Property Report says.
However, despite higher asking prices suggesting seller confidence was strong, the national property market still remained a buyers' market, Realestate.co.nz CEO Alistair Helm said.
The national average asking price hit NZ$429,249 in April, up 2% from March and above the previous peak in October 2007.
See the Realestate.co.nz release below:
The average asking price for New Zealand houses has risen to its highest level in four years, suggesting that seller confidence in the property market remains strong.
Data released today in the NZ Property Report – a monthly report of housing market activity compiled by Realestate.co.nz – shows that in April asking prices nationally hit a new high of $429,249, just topping the previous market high point recorded in October 2007.
The high average price was helped significantly by the Auckland region – which represents over a third of the New Zealand property market – where prices nudged near to the highest levels ever recorded, topping $550,000 for the third time in the last six months.
Alistair Helm, CEO of Realestate.co.nz, says that the high asking price – calculated on the truncated mean price for all homes for sale in New Zealand – suggests that while the national property market is still favouring buyers, the data shows that sellers are clearly feeling confident that prices are sustainable.
“There were 10,181 new listings brought to the market in April, which is down on last month, but for asking prices to remain at this level shows the market is active, but not desperate or excessively stressed.”
Mr Helm said that Auckland in particular is “humming”, where recent higher levels of sales and slower numbers of new listings over the past month have reduced the regional inventory, and moved the market to start to favour sellers.
“The rest of the country is a little sleepy in comparison, with inventory hitting a national level of just under 54 weeks, but it would be safe to say that this will begin to drop from this point on,” he says.
“In fact, we could easily see Auckland move back towards a shortfall in new listings if trends continue. It certainly feels like a two-speed property market at this time, with Auckland actively out in front with the rest of New Zealand still some way behind in terms of levels of property activity.”
Mr Helm also said that new listings in the Canterbury region were holding up well, as the region continues its recovery efforts from the recent earthquakes.
“Another 1,126 new listings came onto the Canterbury market with asking prices lifting again, suggesting there’s no desperation to sell in the region yet.”
Realestate.co.nz is the country’s most comprehensive property listing website profiling listings of licensed real estate agents with more than 117,000 real estate listings covering residential, commercial, business and farms for sale.
The latest issue of the NZ Property Report, covering April 2011, plus more analysis of the property market can be found on www.unconditional.co.nz, the news and information website for New Zealand real estate.
The NZ Property market certainly is showing signs of renewed activity, far from the levels of the mid 2000’s the current activity is measured and very much centered on the Auckland region. Whilst in overall terms the level of inventory weighs heavy on all regions the levels of sales reported in March show that buyers are certainly back in the market and beginning to clear some of this high inventory.
By the nature of the way inventory is reported (actual stock divided by 3 month average sales) the very low levels of sales in January and February is in some way holding back the reporting of this trend of greater activity. It is likely that with the reporting of the April sales that the next inventory report for May will show a significant fall in inventory levels of unsold houses.
The market amongst sellers is certainly not showing any impact of inventory levels, as a function of such seller confidence the national truncated mean asking price has risen in April to a new record high of recorded stats going back to the start of 2007.
As a further lead indicator to the market, the levels of new listings continue to track well below prior year. In fact we have seen 10 consecutive months of falls in listings numbers year-on-year.
The truncated mean asking price for all new listings in April rose to establish a new peak at $429,249 up from $421,940 in March. On a seasonally adjusted basis the asking price rose 2% in the month indicating a continued confidence amongst sellers.
The trend of the past 2 years shows continued strength in asking price expectation.
The level of new listings coming onto the market in April fell to 10,181 in April. This represented a 17% year on year decline and an 8% seasonally adjusted decline from March.
On a 12 month moving basis the number of new listings in the past year totals 129,678 as compared 142,635 for the same period a year ago – a fall of 9%.
The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of April continued to fall from prior months. April reported 50,398 down from 51,980 in March and 52,672 in February.
This steady decline in the physical number of new listings is not being reflected in the representation of inventory as measured in rate of sales as the recent 3 month period (Jan – March 2011) contained two of the lowest sales months recorded.