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Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here. reports a surge in the numbers of houses coming on to the market, up 10% on same time a year ago reports a surge in the numbers of houses coming on to the market, up 10% on same time a year ago

The number of new house listings surged in the last month, helping to lift inventories of available properties from historically low levels. said in its monthly NZ Property Report that listings in October were 13,978, which was up 10% compared with the same month a year ago.

The latest figure was up some 27% on the 11,000 in September.

Significantly, the constrained and overheated Auckland market saw a 28% increase (compared with September 2013) in new listings to 4783 - which was its highest number in over five years. Compared with October last year the Auckland figure was up 19%.

ASB economist Daniel Smith said that on a seasonally-adjusted basis, October saw a "fairly strong lift" in new listings. He said that on a seasonally-adjusted basis the Auckland listings were up 21.7%, while those in Canterbury were up 14.8%

"That suggests that supply is starting to respond more aggressively to the last year or two of strong house price growth, though we would need to see another month or two of a similar pattern to be confident there has been a sustained response."

Smith thought, also, that the Reserve Bank's new "speed limits" on high loan-to-value mortgage lending "may also be prompting owners to get their house on the market before the measures fully bite". acting chief executive Phillip Dunn said there had been "a really strong recovery of listing numbers in every region except the West Coast".

"October brought the highest number of listings we’ve seen across the board since March 2010."

Regarding inventory - the number of houses available as expressed in weeks needed to sell them - there was a "slight ease in pressure", Dunn said.

The national figure stayed about the same at 24 weeks. But inventory in the Auckland region saw a 5% increase to 12.1 weeks, but was still low compared with the long term average of 29 weeks.

 In other regions, Canterbury saw an 8% inventory increase, taking it to 16 weeks compared with last month’s 14.9.

But inventory crept to an all time low in Waikato, however, falling to 25.8 weeks compared to the previous 27.4.

Unsold homes down

And the level of unsold homes on the market nationally at the end of October was 38,577,  well down on the 43,410 figure a year ago.

ASB's Smith said despite more houses coming on to the market, inventory remained very low by historical standards.

"Supply constraints are likely to continue driving house prices higher, especially as residential construction activity in Auckland remains weak," he said.

Smith thought the RBNZ’s new LVR restrictions would have some impact on demand and, combined with more houses coming onto the market (if sustained),  would likely see house price growth peak in late 2013/early 2014.

"We still expect the [Official Cash Rate] to first rise in March 2014, though the risks are skewed to a later start."

Asking prices hit records

While there are some more listings on the market, this hasn't dampened the enthusiasm of sellers in the slightest regarding what they think their properties are worth.

The average asking price for properties in New Zealand once again reached an all-time high.

The new national asking price is $482,063 compared with $466,526 last month, also a record.

Auckland's asking price surged to a new high of $666,126, beating the previous record by around $16,000.

Hawkes Bay, Wellington and Canterbury all experienced significant increases in asking prices and set new records, also.

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New Auckland record high of $666k

SK - most people will not  understand what you mean - yes it is the sign of the Beast.

The appropriate figure to report on is a 10% rise in listings relative to October 2012 - not the increase from September 13 - as seasonality makes it difficult to see the underlying trend.  A major pet peeve of mine.
Funnily enough, a comment is made it is the most listing on hand since March 2010.  If I remember correctly March 2010 was the time volumes started to decline which was quickly followed by flattening and slightly decreasing house prices.  

Maybe they're trying to pick a top and book some capital gain? Maybe The Block auction was our equivalent of a Time magazine cover?

Such an avalanche of sales may push some borrowers into higher LVR scales, thus driving some banks to demand more equity or forced sales to remain within regulatory limits. Possibly, the unforeseen consequences of bureaucratic meddling are unfolding. Higher captial risk weightings beyond 100% for loans above 80% LVR together with higher interest rates would have been time light and equitable. 

Check again, and ask yourself why some pre-approvals were pulled recently - The banks have to maintain the approved percentage of high LVR loans right across the book and have six 6 months to get it back in line if a breach occurs.
Also ssk a few farmers concerning their combined residential/ farm property holdings in the so called swap scandal and see what their response is. While you are at it check those businessmen that post their residential properties as security for working and other capital  arrangements.
The banks and RBNZ learnt their lesson then that it is better to wait it out than to margin call and force a sale ending up with the banks holding a whole bunch of empty properties and no income and queues of people in tents
The banks are holding nothing. At best they have 35% of 8% tier one capital requirements at stake rising to 75% of 8% in the worst case scenario. The borrowers with high LVR loans equally have no stake - Tell me who does then?


How will LVR restrictions be imposed?
Restrictions on high-LVR residential mortgage lending will take the form of a ‘speed limit’ that constrains how much high-LVR lending banks can do. This will allow banks to continue some high-LVR lending to some borrowers.
Banks will be required to restrict new residential mortgage lending at LVRs of over 80 percent (deposit of less than 20 percent) to no more than 10 percent of the dollar value of their new residential mortgage lending.
LVR restrictions will apply to new high LVR loans, and not retrospectively to existing loans.
Existing borrowers will only be affected if they want to take out a ‘top up’ loan which would take the total loan to value ratio above 80 percent.

ZZ - I know of two periods in the last 30 years where the banks forced sales.
I think Stephen Hulmes has given a very good response here as well.

Bill Ralston's selling up and moving to the beach; see "Paradise calling", his column in the Listener today.
"I'd always wanted to have a million dollar home but, like so many of my generation, I bought a much cheaper one, waited a few years and voila!"
My real estate contacts, here in the Far North, report a growing wave of Aucklanders cashing out and moving in. Mostly BBs and retirees but also younger folk with a relocatable business.
Interesting to see if this is a strong trend developing, could explain the increase in listings.

.. could explain the increase in listings
but doesn't explain the 70 weeks average time to sell.

Thanks Kate. The Far North has always had very long sale times/low turnover - 70 weeks is high but not exceptional. We have had an actual district wide population decline according to the latest census which would help explain the meaty price drops - 50% declines in some of our markets.
Anyway it all makes for some good buying for cashed up and disgruntled Jafas. Be interesting to see if the anecdotal evidence I am hearing develops into a major trend. The markets to watch are Bay of Islands residential, Mid North lifestyle and Doubtless Bay coastal. 

All some of the most beautiful parts of the country. A smart government would build a really good sized elder-care targeted surgical/hospital facility in Northland to take the pressure off Auckland DHB and encourage more and more retirees to Northland. Big hospitals provide more economic stimulation than any other type of development.  This government is instead putting billions into big(ger) prisons!

The chart looks pretty steep downwards.
What flood?

The increase in listings on is likely due to trademe's price hike.