sign uplog in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here. reports a 10.6% seasonally-adjusted drop in number of new listings in November; average asking price eases reports a 10.6% seasonally-adjusted drop in number of new listings in November; average asking price eases

The number of new house listings dropped sharply last month after a strong gain in October. said in its monthly NZ Property Report that listings in November were 13,311, which was down 2% compared with the same month a year ago and down 5% on October's figures.

However, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the latest month's figure was down some 10.6% - basically completely reversing the gains in listings seen in the previous month.

In Auckland the fall was even greater, with seasonally adjusted listings figures down some 14.8% in November.

The actual number of new listings in Auckland was 4432, which was down 4% on November last year.

Across the country there is an inventory of 25 weeks worth of houses available, which is up slightly from very low levels but still well below the average of 38 weeks worth. In Auckland the inventory is still at very low overall levels, but did rise slightly to 12.8 weeks from 12.1 weeks.

The seasonally-adjusted average asking price dipped 0.6% from last month's record high to $478,931, but is still up 7% on a year ago.

ASB economist Daniel Smith said the strong October figures nationally, showing a seasonally adjusted 12.6%  increase in new listings had given cause for some hope that new listings were rising and "some of the nation’s more supply-constrained markets would see a reduction in pressure".

"November’s data, though, show that just about all of that change has reversed out. In particular, new listings in Auckland were 14.8% lower than in the previous month, taking seasonally-adjusted listings to the lowest level since June. In Canterbury the reversal was not as sharp, with new listings down 6.4% mom but still 5.2% higher than a year ago.

"While inventories have risen over the last few months, they remain very low by historical standards. Compared to a year ago, the number of houses on the market is 9% lower at the national level, 4.6% lower in Canterbury and 15.4% lower in Auckland."

Smith said the total number of houses on the market did increase further in November but, in the absence of higher new listings, was likely to remain very low.

"The [Reserve Bank's] restrictions on high-LVR mortgage lending will have some impact on demand, but unless that impact is much larger than anticipated, supply pressures will continue to push house prices up.

"Our expectation for house prices is unchanged – we expect a peak in the rate of price growth in late 2013/early 2014, after which prices will continue to rise, but at a more modest pace."'s acting chief executive Phillip Dunn said the listing results in November were a departure from the trend in the past three years.

"Historically, data has reported higher listings in November compared with October," Dunn said.

However, he believed the fall was not surprising  "considering the strong numbers we saw in October".

The listings figure in October had actually been some 10% higher than the figure in October 2012, as a surge of spring listings helped to pick inventories up from critically low levels.

But after the November drop, Dunn said a further drop was expected during the "traditional seasonal lull" over the upcoming December – January 13/14 period.

"History shows listing numbers will begin to increase again come late January / early February."

Dunn said the slight drop in asking price in November could be attributed to large asking price decreases in the Coromandel and Hawkes Bay region and then several smaller price decreases in the major regions of Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury. Auckland's average asking price was down 1% at $659,300, while Canterbury's fell 1.2% to $436,823 and Wellington's dropped 1.6% to $457,701.

"Much of the country experienced asking price increases, however, with Waikato’s new asking price record set at an average of $389,886 – a 2.7% increase from the previous month. Gisborne and the West Coast regions saw asking price average rise by over 10% compared to the previous month, with increases of 10% and 12.8% respectively."

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Great news for first time buyers and this is only the beginning!

A decrease in the number of houses listed for sale is hardly great news for FHB'rs. 
I would have expected greater drops in sales prices given the implementation of Mr Wheeler's LVR policy. Perhaps it's not working quite as well as assumed. I would expect sales prices to drop further over the next couple of months before picking up again after the holiday period.
Nothing to see here folks!

I actually expect the LVR policy to see an increase in median sales price initially.
As FHBs desert the market and the bottom price range houses fail to sell, you have only the mid to high end properties selling to those who are upgrading and thus have > 20% equity in their house.  With only the top end of the market selling strongly, you should see the median price move up.

I don't see it this way. Looks like the perfect time for investors to buy up lower price range houses.
It's hitting investors too. Graeme Wheeler is a smart cookie.

"The LVR restrictions are having an equally negative effect on property investors with low equity..."
Obviously anyone with low equity is going to struggle to buy at the moment. There's plenty of investors with strong equity built up thanks to house price growth over the past couple of years. 

The key points are less investors, less emotionally driven first time buyers with crazy-big mortgages and those investors and buyers with equity can't stretch it as far.
Less demand, less leverage - we're going to see steady house price falls I think which is the best possible outcome.
I've already noted that far less homes are going to auction, a lot more list prices and by negotiation which is further good news.

I certainly can see house price inflation flattening for a period. Mr Wheeler has a plan and that was the objective (yes,yes I know - it was financial market stability..). I don't think house prices will consistently drop. Unless someone has built 39,000 houses whilst I was sleeping we still have a housing shortage in Auckland. 
If prices do start do drop many people will just hold onto their properties (if they can) until the market picks up again. Not to mention house price drops wouldn't be good during election year.
What we might see is interest rates lower for longer. Maybe I shouldn't have fixed after all!

I think the 39,000 number bandied around is nonsense, and was challenged recently by NZIER ( If we were really that short on accomodation rents would be through the roof in Auckland, just like Christchurch. Rents are stagnant and there are plenty of rentals available.
I think the reality is there has been a huge demand for properties to speculate on, that demand is falling away and will collapse if prices are seen to fall.
Many will hang onto their properties or refuse to lower prices, but there are always deaths, divorces and mortgagee sales. If interest rates start rising we'll see a lot of the latter.

Time will certainly tell. I think many people are underestimating just how much of an upwards cycle we are entering (in Auckland and Christchurch at least). Mr Wheeler has seen it coming. There's a lot of building to do and we need to bring a lot of people in from overseas to do it. Good times.

"The LVR restrictions are having an equally negative effect on property investors with low equity..."
You must be joking, were having a field day, revalue a few properties and there's enough equity for a few more even at 80% LVR.  And fewer pesky FHB to bid against but more queuing up to rent after the purchase.  All the while the supply shortage guaranteeing further double digit price rises in Auckland.  

New million dollar club (Qv average value as at 31/10/13)
1          Herne Bay        $1,772,700
2          St Marys Bay    $1,537,750
3          Remuera          $1,321,300
4          Stanley Point   $1,267,750
5          Epsom             $1,255,500
6          Westmere        $1,248,850
7          Ponsonby        $1,209,450
8          Orakei             $1,175,750
9          Cambells Bay  $1,175,150
10        Devonport       $1,121,950
11        Mission Bay     $1,106,050
12        St Heliers        $1,104,800
13        Kohimarama    $1,088,900
14        Parnell             $1,076,500
15        Takapuna         $1,073,250
16        Narrow Neck    $1,008,100
17        Castor Bay       $1,002,250

Is the drop in asking prices yet another one-off blip as we continue rocketing up, or the start of the crash?

I reckon we have 5-10 years of little or no house price inflation, effectively slow decline. The great baby boomer downsizing will have an effect over the next decade. It's probably a good result all round but not exciting if you are chasing big capital gains...
Or it might shoot up again when National roll out a "help to buy" type scheme for first time buyer in run up to election. Free deposits for all! Or prices might plummet if China takes on Japan and NZ has to take sides. Who knows, It's politics, not a free market. 
All i I know for sure is I wouldn't go near Auckland housing as an investment for capital gains. With so many "investors" involved its at risk of a rush to the exits if a blip becomes a trend. 

rush to the exits, it an't the sharemarket. Prices will be sticky..people hold on and suffer a slow financial death..worst case. No crash likely, you can't just sell a property in an instant and why bother if you have made 10% gain pa for the last two years..or greater/long gains in the right place.
If you handn't noticed a lot are doing well so why would things change in a hurry. Just a period of uncertainity..transition ...that is all.

I agree with you - I don't expect a panicked rush to exits but if the blip turns into a 3-6 month trend then (as I've seen in other countries) the nouveau property investors might decide it's not so easy after all and cut losses. And the much talked about foreign investors might disappear overnight. Based on the andcdotal evidence on this site most days, that would leave a very different property market in it's wake. 
But yes, there are plenty of gains to insulate from that happening for some time and as someone said here recently, even if things do go south or stagnate for a period, there are a few stages of grief, denial etc to go through before the market adjusts and prices drop to reflect new circumstances. I have a friend who is selling at auction and wants X. The indicative offers are coming in at X minus 200k but she won't sell unless she gets X. Eventually these things reconcile but it takes time...

It’s funny how often doom and gloom around the housing market is predicted on here but the ones doing it changes.  I guess the humiliation of getting it wrong year after year just gets too much and they fade away to be replaced by others.  
And lets all start differentiating between Auckland, Christchurch and the regions.  They are completely separate markets and are going to behave very differently in the years to come.  I don’t want you claiming “I was right” if Invercargill prices drop while Auckland’s continue to rocket (which is highly likely).

Predicting lower prices isn't doom and gloom! It's financial stability and independence for most of us.
Reasonably priced houses mean young families can afford to buy without putting their financial well-being at risk. The insane prices in Auckland and ChCh are only good for speculators and it should be well received that they're now likely to fall back to something more affordable.

There are all sorts of injustices in this world most of which are out of your control.  Most people just become victims, they whine online, complain to friends or vote a particular party.  None of these reactions change anything, they just solidify your status as a victim.  You have to take action to turns these injustices to your advantage. 
Don’t like high house prices…  buy a few rental properties, or better yet buy a few dozen, and profit from rising prices. 
Don’t like stock price bubbles…  buy stock, ride the wave a make a profit, just keep your stop loss settings tight. 
Don’t like paying taxes to subsidize the lazy or millionaire baby boomers…  get a good accountant, offset property ‘losses’ against your income and pay less tax. 
Like it or loathe it it’s important to hedge against it. 

I don't consider myself a victim at all; enjoying a nice cheap rental in a fantastic suburb. I could buy tomorrow, but having watched the housing catastrophes abroad we're sitting this one out for a while. I'm happy to see the RBNZ taking action before it ends up like Ireland, Britain etc.

"sitting this one out for a while"...  The do nothing approach, don't say you weren't warned. 

Hardly! Apart from whining on forums I've been amassing a substantial pile of cash, helped by low cost living - no property upkeep, no rates, no insurance (and no mortgage interest!). My landlord generously pays them for me.

Its just like the electricity market isn't it. The whole market price is set by the last sales. In electricity it is the thermal generation which sets the price at which everyone gets paid. At times other than dry winters, when thermal generation is not generating, prices drop dramatically. The prices are very elastic.
I wonder if the housing market will do the same thing, ie drop dramatically if the top little bit of irrational buying is tempoarily taken out whilst they save up some more, for a better deposit.
Unfortunately, housing is a seriously competitive market. It drains every last cent (present and future) from recent buyers. And with no hope in hell of future interest rate drops.

Prediction: Very large shallow fry pan of 3-5% sides (if have to sell, will take a 3-5% bath) we'll be in a 5-6-7 year flat base of no growth. FHB save $20k a year for 5-6 years, then it's elevator III.

NEW prediction: A pizza tray,  4-5-6 years no growth. But there's always exceptions. (North Shore looks good, it's a hot spot for new wealthy arrivals).

New Zealand's population is now 4.24 million

The drop in listings is easily explained. Many people have withdrawn their properties off the market or not bothered to list their properties at ll because they havent got a 20% equity to move onto the next transaction.
The only people who will suffer are the FHB's of course and all the trades that revolve around the property industry.
Watch out for redundancies, receiverships, work shortages and subbies scrambling for work.
The chain has been broken by the RB, as so well put by Olly Newland's double shot interview on this site, and everyone will pay the price.
Take comfort from the fact that 95% of people don't have to sell when push comes to shove.

The drop in listings is easily explained. Many people have withdrawn their properties off the market or not bothered to list their properties at all because they havent got a 20% equity to move onto the next transaction.
The only people who will suffer are the FHB's of course and all the trades that revolve around the property industry.
Watch out for redundancies, receiverships, work shortages and subbies scrambling for work.
The chain has been broken by the RB, as so well put by Olly Newland's double shot interview on this site, and everyone will pay the price.
Take comfort from the fact that 95% of people don't have to sell when push comes to shove.

You appear to be unaware of the RBNZ's 'portability exemption' to these LVR restrictions as it applies to an owner occupier selling and rebuying elsewhere.
Of course it doesn't suit your particular agenda does it, as it applies only for a PPOR not to those landlords who do not qualify.
More restrictions to come I reckon, directly aimed at speculators and landlords.

As a young first time buyer with a 20%+ deposit I certainly won't be paying the price. In fact the only price I plan on paying for property is a very very low one, probably in a year or two, hopefully to a desperate baby boomer with panic in his eyes.
Thank you, Mr. Wheeler.

You are likely to be very disappointed if you believe house prices will go very low. At best they might flatline for a while. 
As long as the economy is alive then property will stay popular. NZ-ers love property, desire to live in their own home,appreciate the taxfree capital gains. Immigrantz still buying property, nonresident Chinese & others will keep buying propert here. 
Many renters were expecting a crash 4 or 5 years ago. Never happend. 

Money bailing out of china.
ho hum.

some short memories here....the Chinese factor has got Japan of the 80s written all over it...big investment in places like Queensland then BOOM CRASH...
You are pretty dumb if you think this is going to continue without any issues

Politically the easiest  people to squeeze, "the low hanging fruit" as it were are landlords. It may need a change of Government, it may not, but in the end landlords are going to have to take the hit. - because no one actually likes landlords, - you can't really go after young people for long because they are stuffed already and will just continue to move to oz, you definitely can't go after old people. But landloards are easy meat (politcally, in that little or no fallout by squeezing them hard so they are forced to sell up - it will not take many to go to the wall to move the market.

I think it's going to be Labour/Green in the next election.  if it's them, they will gun for the landlords, CGT and overseas owners

..I suspect anyone who tries to bring in CGT will be told by the IRD that it will be imposisble to implement with their current computer system - hence the rebuild.

I was told by a tax accountant that when Australia introduced CGT, they didn't have system in place but the (massive) penalty for not declaring was enough to scare people off.  Same as their stamp duty regime right now, anyone can opt for a cheaper stamp duty option but the fine will make any grown man cries!

"easiest tax to not pay and how not to get caught"
Interesting! I'd love to know too.  i've sold my house in Auckland 2 years after arriving and working in Australia.  met our tax accountant recently and he informed me that we will be liable for CGT for the two years as I am an Aust tax payer.  No way out he said.. So whatever you was told Zanyzane, it's going to be a bit dodgy!

Tax is all about planning.  If you don't know the rules you get caught.  But if you do know the rules you wriggle out of it.  You made the silly mistake of selling your house when it was rented...your home is exempt so you should have lived in it at time of sale.
I have spoken with tax professionals...they advise me that this cgt is in-effective.  However, they are not too vocal about this as they now they will have a windfall if the tax goes through.
I don't like what is going on with property any more than you, but you are deluding yourself if you thing CGT is the answer...keep looking.

The answer is staring us all straight in the face, it's just too unpalatable.  Stop all immigration. 

Are you saying you have to pay the Australian government CGT from selling your Auckland house as you are now an Aussie taxpayer? 

ah yep I have to pay CGT to Aust Govt.. nice isn't it!
Anyway I never promote CGT as a solution, just said that if lab/Green is in, CGT will be a sure thing.  

Just like that Mitre10 ad "ya drimin.."
Russell and David will have CGT in day one, nevermind what IRD might say.  And remember, historically what ever Aust has in govt, we have the opposite.  Aust is current governed by ALP - opposite of that is NZ will have Labour in 2014

So if a Kiwi tax payer sells a house in Australia do they not have to pay the Aussie CGT?

Yes, talking to a few Kiwis here, most pleaded ignorance and kept quiet.. that's the risk they have to carry.
But I do know one that got caught 6 years down the track, the tax bill was roughly 4 times the original amount!

New million dollar club (Qv average value as at 31/10/13)
1          Herne Bay        $1,772,700
2          St Marys Bay    $1,537,750
3          Remuera          $1,321,300
4          Stanley Point   $1,267,750
5          Epsom             $1,255,500
6          Westmere        $1,248,850
7          Ponsonby        $1,209,450
8          Orakei             $1,175,750
9          Cambells Bay  $1,175,150
10        Devonport       $1,121,950
11        Mission Bay     $1,106,050
12        St Heliers        $1,104,800
13        Kohimarama    $1,088,900
14        Parnell             $1,076,500
15        Takapuna         $1,073,250
16        Narrow Neck    $1,008,100
17        Castor Bay       $1,002,250

Check that out a little more Chairman. If your NZ property was your principal place of residence there is a 6 year holiday moratorium, from the time you move out and start renting it out, until the CGT clock starts running

I made the mistake that i bought a house here before we sold up in NZ..  But we will ask for exemption from ATO.

The thing is Mr ZZ, is that those attending a 'property seminar', probably arn't the brightset on the planet.

I agree - and house prices and rents will go up as they have a politically expedient witchunt, rather than allowing more dwellings to be built (and that's about to get huge amount harder through to impossible under the Unitary Plan) .

Thank again:
"If recent history is anything to go by, the 2014 general election result has already been decided. As the chart to the right shows, since 1998 the party leading the opinion polls in July of the year preceding the election has gone on to win the highest proportion of the party vote, enabling them to form a government.
Despite the current centre-left Labour/Greens bloc looking competitive, history tells us National should have the 2014 election in the bag, again.
Although David Cunliffe emerged from the Labour leadership 'primary' with all guns blazing, recent political history also suggests he will find it hard to make a sustained impact within the next 12 months. The MMP era is littered with major party leaders who have rolled their predecessors with the hope of doing better within two to three years of the next election, only to fall by the way.
John Key was the exception as leader of the Opposition for just under two years before he became Prime Minister; before that Helen Clark was leader of the Opposition for six years, and before that Jim Bolger was leader of the Opposition for 4.5 years. No one has yet gone on to lead a government within 12 months of assuming party leadership."

And lets assume that Labour does get in, last time they were in power they orchestrated the biggest property boom in NZ history.  No reason to think that they're loose immigration and high spend policies won't do the same next time. 
Labour has proven they are a true supporter of property investors. 

Or is it the other way around?
Or both? Suspect circular downward self-fullfilling effect.

It's actually a perpetual upward spiral thanks to our export based economy.  House prices go up and domestic spending increases which increases GDP, or growth.  Exporters suffer under the higher dollar but manage, well most of us.  If house prices drop and/or economic activity drops the dollar will drop via OCR changes so although the domestic spending/activity decreases the exporters have a boom and lead the recovery.  There's always one side of our economy ready to correct the other. 

Don't wanna sail with a ship of Fools...?
Preview the book by Fintan O'Toole...
worth the read...watching boxes getting ticked like it's a how not to workshop.

Why is it from speculators to agents the money lust has to be so overt, so vulgar,so desperate in endevour.
Is it because an idiot can do it while the doings good..?
 Pretty much. 

ZZ, exactly which "Property Seminars" do you run?

Zady, considering LVR restrictions have just come into force, somehow I don't think so. But untruths is what I expect from the rentier class so I forgive you.

That Max 70% should certainly be enforced for rentals.
Leave higher LVRs for owner occupiers.
As the latest census shows, our home ownership rate is falling.
Too many landlords with too many properties.
Put the brakes on them and swing the pendulum back in favour of owner occupiers.

2013 Cenus data indicates only 56% of  home owners have a mortgage!

There is other debt, eg those home owners, what about a mortgage on their rentals? ie total debt not just specifically on their home. 

44% of NZ home owners do not have a mortgage according to Census 2013 - LVR and interest rate hikes not a worry for these people. No wonder so many parents are able to help the kids into a house.

What percentage of property investors have a mortgage on their rental properties ?

Not sure but I do know several property investors that have portfolios of more than 10 rental properties each and have no mortgage at all. They purchased them in the 1990's and the tenants have paid them off. Most now enjoy an average $600 per week rent per property. Not bad if you own 10 @ total $6,000 per week eh!

Indeed, upsides, however they are not the ones at risk (to us). I know a few PIs in thier 30s and 40s who have significant debt in their portfolio, one is even neg geared and then seems to pay a lot less PAYE and plans to "retire" and cash out tax free.

So without that census data broken down between investors and owner occupiers comparisms are meaningless.
There are other investors with 10 properties who deliberately load up their rental mortgages as high as possible to take advantage of tax writeoffs.
Of course their own home has no debt as they do not get any taxpayer funded subsidies like they do on their rentals.
So I say again.
Limit property investors LVRs  to a lower level than owner occupiers.
Or remove the tax advantage investors have over owner occupiers with respect to mortgage interest.
Get people into their own homes who want to own, as oppossed having to compete with multi property landlords as per your example quoted above.

Zany - the more savings the banks have the more pressure they have on them to place mortgages and then rates go down as has happened over the last two weeks. The banks are struggling to move the invested money they already have on hand but they need to move it quickly - can't keep paying 4% on term deposits when the rate of mortgage approvals has dropped off. So expect to see term deposit and mortgage rates drop as a result but feel free to correct me if you think I have misread the situation.

So kimy-zany-zane, what proportion of your $5 miilion of assets do you have invested in the productive sector? Do you own your personal dwelling?

You make a very valid point regarding the productive sector, why don’t people go into business, especially exporting?
Well here’s why.  I started my business from scratch 5 years ago, I export a dry food product to Aus and Asia (mostly China).  When I started I got zero help from the govn to get it off the ground.  When the business started growing I had to take on employees who seem to think it’s their right to surf the net or chat for half the day (or post comments on  And when I finally pushed through the endless barriers and got profitable the tax man came knocking for 30%.  
Contrast that with investing, easy funding, no entitled employees, no tax to pay.   It’s a no brainer. 

I do love that rentals as a business argument.
Of course a real property investor - see the big boys LPTs  on the NZX- all have leverage about 30-40%
The days of landlords and high LVR, plus the associated tax benefits are coming to an end.
The fear is palpable from the highly leveraged.
It is a stated aim of both political parties to increase home ownership.
Luckily there just happens to be an election in less than 12 months.
It will be a year of leveling the playing field I reckon.

It will be a year of trying to level the playing field with populist knee jerk reactions that have the opposite of intended effect.

That is exactly what I am talking about.....the fear is palpable  by your attempt at spin.
Provide some facts or figures regarding your "opposite of intended effect" so that we can discuss.
You're right - I am scared I might be way under leveraged . Should I be be borrowing more to get up over 50%? That still leaves 30% 'till the 80% limit. Maybe 60% is a sensible LVR? 

Thank you bob, you have supported my argument.
If FHBs have deserted the market as reported by agents and brokers, and current LVR restristions are not slowing price growth, what does that mean?
Expect measures directly aimed at investors and speculators.

As below I expect that adding to the cost of housing, without allowing increase in the supply of housing, means housing will cost more. I'd expect rents to rise.

Seriously though I reckon that supplying more dwellings in locations people want to live is probably only way to help affordability. More taxes etc. might be nice, but won't help house prices. Making sometging more expensive to make it cheaper is silly.
The draft Unitary Plan was going in the right direction. However the PAUP has done a 180degree turn and is now taking out existing density in many zones plus adding many restrictive rules and pushing everything into harder activity status. Given that I expect central property prices to keep increasing and all other responses to just pump it up more.

ZZ - you are trolling with this?
"Owner occupiers need to be re-educated that it is better to stay renting and discourage home ownership. Better to have more rentals and encourage the serious rental providor, the humble landlord."
Quality entertainment...

kimy-zany-zane .. do you offer your tennants certainty and security? like tennancy for life, with rent increases tied to the annual CPI, no selling the property out from under them, ever, for ever and ever, including a set of hand-cuffs on your estate after you pass on? They are there for their lifetime, not your lifetime. I doubt it somehow.

Spottie - the powers that be have put in a brilliant LVR system that simply assists the rich and the vested interests, including the multi property owning politicians, to get richer and the poor to stay there. Very easy now for an investor with a mortgage free family home to buy up several properties without competition from the pesky first home buyers and the flip side is that rents will increase over the next couple of years as more young people who cannot save a 20% deposit become permanent renters. The banks will lower their margins to compete for business from these quality investors as they have now lost around 30% of what could otherwise have been new mortgage customers - ie first home buyers have been wiped out. So lower interest rates, higher rents and less buyers to compete with - property investors are laughing all the way to retirement! Good work Mr Wheeler! Combine this with a net migration surge, very little new home construction and the end result will be an increase in house prices of at least 10% to 15% over the next 12 months in the Auckland region.