Realestate.co.nz reports 6% drop in Auckland house listings in April; national average asking price eases 1.4% to $477.5k

Realestate.co.nz reports 6% drop in Auckland house listings in April; national average asking price eases 1.4% to $477.5k

New houses listings in Auckland slumped by just under 6% on a seasonally-adjusted basis in April, according to Realestate.co.nz.

Nationally the picture was brighter, with a 3.4% rise in listings during the month, following a 2% increase in March.

The new listing figures were released in Realestate.co.nz's latest monthly NZ Property Report.

But it is the further drop in listings in Auckland, easily the country's biggest and most influential market, that will prompt another round of head scratching.

The pressure that further shortages of new listings in the Auckland market is likely to bring was demonstrated by the Auckland average asking price hitting a new record high of $685,426, which is up 12% when compared with a year ago.

The inventory of houses available in Auckland, expressed in weeks worth of sales dropped to 15 from 15.2 weeks in March, though this is still somewhat better than the 12.7-week figure for February. A year ago Auckland had 14 weeks worth of listings.

Nationally the average asking price dropped by 1.4% from its record high of over $484,000 in the previous month to $477,460.

This average is up 7% compared with a year ago.

The fall in new listings for Auckland in the latest month follows a 7.1% rise in March - but that itself followed a 5.7% fall in February.

Listings activity around the country looked extremely lumpy in April.

Wellington saw a seasonally-adjusted 11% drop in new listings, but the Bay of Plenty saw a 15.6% surge, while Northland had a whopping 29.5% increase. Numbers in Canterbury were pretty much flat.

Inventory levels rose nationally in April, with the number of available homes for sale on the market lifting to 28.9 weeks of stock from 27.9 weeks worth in March. This remains well below the long term average of 37 weeks of stock, but is up 8% from April last year. 

New national listings in April showed higher levels than historic years, with 10,245 new homes come on the market. This equates to 2% more than the number of new listings seen in April 2013. However the number of new listings was significantly less (down 18%) than was reported in March this year. 

ASB economist Christina Leung said although supply constraints continued to ease slightly in April, new listings in Auckland and Canterbury remained low.

"More acute housing supply constraints in Auckland and Canterbury had underpinned relatively stronger house price inflation in these two regions over the past two years, and we expect this will remain the case over the coming year," she said.

"We do expect the rate of further house price increases to slow over the coming years as new housing supply comes onto the market and higher interest rates take effect. We expect annual house price inflation will slow from 9% at the end of last year to just over 5% by the end of this year.

"In terms of monetary policy implications it does not change our outlook, and we continue to expect the RBNZ will follow up with another OCR increase in June before undertaking an extended pause until December. Beyond 2014, we expect a further four OCR increases for a peak of 4.5% by the end of 2015."

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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This is to be expected with Easter & Anzac day and school holidays take a chunk out of the month.
People don't like listing when there are short weeks.

Agreed.  Also during Apr & May the gardens and driveways are full of Autumn leaves making a mess and people are more reluctant to present a messy outlook...we all know that first impression is key~

These are seasonally adjusted figures. Autumn happens at this time every year. For that matter getting all of Easter in April is regular outcome as well.

slumped by just under 6% on a seasonally-adjusted basis in April, 
 
Also down 4% vs April 2013.  
 
Also note that in the rest of the country this wasn't a problem, listings are up nationally.  Is there something special about Anzac day that discourages people in Auckland from listing, but encourages people in the rest of the country?
 
All this needs to be seen in a longer term context, one month does not a trend make.
 
What is very clear in the market in Auckland is that auctions are out of favour, allot more properties listed with prices after failing to sell at auction, and allot more properties not bothering with an Auction and listing with price-by-negotiation.  Suprised in this context to see the inventory level on realestate.co.nz not rising.

Love the headline; "Slump" and "6%".. Interest.co.nz must be part of Fox News Corp

It would be interestng to see a demographic profile of property investors.  I suspect they will be centred around a particular age group.  If this is then projected forward to retirement age or therabouts (the point in time where managing rentals is a drag and cash in bank etc is more manageable) then one would expect a surge of properties at a particular time.  This will be when pricing gets interesting.

There could be a surge, but not in the way you decribe it.  Assume a typical investor is 55 to 65, and that they sell when they retire.  Well they are all going to retire at different times, the 65 years olds first, then a year later the 64 year olds will turn 65 and sell.  And it's not one way traffic, the 54 year olds will be turning 55 and purchasing.
 
What we need to look at is not so much age brackets but generational differences.  The baby boomers, there are more of them than other generations, so as they retire there will be a different ratio of buyers to sellers.
 
And the boomers, with their 3 to 1 median price to income ratios will have owned and paid off their first house much earlier than current generations with their 7 to 1 ratios.  So the boomers would have been mortgage free and looking for investments much earlier.  What if when they come to sell, the generations below are still stuggling to pay off their mortgages and not looking for investments?

Well my house I rent sold last week.  There were 105 people for the onsite auction, 80% were Chinese , a couple of families and investors were also there.  Bought in 1974 for $24000, sold for $987,000 to a Chinese family, after $750,000 only Chinese were bidding.  Final tally of Real esate agents cards - 15 Chinese, one Pakeha.  Nothing to see here John Key move along.  BTW $24000 was equivalent to $121064.41 in todays money.

That's terrible.. All Chinese buyers, never mind that they might be all Kiwi that unfortunately have chinese look!

The issue is similar to what is happening at ICAC corruption enquiries in Sydney NSW

People of Mediterranean origin comprise approximately 10% of the NSW population, and comprise 4% of the MP's in the State Parliament yet the witness list of those being charged and interrogated with their fingers in the slush funds add up to 80% of the total witnesses over the 7 investigations over the last 2 years
 
Most, but not all of them were born in Australia, but the blood flows through their veins
 
How would you explain that away?

you "must" be wrong then, because all the "experts" in the media and government say it isn't happening...

Here's my China syndrome story of the week. (Verified) Chinese based investor buys 1950's Meadowbank property for 2.475 million after bidding war with some other dude on the phone. 
 
Fast forward, now listed for rent with zero improvements. Looking for 1000pw, will get, if lucky 900. 
 
He is looking to develop in a year or so. The rental yield is obviously shite and a shocking return on his investment. If the capital gains fail to materialise and property bumps along or flatlines, never mind crashes, then I think this dude has possibly made the worst property investment ever.  Peak property eejit?
 
Yes, he's sitting on 1400 sq metres of stunning (sloping) garden with a crap house but does it all add up if the soaraway capital gains are not there?
 
I'd love for the NZHerald or someone to get on airplane and find these guys and see what their thinking and motivations are. And if they start to read about softening prices do they all disappear overnight?

You have successfully applied NZ Herald methodology and ignore the fact that NZD has appreciated against the yen and SGD over the last two years.. so this person is likely to lose out on the deal!

Facts square in the face? So you can tell from looking at people or their business cards that they are Chinese? Wake up noddy. That attitude is just straight racism.

I see this comment all the time. If you are in a room and have eyes AND ears you can generally tell if a person is born and bred Kiwi, second generation immigrant, first generation immigrant, visitor etc. You may not be right all teh time but generally our percpetion of these things is reasonably accurate and relies on multiple signals. 

Well that and the fact that they also have chinese translations on their card.  BTW I'm not racsist AT ALL.  I find it abhorrent, particularly as the human species is the most closley related in the animal kingdom.  We are are all, in a very real sense, brothers and sisters. I hope to go to China someday as I'd love to learn more about the culture and land.  That does change what I'm seeing with my own eyes, nor the experiences of my also not racist friends and family.  The Chinese are one part of Aucklands housing problem.  It's not racist to point this out and I'd like an apology please. 
 

sigh... the racism card. Why are people of Asian appearance so massively over represented in the auction room? The only reasonable explanation I can come up with is foreign speculation/investment.

Today's Barfoot report talks about 'a higher than normal number of listings' so which is it. Is there an overhang of listings from Feb/March or are sellers not listing on the real estate nz website.

All barfoot listings automatically go on the REINZ realestate.co.nz website.
 
And barfoot is not all of the market.  If barfoot have taken marketshare this month it's quite possible their listings are up while the market is down.
 
Though barfoot is a big part of the market, i would pay more attention to the unconditional listings data and the reinz sales data is it captures most of the market.  The QV sales data is most reliable indicator of price rises and falls in the current LVR skewed market, but that data lags as it's based on settlement which is at least a month, often many months after sales.

One of the Russian leaders once said something along the lines of " when it comes time to hang the west we will buy the rope from them" - are we doing the same by selling NZ to the Chinese.
An old Russian joke has Breshnev proudly showing his old mother his fancy dacha, new limousine and several young mistresses. She nods wisely and finally says " all this is fine but what will happen when the communists find out?"  What will indeed happen when the peasants in China find out what its leaders and other "beneficiaries ??? " have stashed away in places like NZ.

Has it occurred to you that plenty of Americans use Chinese, Korean or Japanese language, as do plenty of New Zealanders. Also Vetnamese, Thai, Indonesia, Taiwan and Hong kong have expats who live in NZ - but you can somehow tell the people you see are Chinese?

I think the point is that it is not Kiwi's buying Kiwi property.
Doesn't matter if they are Chinese, American or Dutch. Kiwi land should be for Kiwi residents - wherever they started their life, as long as they are legally able to reside here.
Stop selling our future for a quick buck.
 
- To aviod your obvious next question. Hwy would they have a Chinese translation if they are only buying as residents and living here?

Yes I am aware.  I have worked on many Chinese, Japaense and Korean projects in my line of work.  As I said I know because there are Chinese Characters on the card.

I thought people from HK, singapore and Taiwan also use Chinese characters. So when you say Chinese you mean Chinese race do you, or PBOC citizens only?