Auckland's property market may be losing some of its heat as inventory levels rise even as new listings decline

Auckland's property market may be losing some of its heat as inventory levels rise even as new listings decline

Auckland's housing market may be starting to ease slightly, according to the latest figures from property website Realestate.co.nz.

"Auckland is the only region in the whole of New Zealand where housing stock is up compared to last year," Realestate.co.nz CEO Brendon Skipper said.

Demand in Auckland appeared to be easing and new higher loan-to-valuation mortgage restrictions being introduced for investors where possibly the cause, he said.

The number of Auckland homes newly listed on Realestate.co.nz in August was down by 12.4% compared to August last year, however the total number of Auckland homes available for sale on the website was up by 4% compared to a year earlier.

"This tells us that homes are taking slightly longer to sell, which could be a result of LVR restrictions," Skipper said.

However it's a different story around the rest of the country, with the market remaining buoyant outside of Auckland.

"With the exception of Auckland, there has been a gradual decline in housing stock over and above the typical midwinter seasonal lull," Realestate.co.nz's August report said.

And asking prices remain buoyant, even in Auckland, where the average asking price of properties advertised on the website hit a new record of $907,986 in August.

Record high asking prices were also set in Coromandel at $636,297, Waikato $482,623, Bay of Plenty $534,971, Nelson $543,401 and Canterbury $484,023 (see chart below).

ASB economist Kim Mundy said the data suggested that sales activity had fallen in August and inventory levels lifted despite a fall in new listings, and that recent hotspots outside of Auckland also appeared to be cooling.

"We expect sales activity to continue to cool over the coming months as the RBNZ's new investor LVR restrictions come into effect," she said.

You can receive all of our property articles automatically by subscribing to our free email Property Newsletter. This will deliver all of our property-related articles, including auction results and interest rate updates, directly to your in-box 3-5 times a week. We don't share your details with third parties and you can unsubscribe at any time. To subscribe just click on this link, scroll down to "Property email newsletter"and enter your email address. 

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?

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.

67 Comments

Comment Filter

Highlight new comments in the last hr(s).

Oh no. Even the opinions of the two vested gentlemen are not in agreeance.

This article supports what I've heard recently from many people in Auckland, including real estate agents - that the auction rooms are much quieter, sales have gone flat, and people are struggling to get finance.

Nope. Not true at all. Seeing plenty of sales here in papakura

Ok - so you're correct and everyone else is a liar.

Dont want to get a false sense of hope - again

... keep living the dream in Papakura.

Liar liar pants on fire.

Just what the doctor ordered.

According to interest.co.nz charts this will be the fourth easing in Auckland since 2011. Pop it in your diary to see how things are going in six months.

I love those people who think the future is going to be just like the past.

Those are the ones who get burned the most.

I dearly wish my skepticism was just blind or wishful thinking.

but it's easy to be skeptical about headlines proclaiming the "easing" of the Auckland property market when the underlying causes for the current price levels are not only worse than they were five years ago but there is also no plan in place to alleviate them.

Yep agents are moaning about decline in buyers as no investor interest. Everyone likes to blame immigrants but the majority of those put pressure on the rental market. It's them pesky domestic investors that been a huge contributing factor to this overblown market.

Same may be happening in Hamilton.
Saw an agent 2 months ago regarding older family members house quoted 460k to 490k.
Put on market last week he said markets eased off a bit but still thought 450k would be minimum expected.
Personally I wouldn't pay 400k for it.

It is also winter, and not as many people in winter buying or selling. As interest rates continue to drop, house prices will likely continue to go up.

This time last year was ridiculous - when there queues coming out of open homes

A year ago loans by valuation were increasing at the rate of 28 percent.They no longer are.

What does this mean?

If mortgage size is not increasing, house prices in Auckland , will no longer increase. I input all RBNZ mortgage data against monthly regional sales to reach conclusion . Auckland is on top of Table mountain at present.New Zealand is grossly vulnerable

That doesn't take into account Chinese cash money tho...

It does not take into account cash sales , regardless of entry point..New Zealanders account for the bulk of purchases and mortgages , not Chinese

It's spring

Heard this before.

Last time you heard this was it supported by the CEO of ANZ who said the market is now "overcooked"?

And BNZ chief economist is saying buy buy buy...

...actually he said the auctions rooms are dead ya dropkick.

He said the auction rooms are quiet, made racist remarks about Chinese people being smarter than white/other people and then said that anybody not using this opportunity to BUY BUY BUY is a fool.

He is the penultimate spruiker, peddling mortgage debt on the masses and being condescending to anybody who wont drink his kool aid.

He is an economist/financier that sees an opportunity for arbitrage.
He never said it was sustainable nor risk free. His point was there is plenty of scope for short term capital appreciation.

Penultimate? The last but one?
.
That doesn't make any sense.

Don't forget the Ultimate Spruiker, our John.

good point undecided voter. If you've heard it before and those people have been wrong, that means there will never be a crash in Auckland house prices ever.

Nice one.

Reading the reports out of Canada today it looks like the bubble has burst in Vancouver and panic selling is in full swing.
"Greater Vancouver home sales have fallen 85% in the first half of August to a mere 87, down from 597 homes over the same time last year".

'Panic selling is in full swing' with SALES DOWN TO RECORD LOWS... Genius. No really, people are charging in to the decline with panic sales causing sales volumes to plummet! Weve never seen anything like it sir, these lemmings are selling on mass, in a panic, causing sales volumes to plunge! Jesus Christ, there is such a rush to sell that properties are been withdrawn from the market left right and center, with low sales like this there is only one sure thing, panic selling is in full swing!

Consistent with my observations. This 2Bdr unit is indicative - Its in St Heliers and it went to auction over a month ago. Then price by negotiation at 850K, and now they've lowered the price to 839K. I checked out the open home and was the only one there. That being said the same property was only worth 650 in January this year. its a real roller-coaster at the moment.

Here are the factors affecting the Auckland market as I see it.
(-ve) Increasing restrictions on Chinese getting their money out of the country.
(-ve) More stringent restrictions on Chinese borrowing from NZ banks against Chinese income
(-ve) Imposition of very stringent LVR rules for NZ residents.
(+ve) Canada imposed a 15% foreigner tax. NZ is the only OECD country not to have any restrictions.
(-ve) Vancouver is crashing - if better deals can be had overseas then the Chinese will go there.
(-ve) Anticipated 2017 change in government. New government will likely implement policies which lower property prices.

overall I see more headwinds but that could all change in an instant if capital flows from overseas pick up again.

the survey at the bottom is interesting, if that is local sediment than they are in deep do do
56 % saying its a crash against 18% saying its not

?? "local sediment" ??

So that was triggered by the tax? I assume supply is low there like it is here. What would it take for that to happen here?

Have you had to rethink your whole understanding of the world now, BigDaddy?
Timely.

What's interesting to me about that is that there are still people saying "You can't trust the data" "It's too soon to tell" when the market is clearly collapsing.

Even as it's happening there will be deniers. Fascinating.

I believe around march they were predicting an Auckland price crash based on the figures, then april their was a big rebound in prices. Here we go again, you are just as guilty of making assumptions as those you target. Seasonally adjusted stratified price data is what I want to see.

The problem with crashes/booms is you don't know you're in one, until you're in one i.e. its a retrospective thing

my whole point is in the article on Vancouver, they are clearly IN a crash (24% house price drop in a few months and sale numbers dropped 85%) yet people are still denying that they are in a crash.

I'm not talking about predictions on Auckland.

Yea, that is pretty black and white.
Sure it might not be a long term thing, but those sort of numbers are definitely a sign of short term crash.

The thing with Vancouver is that someone has come along with a spike, the 15%tax, and artificially started the deflation. I guess all eyes are on Vancouver to see what happens next after this deliberate intervention. If it turns ugly other countries won't follow suit.

That's better than a liquidity crisis doing it, though, which is the alternative.

Finally someone drew a straight line on that graph. Looks like its still going in one direction to me. It needs to take a dive for at least 3 or 4 months for it to be "Trending Down"...Oh wait summer is coming. No sign of a crash on the horizon in New Zealand anyway.

C'mon peeps ....keep a drinkin' the kool-aid, we have had 15 years in Awklund of "up, up and away" house prices, so "we" only know they travel, in one direction and that is UP ! ......have heard some vendors now taking their properties off the market though ....totally confused !! (well, I'm not really, the whole Awklund market is just a "ponzi" scheme based on the "greater fool" theory ) ....got out of it March this year ...enjoy the traffic jams folks !!

From Zerohedge today...

And foreign buyers looking to get their money out of harm’s way, and not caring about what price they pay? “Realty bus tours popular with Chinese and Indian buyers are a common sight, with purchases leading to unoccupied investment properties dubbed ‘ghost houses,’” as Bloomberg put it. But China is cracking down on money laundering. And the US government’s anti-money-laundering efforts recently stopped ignoring real estate. So foreign buyers too may be drying up, as the languishing prices indicate.

John Key says that FHB should buy apartments like they do in Australia.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=1170...

If giving advise to follow Australia, why does not he follows and introduce tax on foreign buyers like Australia.

Summer is coming now. Price will go up by 10%. I am just eagerly awaiting for 1.1 million mark in Summer.

"If wishes were horses, beggars would ride"

Who is doing the buying? It's clearly not FHBs

"If wishes were horses, beggars would ride" Time will prove who is beggar!

walked past an estate agent in West Auckland today - over 20 -properties for sale and every single one had a price on it - no auctions - usually a clear indicator that the up up up and away market is over - maybe not a crash - but certainly not boomtime

Not seeing that on TradeMe.

Spring surge expected...the Auckland house prices are about to go bananas!! Check your calendar...it's now SPRING baby yeha - see you at the open homes this weekend ;-)

Just checking the houses in Henderson on TradeMe and I'd say there are more than the usual with asking prices. A graph over time of percentage of houses on TradeMe with asking prices would be interesting.

Houses in Papakura aren't selling

Chinese don't want anything that is in in Papakura, and local investors cannot buy with 40% LVR. And FHB don't have the funds, and those that do, don't want Papakura.

Chinese like Double Grammar Zone and close to the CBD hence why the wealthy ones are concentrating on Epsom/Remuera/Parnell.

This. So I think the top end of the market it still humming while shitters like South Auckland maybe slow down....dunno, im probably wrong, again, tho

if the market turns it is normally the top end that stops selling first.
Those with money have a lot more choices than those that rely on credit so they can wander off to other markets

Currently there looks to be a lot more homes with asking prices in the West and South. In Auckland, over the past year, the outer suburbs actually went up proportionally far more than Central. It's not unusual to see houses fetching 70-100% above CV while Central was more like 20-40%. My prediction is that in a downturn the outer suburbs of Auckland will get hit harder.

That's standard for these things. Just need that downturn to show up sometime.

Downturn has happened in the last couple of months. Now we're expecting a Spring surge...Auckland house prices are about to go bananas!

Is that you Ron?

Hahaha HA! ;-)

Was it a Glovers real estate agent by any chance? They don't do auctions. All houses are listed with an asking price. Many enter a negotiation process however and go for above the stated price.