This could be a difficult summer for the real estate industry, particularly in Auckland, with the number of homes being listed for sale well down on this time last year.
Property website Realestate.co.nz received 10,778 new residential property listings in October, which was down 8.4% compared to October last year.
More importantly, it was the lowest number of new listings the website has received in the month of October since its records began in 2007.
Compared to last year new listings were down in most parts of the country, the exceptions being Hawke's Bay, Manawatu/Whanganui, Nelson & Bays, Marlborough and West Coast, where new listing numbers were unchanged or rose slightly compared to October last year.
In most places that has led to a reduction in inventory levels (the total amount of stock listed as available for sale).
That means there was less total stock available for sale on Realestate.co.nz at the end of October this year than there was at the end of October last year in Northland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Central North Island, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, Taranaki, Manawatu/Whanganui, Marlborough, Otago, West Coast and Southland.
If those conditions persist through the summer months, the supply of properties for sale in those districts could be on the tight side, and unless there is a unexpected drop in demand or increase in interest rates or some other financial shock, prices in those districts should remain firm.
However compared to October last year, inventory levels were up in Auckland, Waikato, Nelson, Canterbury and Central Otago, which means potential buyers in those areas now have a greater choice of properties than they did at this time last year.
That trend is particularly pronounced in Auckland, where there were 8465 residential properties available for sale on Realestate.co.nz at the end of October, up 17.4% compared to the same time last year.
That is the most Auckland properties that have been available for sale on the website in the month of October since 2012.
With the Auckland market already in a sales slump, the growing mountain of properties for sale in the region is likely to put further downward pressure on the market.
And the increase in inventory levels in Waikato, Wellington and Canterbury could turn the heat down a notch or two in those markets as well.
So in one way or another, this could be a difficult summer for the residential property market.