The housing market appears to be bouncing back from its winter lows with a 16.4% jump in new listings on Realestate.co.nz in August.
The property website listed 8739 additional properties for sale in August compared with 7508 in July, suggesting the market bottomed out in July and vendors are starting to gear up for the usual spring surge.
August's new listing figures were almost unchanged from August last year when the website attracted 8729 new listings, suggesting the market could be holding a steady course and following normal seasonal trends.
The improvement in new listings in August compared to July was evident in all parts of the country except the Coromandel and Taranaki, where new listings were down slightly.
The spring bounce was particularly strong in the main centres with August's new listings in the Wellington region up 26.6% compared to July, followed by Auckland up 22.7% and Canterbury up 17.8%.
The total number of homes available for sale on the website was relatively stable, with total stock of 21,207 properties for sale throughout the country at the end of August, down by 0.38% compared to July and down 1.6% compared to August last year.
But there were significant regional variations, with total stock levels up strongly in the Waikato up 12.6%, Nelson & Bays up 18.6%, and Canterbury up 11.7%, and smaller rises in Auckland up 1.1% and Bay of Plenty up 0.8% compared to August last year, while stock levels were down in all other regions compared to a year ago (see chart below for the full regional figures).
The national average asking price also bounced back from $635,020 in July to $652,894 in August, ending three consecutive months of declines, but remained below the record high of $673,659 achieved in February.
Queenstown Lakes retained its title as the most expensive place in the country with an average asking price of $977,901 in August, compared to Auckland's average asking price of $932,708.
August was the fourth month in a row that the average asking price has increased in Queenstown Lakes, but it remains below its record high of $1,088,209 set in December last year.