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Property listings surge, record prices - report

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Fuseworks Media
Property listings surge, record prices - report

The New Zealand property market is finally responding to the ongoing demand for homes, with a surge of new listings arriving on the market in February, along with a new record high for asking prices, says Realestate.co.nz.

Data released today in the NZ Property Report - a monthly report of housing market activity compiled by Realestate.co.nz - showed the seasonally adjusted national average asking price for new properties hit $426,575 in February, which 3% up on the same time last year, This is the highest asking price ever recorded in the five years since Realestate.co.nz started tracking the market data.

The report also showed 13,459 new listings of property for sale came on to the market in February representing a 58% rise from the previous month, and an 18% increase on the number of new listings at the same time last year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, listings are up 14% from January 2012.

Alistair Helm, CEO of Realestate.co.nz, says that the concurrent rise in new listings and asking prices indicated sellers were finally responding to the ongoing high demand for property, as the market has continued to lean in their favour.

"Since the demand for property has not slowed, it's almost surprising that we have not seen the increase in asking price until now. However, with sales continuing to remain strong and inventory falling yet again in February to 36 weeks, sellers are clearly raising their expectations."

Helm says that record high asking prices were seen in Canterbury and the Central North Island, while the rest of the country remained fairly stable, both for asking price and inventory.

"We are seeing the market find some level ground in many regions, as they edge closer to the long term average of 41 weeks of inventory. This suggested there is a better balance returning to the market in some areas. However, shortages are persisting in the major cities of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch."

Helm says that these pockets of shortages will most likely continue to prompt more sellers to list in the coming months, while the market clearly remains in their favour.

Realestate.co.nz is the country's most comprehensive property listing website profiling listings of licensed real estate agents with more than 110,000 real estate listings covering residential, commercial, business and farms for sale.

The latest issue of the NZ Property Report, covering February 2012, plus more analysis of the property market can be found on www.unconditional.co.nz, the news and information website for New Zealand real estate.

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