The New Zealand property market tightened further in November as ongoing high demand from buyers drove inventory levels of property for sale to a five year low, while asking prices registered another record high.
According to data released today in the NZ Property Report, inventory - which is measured by the number of weeks it would theoretically take to sell all unsold housing stock on the market - fell to 28.7 weeks in November (seasonally adjusted); a 29% drop from the same month last year, and well below the long term average of 39 weeks.
The drop was felt most keenly in Auckland, where inventory has fallen to just 15.5 weeks; its lowest level since Realestate.co.nz began collecting the data in 2007. This is half the long term average of 31 weeks, while also 20% down on the previous month and 43% down on November 2011.
Paul McKenzie, Marketing Manager for Realestate.co.nz, says that following a strong month of sales in October which saw 6,640 properties change hands (according to REINZ Residential Market Statistics), numbers of new listings from vendors are not keeping pace with buyer demand.
"Numbers of new listings are traditionally up at this time of year, and November was no exception, with 13,571 new listings arriving on the market," says McKenzie.
"However, as has been the case for much of this year, such low levels of inventory place the market firmly in seller’s favour. This has been reflected once again in the average asking price this month, which has topped October’s record high to register a new high of $446,277."
Mr McKenzie says that while sellers still have the upper hand, the message clearly coming from this activity is that there are still plenty of buyers keen to get into the property market.
"This eagerness to buy is matched by the availability of attractive mortgage packages, but is not being met with a sufficient supply of new property listings, which is continuing to drive the current sellers market. From this, we can anticipate that the market will remain tight for the foreseeable future."
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 November 2012 issue of the NZ Property Report - a monthly report of housing market activity compiled by Realestate.co.nz - can be found along with more analysis of the property market on www.unconditional.co.nz, the news and information website for New Zealand real estate.
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