The number of homes now available for sale in New Zealand has dropped to its lowest point since January 2008, as continuing high demand and a shortage of new listings have tightened the property market even further.
Data released today in the NZ Property Report - a monthly report of housing market activity compiled by Realestate.co.nz - revealed that in June national inventory of homes for sale dropped below 30 weeks for the first time in four years to 29.8, far below the long term average of 41 weeks.
Alistair Helm, CEO of Realestate.co.nz, says the ever steepening drop in inventory that has been registering in almost every region for the past six months has now reached a critical point, overwhelmingly leaning the market in favour of sellers across the nation.
"Sales of homes are up 20% year on year, but the numbers of new listings just haven't kept pace, so demand continues to outstrip supply. Each of the key regions - Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury - registered some of their lowest levels of inventory on record in June, simply because buyers have been so active," says Helm.
However, Helm says buyer demand has also now pushed inventory in regions from Waikato, Hawkes Bay and the Wairarapa to Otago, West Coast, and Queenstown to levels well below their long-term averages.
"With inventory levels so low, not one region of New Zealand can now be described a buyer's market, even though buyer demand is what's driving the market activity."
Inventory is measured by the projected number of weeks it would take to clear existing stock of unsold homes on the market, matched to the longer term average based on five years of seasonally adjusted data.
Helm says while the pre-winter surge of new listings that was registered in May tailed off a little in June, with levels falling 16% from the previous month to 9,689, it has not been significant enough to boost inventory in the face of the high demand.
He also says that while the high demand for homes helped push average asking prices up to record levels last month, seller expectations balanced out somewhat in June, with the seasonally adjusted average price falling slightly to $424,315.
"It will be interesting to see how the ongoing demand for property affects asking prices over the remaining winter months. Although it's been cold, home hunters are still on the trail of hot property and that will no doubt continue to be on sellers' minds."
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 June 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.
Popular competitions and giveaways from Gimme.co.nz: NZ's People Powered Guide to Free Stuff. Links will open on Gimme.
Join Voxy on Google+.
Compare Credit Cards - Interest rate and fees comparisons for New Zealand banks.