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New Zealand House Prices Up as Listings Fall

New Zealand house prices were up in August, though the number of property listings fell to the lowest level seen for seven months.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) figures for the month show that while average New Zealand house prices were 5.5 per cent more expensive at $580,000 across the country, the number of listings fell by 3624 to their lowest level in seven months.

Though the average New Zealand house price was up, Auckland prices dipped by 3.5 per cent to an average of $820,000.

Otago house prices in general had shown one of the highest average growth rates over the past five years, at 12.6 per cent, and buyers in Southland have had to content with a huge rise of 29 per cent over the last year, from an average of $240,000 last year to $310,000 this August.

Of the rich-list areas, the North Shore jumped by an annual 8.6 per cent to $999,000, Queenstown-Lakes was slightly down to $995,000, and Wanaka was at $905,000.

At the other end of the spectrum, the cheapest houses in Otago could be found in Clutha, where homes sold on average for $257,600 during August, while the West Coast showed a drop of 6.1 per cent in average prices to $215,000.

Overall sales in the New Zealand house market were down to under 6000 homes sold, off from 6118 in July and 6 per cent less than the 6346 sold last August. Not helped by the extra taxes now levied on purchases of existing New Zealand houses by overseas property investors.

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said the low level of sales ‘was a bit of a surprise, given the strength of July’s figures’.

‘However, an extremely wet August across most parts of the country and the past three months having the lowest number of new listings of any consecutive three months since records began in 2007 look to have been contributing factors.

‘We’re hearing from a number of agents that people are waiting to purchase before they put their own property on the market, which is slowing the whole market down.’

The REINZ figures also show that during August the median number of days nationally to sell a New Zealand house increased by two days to 39 compared with August last year. In Auckland the median number of days to sell a property increased by two days to 44 days.

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