BAD NEWS FOR BUYERS: HOUSING STOCK AT RECORD LOWS
There’s no end in sight to the housing shortage, with new data showing the number of houses available for sale nationwide fell to a 13-year low in December.
Realestate.co.nz’s latest market report had just 12,932 homes available for purchase in New Zealand at the end of December, which is 29.1 per cent less than at the same time last year.
It also had housing stock down year-on-year in almost every region in New Zealand during December, with 16 of the 19 regions hitting all-time lows since records began 13 years ago.
Only Auckland, Gisborne and Central Otago/Lakes avoided record stock lows, but all three regions had their stock down year-on-year.
Realestate.co.nz spokesperson Vanessa Taylor said the lack of stock created a significant mismatch in supply and demand and would continue to prove challenging for buyers at the beginning of 2021.
“This is a long-term factor impacting the New Zealand market and the number of Kiwis returning from overseas, combined with low mortgage rates and lack of international travel, are only adding to the demand for property.”
While stock remains in short supply, new listings were up by 19.2 per cent year-on-year in December.
It was promising to see pockets of new listings coming on to the market across the country, but the increase was predominantly in the main urban major centres, Taylor said.
Of the 6592 properties that were listed in December 2020, more than half were in Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury. Auckland had the biggest increase with a 52 per cent rise in new listings.
That means buyers in regional New Zealand were still faced with little choice at the moment, said Taylor.
Realestate.co.nz’s data also showed the national average asking price was up by 13.6 per cent year-on-year to $799,190, as compared to $703,780 in December 2019.
However, the national average asking price remained stable month-on-month with a marginal 0.3 per cent rise on November 2020.
Nine of the regions had year-on-year average asking price increases, with Bay of Plenty and Central North Island recording all-time high prices of $780,475 (up 8.1 per cent) and $685,044 (up 38.8 per cent) respectively.
Taylor said there was still a lot of competition in the market and she expected this would continue to drive strong prices in the first quarter of 2021.
New Zealand’s ongoing shortage of housing stock is considered to be one of the primary factors behind the runaway prices currently being seen across the market.
The situation has become a political football, particularly in light of recent predictions of double-digit price growth over 2021 from ASB, BNZ and Westpac economists.