Spring surge for property market

NICK KRAUSE
Last updated 11:15 06/09/2012

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Property listings for August rose 10 per cent on the previous month, new data shows.

The lift has given the New Zealand property market a healthy kick for spring, but it remains firmly in favour of sellers, the report said.

Data out today in the NZ Property Report, a monthly update of housing market activity compiled by Realestate.co.nz, showed 10,365 new listings on the national market in August, up 10 per cent on the July figures and 2.4 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Auckland in particular has registered another record high average asking price for property, while also falling to the lowest level of inventory on record.

National asking prices remained steady at $430,443, while in the Auckland region the average asking price reached a record of $585,482. It is the highest level recorded in five years and up 8.2 per cent on the same month last year.

The asking price in Wellington and Canterbury fell in August. In Wellington the asking price fell 1.8 per cent to $434,493 and in Canterbury it was down 4.8 per cent to $374,732 - the lowest since January this year. New listings in Wellington in August were down 3.7 per cent at 727. In Canterbury, new listings fell 9.1 per cent to 1026.

In the Waikato, the average asking price in August was up 1.8 per cent on the previous month to $355,707. The number of new listings rose 15 per cent.

Auckland inventory showed a new record low number of unsold houses in August with levels falling to 9858, or just 18 weeks of stock. In Wellington inventory fell 6 per cent to 19.4 weeks while in Canterbury and the Waikato inventory rose 7 per cent to 19.6 weeks and 14 per cent to 39.9 weeks respectively.

National inventory was stable at 30.9 weeks, barely shifting from the previous month, but still well below the long term average of 40 weeks.

"The sellers' market that has persisted for much of this year has not abated, but buyer interest remains high, so the strong level of new listings should provide some healthy selection for spring," said Paul McKenzie, Realestate.co.nz marketing manager.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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