House asking prices hit new high

CLAIRE ROGERS
Last updated 11:43 03/12/2012
house real estate sale
PROPERTY MARKET: Asking prices for properties hit a new high last month, up 6 per cent on the same time last year.

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Asking prices for properties hit a new record high last month as the stock of unsold homes on the market hit a five-year low, according to industry website Realestate.co.nz.

The average asking price last month rose to $446,277 - breaking October's record high of $445,529 and up six per cent on November last year.

Inventory - the number of weeks it would take to sell all unsold housing stock on the market - sunk to a seasonally adjusted 28.7 weeks. That was a five-year low, a 29 per cent fall on November last year and far below the long term average of 39 weeks.

Inventory in Auckland plunged to 15.5 weeks - the lowest level since the site began collecting data in 2007.

Realestate.co.nz marketing manager Paul McKenzie said new listings were not keeping pace with demand.

There were 6640 residential properties sold in October, up 33 per cent on a year ago, but listings in November - which totalled 13,571 - were only up 1.5 per cent year on year.

Low inventory levels meant sellers had the upper hand in the market - which would remain tight for the foreseeable future.

That was not deterring buyers though, with plenty keen to enter the market, he said. ''This eagerness to buy is matched by the availability of attractive mortgage packages.''

While the seasonally adjusted national mean asking price rose 0.2 per cent month on month to $446.277, the main centres all saw mean asking prices drop off in November.

The mean asking price in Auckland fell 2.5 per cent to $596,759, Wellington fell 4.2 per cent to $431,259 and Canterbury slipped 2 per cent to $405,913.

Ten regions, including Nelson, Marlborough and Taranaki, reported an increase in asking prices, with five seeing increases about five per cent.

Asking prices fell in nine regions, with three seeing falls greater than five per cent: Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa. 

Realestate.co.nz has more than 110,000 listings from licensed real estate agents.

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