Sharp rise in December Auckland property listings, but prices remain steady
Auckland saw a sharp rise in new properties coming to market in December, defying a national slump in sales listings.
New listings of Auckland properties added to Realestate.co.nz were up 12.9 per cent on December last year, said the web business' chief executive Brendon Skipper.
"Clearly there is still strong interest in the Auckland property market with many people still thinking it is a good time to sell and not being influenced by the festive season."
The average asking price in Auckland was $949,888, he said, barely up on the previous month.
In all there were 2070 new properties listed in Auckland in December.
Skipper said Auckland was still playing catch-up with inventory levels low, meaning there was still a relatively small number of properties listed for sale compared to 2012/13.
December was typically a quiet time for real estate in Auckland because agents were reluctant to hold auctions over the holidays, and auctions remain the chosen means of selling places in the city, Skipper said.
Many of the new listings may be being placed by sellers readying themselves for the coming year, including listings by developers of properties that are yet to be built.
Auckland was also a city of many cultures, some of which do not celebrate Christmas, though Skipper could not say whether that was having any effect on sellers' willingness to list properties in December.
Skipper said Auckland remained a seller's market, but he added that buyer demand had been easing.
While Auckland saw a sharp rise in December listings compared to last year, the opposite was true in many places.
New property listings in Waikato were down 13.8 per cent on December last year.
In Bay of Plenty they were down down 12.5 per cent.
In Wellington the decline was 20.2 per cent while Canterbury down 25.5 per cent and Otago down 9 per cent.
Skipper said Wellington's decline may have been partially a result of the earthquakes that have shaken the city.
The price expectations of sellers continues to rise in most places, though there were declines in the average asking price compared to November in Nelson, the West Coast, Otago Lakes, Hawkes Bay, Wellington, Marlborough, Canterbury and Bay of Plenty.
Despite that, Skipper said the national average asking price had inched up to an all-time high of $617,847.
The average asking price in Auckland went up 0.3 per cent in December compared with the previous month.
"Gisborne went up 12 per cent to $328,107, while neighbouring Hawke's Bay went off the boil, down nearly 8 per cent to $373,169," he said.
"Other upward movers were Southland which gained 8.2 per cent to $277,476, and Coromandel, up nearly 7 per cent at $684,927."
The biggest drop came in the Marlborough region, down nearly 9 per cent to $435,297.
"Overall, there are more regions going up in asking price than down, and the trend appears to be towards higher prices, albeit at a slowing rate" Skipper said.