More sellers gain confidence to provide for housing demand

Homeowners are increasing the supply of houses on the market for eager buyers. Riverdale in Palmerston North has its share of turnover.
DAVID UNWIN/Stuff
Homeowners are increasing the supply of houses on the market for eager buyers. Riverdale in Palmerston North has its share of turnover.

House sellers as well as buyers have been showing signs of not wanting to miss out on the housing boom in the past year, with Manawatū-Whanganui seeing one of the highest increases in housing stock.

Real Estate figures in the New Zealand Property Report show the number of properties available was up 29.7 per cent in the year to the end of December.

Manawatū/Whanganui had the second-highest increase, of 133.7 percent, behind only Wellington, up more than 206.6 per cent.

Spokeswoman for realestate.co.nz Vanessa Williams said it was heartening to see more houses becoming available.

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“Buyers across the country have more choice coming into 2020.

“This could mean less fear of missing out, and perhaps even more properties hitting the market.

“If sellers are confident that they’ll be able to purchase after they sell, we could see this number continue to climb.”

The national average asking price hit a 14-year record high in December of $985,245, although that was below CoreLogic figures which showed the average value of a New Zealand home had tipped over $1 million for the first time.

The realestate.co.nz figure for asking prices in Manawatū/Whanganui was $671,958, a 27.2 per cent increase in a year.

Houses are selling fast in Palmerston North and the greater Whanganui/Manawatū region.
DAVID UNWIN/Stuff
Houses are selling fast in Palmerston North and the greater Whanganui/Manawatū region.

Williams said more houses being listed would usually result in some cooling of prices, but that was not happening yet.

She said December was a usually quiet month for the property market, but the number of listings was still up 5.6 per cent on December a year ago.

In Manawatū/Whanganui, new listings for December were up 22.8 per cent on the same time a year ago, second only to Wairarapa which saw 25.7 per cent more listings than the December before.

Williams said it had been a seller’s market for about a decade, and it was still a long way from turning in buyers’ favour.

Williams said sales data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand and the company’s own stock data about how long it took for properties to sell gave no indication prices would dip any time soon.