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New listings growth seen as buyer interest surges

MEDIA RELEASE

New listings growth seen as buyer interest surges to record high

AUCKLAND, 3 February 2014 – Record traffic numbers to Realestate.co.nz’s various sites indicate a current increase in buyer interest and demand for homes. Over 1.65 million visitors browsed for property in January on their sites (Source: Google Analytics).

A healthy flow of new listings has brought some reprieve from last month’s seven-year record low of 8,010. Thirteen of the 19 regions have seen a year-on-year increase in listings. 9,267 new listings came on the market – up 4.7% from January 2013, and up 15.7% from December 2013. January 2014 saw the highest number of new listings for a January month since 2010.

The Coromandel region saw the most significant increase in listings of all the 13 regions reporting higher listings, up 39.8% compared to last year. Noteworthy listing increases also occurred in Central North Island, where listings climbed by 29% and Waikato, where a 24.8% increase was seen.

Average asking prices for properties are up across the country, with record asking prices recorded in Canterbury and Otago, being $449,149 and $304,720 respectively. The national asking price grew again in January, to $476,797, from the fall seen in December, nearing the national record asking prices from October 2013.

In the other main centres, both Auckland and Wellington reported increases in average asking price this month compared to the end of 2013. Auckland’s asking price is sitting just below the record set in October last year, rising 1 per cent compared to last month, to $663,372. Wellington’s asking price rose 4.2 per cent to $463,912.

Eleven regions witnessed asking price falls. Most significant falls were recorded in Central Otago/Lakes, falling 9.2% to $619,516 and Wairarapa, falling 7.2% to $265,828.

The data released today by Realestate.co.nz shows that inventory has recovered to 26.8 weeks of stock. This level of stock hasn’t been seen in equivalent since April last year. While this inventory increase was seen in 13 of the 19 regional markets, Paul McKenzie, Realestate.co.nz marketing manager says “the market remains firmly a seller’s market with inventory remaining well below the long-term average of 37 weeks of equivalent sales”. The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of January (40,219) was up from 38,804 compared to December 2013.

“Trend-wise, we expect to see a significant increase in new property listings next month” says McKenzie.

Historical data indicates new property listings peak in February/March and then again in October.

“It will be interesting to see how site traffic numbers are affected with a predicted rise in new property listings,” said McKenzie.

- ENDS -

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