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December property listings hit four-year low

Media Release
December property listings hit four-year low as asking prices continue to drop

Housing glut eases as market relaxes into summer

AUCKLAND, 1 January, 2011 – As New Zealanders welcome in the New Year, the housing market has registered an easing of pressure on its inventory, with the lowest number of new listings added in a single month, and a drop in the average price.

Data released today in the latest NZ Property Report – a monthly report of market activity compiled by Realestate.co.nz – shows the number of new property listings coming onto the market in December reached just 8,924; a 14 percent drop from the same month last year, and the lowest number on record since Realestate.co.nz began tracking the statistics four years ago. (The previous low was 9.371, recorded in December 2008.)

The truncated mean asking price for the new listings added in December also fell slightly from the previous month to $415,750, from $417,660. Inventory, which peaked in November at 53.2 weeks, fell to 50.1 weeks in December.

Alistair Helm, CEO of Realestate.co.nz says the low level of new listings will naturally ease some of the pressure on inventory of unsold houses, which have risen for six consecutive months.

“December is a traditionally a low listings month as vendors are keen to list either before the Christmas season by bringing property to the market in October and November or leaving it until the summer season listing in January through March.

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“While there is still a high level of inventory of unsold houses, a component of this stock are houses that have been on the market for a number of months and have an asking price expectation above the market level,” says Mr Helm.

Mr Helm believes the figures continue to be good news for homebuyers, as they indicate that the market is not seeing any pressure for prices to increase; “The current asking price is still 3 percent below the peak of the market in October 2007.”

Mr Helm says the property market witnessed a strong level of transaction activity in November when sales rose to 5,138.

“If this level of buying were to continue into the summer period it could quickly lead to some pressure on the supply of available property to buy, especially if this low level of new listings continues,” says Mr Helm.

Realestate.co.nz is the country’s most comprehensive property listing website with more than 120,000 real estate listings covering residential, commercial, business and farms for sale. The latest issue of the NZ Property Report, covering December, plus more analysis of the property market can be found on www.unconditional.co.nz, the news and information website for New Zealand real estate.

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