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Number of homes for sale hits four year low

Number of homes for sale hits four year low in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch

Sellers’ market continues as number of new listings fails to meet demand

Auckland, 1 February, 2012 – The number of homes for sale in New Zealand’s three largest cities has fallen to its lowest level in four years, according to data released today by Realestate.co.nz.

The NZ Property Report – a monthly report of housing market activity compiled by Realestate.co.nz – revealed today that just 8,542 new listings came on to the market in January 2012, which although is 3% up on the same time last year, is not keeping pace with buyer demand.

Alistair Helm, CEO for Realestate.co.nz, said that while January is always a slower month for new listings, strong sales in the main centres have pushed demand far ahead of supply, leading to the record low levels of inventory.

“The last three months has seen just over 30,000 new listings come on the market, which is equal to the same time period last year, yet sales are up 22%. With the three major cities leading the trend, the market has tightened even further in most regions across the country.”

In January, Auckland’s inventory fell to 23.6 weeks, Wellington’s fell to 21.6 and Christchurch fell to 21.7. Nationally overall inventory dropped to 36.4 weeks, which is down 25% on the same month last year, and still well below the long-term average of 41 weeks.

The average asking price for homes again remained steady, down just 1% to at $417,740 – in seasonally adjusted terms – which Mr Helm says shows sellers are not stretching price expectations of buyers as yet.

“As has been the trend for months now, sellers continue to have the upper hand in the market, but the market is still setting the price.”

Realestate.co.nz is the country’s most comprehensive property listing website profiling listings of licensed real estate agents with more than 110,000 real estate listings covering residential, commercial, business and farms for sale.

The latest issue of the NZ Property Report, covering January 2012, 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.

ENDS

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