Harcourts MarketWatch August 2013
The statistics from New Zealand’s largest real estate group Harcourts show, at current levels of sales, the country only has enough property on the market to last for 4.2 months. This is significantly down on the same time last year when there was enough stock for 6.9 months.
Overall there are 12% fewer properties for sale than there were in July 2012, however written volumes of sales are up by 13.1% across New Zealand, meaning houses are selling fast and leaving the market hungry for more.
Auckland (-10.2%) and Christchurch (-22.6%) remain the worse affected by low levels of stock, but the Central Region (-6.9%), Wellington (-8.3%) and South Island Provincial (-9.3%) are not far behind.
We are seeing prices up across the board. Although Auckland prices are up by 10% this month compared with last July, overall since March 2013 there has been a clear levelling of prices. In July the average sales price was $615,493, compared with $614,041 in March – a mere 0.3% variation over the past five months.
It remains evident low supply is the issue which needs to be resolved to ensure an overall settling of house prices. The expected introduction of loan-to-value ratio restrictions by the Reserve Bank will not address this, but will instead penalise first home buyers already struggling to enter the market. Those who can afford to pay more will continue to do so.