Good news for house buyers: Options double in some areas

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Good news for buyers: Realestate.co.nz data shows there are now 30 per cent more houses on the market than in December 2020, or 4000 more properties listed for sale.

Wellington had the biggest increase in properties for sale, at 206.6 per cent year-on-year in December. It was followed by Manawatu-Whanganui at 133.7 per cent, Wairarapa at 111.8 per cent and Hawke’s Bay at 107.4 per cent.

Auckland was up 30.7 per cent and Canterbury 54.4 per cent.

Compared to a year earlier, only Northland had fewer properties for sale, down 1.7 per cent.

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Spokeswoman Vanessa Williams said it seemed the market was becoming more palatable for buyers.

“Buyers across the country have more choice coming into 2022. This could mean less FOMO (fear of missing out) and perhaps even more properties hitting the market,” she said. “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 was $985,245 in December, up 23.4 per cent on a year earlier. Hawke’s Bay had the biggest increase, up 36.9 per cent.

Ross Giblin/Stuff

Wellington had a significant increase in availble houses for sale.

“Typically, more stock would result in cooling prices because buyers have more choice, but we haven’t seen that happen yet,” Williams said. “If stock continues its upward trend into 2022, it’ll be fascinating to watch the impact on asking prices.”

There was a 5.6 per cent increase in listings in December. Wairarapa had the biggest increase, with 25.7 per cent more listings.

“December is usually a “short” month for the property market–Kiwis are winding down for the holidays, so we usually only see activity to the middle of the month,” Williams said. “But with significant restrictions still in place in December, it was heartening to see vendors active right up until the festive break.”

But she said the country was still some way from being a buyer’s market.

Williams said Realestate.co.nz could measure that by looking at the inventory of stock available compared to long-term averages.

At the current rate of sales, Wellington’s available stock would sell out in nine weeks, compared to a long-term average of 15. Auckland would sell in 14, compared to a long-term average of 22 and Canterbury in seven compared to a long-term average of 22.