1 May 2024

Housing market sees nationwide downturn in demand

7:18 am on 1 May 2024
For sale sign generic.

Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

The property market has seen a nationwide downturn in demand, new data from realestate.co.nz shows.

The increasing cost-of-living crisis, high interest rates and recessionary pressures have been highlighted as contributing factors.

Realestate.co.nz said in most regions, searches per listing were down as was engagement per listing.

Chief executive Sarah Wood said it indicated a "cooling" of buyer interest and economic uncertainty.

Demand April 2024 realestate.co.nz


"It is a significant shift as most regions have experienced year-on-year demand growth during 2024 until now."

Wood told RNZ's First Up there was a large number of homes for sale and they were staying on the market for longer.

Nationally, there were 33,000 homes for sale - up "significantly" and back to 2015 levels.

Wood said there were a range of reasons - and the drop in consumer confidence had flowed through to the market.

Realestate.co.nz data showed the national average asking price had remained stable since January 2023 at $868,877.

But in Queenstown, which was a popular market, the average asking price was sitting high at $1.6 million, Wood said.

Interest had also picked up in the West Coast.

In the past two years, the regions had "led the charge" and Wood said it was safe to assume people were rethinking their lifestyles post-Covid and moving to regional New Zealand given working from home was more available.

"I can tell you personally we have staff located around the country that we didn't previously have in working from home arrangements, so it makes sense to me."

Wood said she expected to see more of a cooling in the market coming into winter.

"It will be interesting to see how these factors play out for the property market in the coming months."

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