4 Jan 2018

NZ-wide house asking prices rise to record high

12:03 pm on 4 January 2018

New Zealanders selling their homes are asking more than ever before, new figures show.

Open home sign at a house for sale in East Auckland

Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

Realestate.co.nz today announced asking prices in December had hit an all-time high across the country.

The average asking price of $660,798 was up 3.8 percent compared to November.

Auckland Council recently issued new valuations for properties - the average home was now worth more than $1 million.

Realestate.co.nz spokesperson Vanessa Taylor said these valuations could have played a part in bumping up the national average.

"Perhaps we're seeing these vendors looking at these valuations and saying perhaps this is what the market is worth, but buyers aren't coming to the party."

She said although new listings in Auckland for the month of December were down, the total housing stock was up 26.1 percent because homes were not selling as fast.

"In the Auckland market for the first time since 2011 we have seen a shift into a buyers market."

Ms Taylor said it was still early days but Auckland generally set the trend for the rest of the country.

"Auckland, being the volume that it has, is always the first place to see a bit of a trend happening," she said.

"Back in 2014/2015 the rise in the Auckland market started first and started that wave that then filtered out through the big regions - so Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury and Waikato - so it will be very interesting to watch this space."

"This is the first month we have had seen the shift from a buyers market to a sellers' market, so it will be interesting to see if that continues through to February and March and also then whether the other big cities then follow suit."

Sellers in the Central Otago Lakes region, which includes Queenstown and Wanaka, were asking well above the national house-price average, at $984,719 in December.

Ms Taylor said a sellers market in the area last month - where only 216 houses were listed - may have contributed to the asking price going up.

Other regions also increased their average asking prices significantly on this time last year.

Nelson and Bays was up 11.3 percent to $618,712, Marlborough up 10 percent to $479,288, West Coast up 8.7 percent to $265,396, Southland up 6.3 percent to $309,174 and Wairarapa up 5.4 percent to $429,488.

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