9 Feb 2023

Vendors ride wave of optimism with asking prices despite house prices falling

6:55 am on 9 February 2023
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Sellers' asking prices were up by $12.5 billion last year compared with 2021, a property website says. (file image) Photo: 123RF

Falling property prices and a drop in houses available for sale have not deterred sellers demanding top dollar for their houses.

Data based on all listings on the property website realestate.co.nz showed an 11 percent increase in sellers' asking prices last year compared with 2021, or $12.5 billion.

Auckland was the only region where the sum of asking prices decreased 6.7 percent over the year, while Canterbury asking prices more than doubled.

Realestate chief executive Sarah Wood said the numbers showed the disconnect between what sellers wanted and where their market was headed.

"Average asking prices have trended downwards over the last 12 months, but we are hearing from agents that many sellers are still expecting prices above where the market is in their region."

A raft of housing market reports have catalogued the decline in house prices over the past year with forecasts that the decline has further to go.

Wood said prices had dropped in two out of every five houses listed last year, well above 2021's level.

"This reflects the state of the current market and the requirement for vendors to price their property based on what the market is willing to pay," she said.

The number of listings on the website fell 4.7 percent last year to 103,000, which reflected the uncertainty that had arisen amid falling prices, rising interest rates, difficulty in getting finance, and inflation.

"As a result, some people may have held off on listing their property for sale, which is not uncommon when the economic environment is in flux," Wood said.

However, based on past history, the market would rebound some day, she said.

"If you wait long enough, we will be talking about skyrocketing prices when the cycle swings around again."

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