2 Apr 2024

Property listings hit near-decade high as house prices rise slightly

9:30 am on 2 April 2024
For sale sign generic

Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

The level of houses listed for sale is up nearly 30 percent, to levels not seen since 2015.

At the same time prices had gone up by 2.9 percent over the past 12 months, the latest Property Report by Real Estate New Zealand found.

The national average asking price was just under $887,000, up $27,000 from March last year.

Central Otago was the region with the highest average asking price in the country, the report said.

While the West Coast had the lowest average asking price - which surpassed the $500,000 mark last month for only the second time in 17 years.

Realestate.co.nz spokesperson Vanessa Williams told Morning Report the property market was very suppressed in 2023, with eight of the 12 months having the lowest listings on record for that month.

"There were interest rates, cost of living, but also it was an election year and Kiwis don't necessarily like to transact under uncertain times... now that we're sort of out the back of those, while interest rates are still quite high, inflation is coming down and the new governments in place, we've seen that flurry of sellers come onto the market."

Average prices had also been relatively static for 18 months, sitting between $860,000-$890,000, she said.

The lower prices and rule changes from the new government, were seeing investors coming back to the market, Williams said.

"We might see a bit of both; we might see investors looking to keep those properties because now financially they can work with the tax break, or we might also see an increase in supply because of the brightline test dropping back to two years."

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