3 Oct 2022

House asking prices dropping $10k per month on average - report

10:53 am on 3 October 2022
Christchurch based housing

Property prices have fallen dramatically since January. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

New figures show the national average asking price for houses has continued to decline.

Major property website realestate.co.nz reported asking prices have fallen 7.2 percent since January, when the average hit a record high of over $1m.

Spokesperson Vanessa Williams said asking prices have decreased by about $10,000 per month across the motu to $921,187 in September.

Real Estate national average

Photo: Supplied / Realestate.co.nz

But Southland bucked the trend, with the average there hitting a 15-year high of just over $542,000 last month, Williams said.

She thought less housing supply may be behind the increase.

"Southland had one of the lower increases in stock. So when you look at the number of homes available in the Southland region, there was only 346 homes available.

"While that was still an increase on last year by about 35 percent, it wasn't double the amount of homes that we're seeing in some other regions.

"Northland, as an example, is up 106 percent and Taranaki is up 118 percent [on last September's figures]."

Stock levels were up year-on-year in all regions during September 2022, with ten regions seeing stock more than double and another four regions increasing by more than 85 percent, Williams continued.

Last month, 7881 homes were listed on the realestate.co.nz website, a 12 percent increase on September 2021.

Average asking price

Photo: Supplied / Realestate.co.nz

The findings were unsurprising, she noted.

"What I will remind people is that quite a lot of the country was still in lockdown [last year], certainly through August and into September, which did hinder the ability [for people] to pop on listings."

The number of national listings was still down on pre-pandemic levels, with more than 1000 more homes for sale in September 2019 than last month.

Williams said the market's cooling may signal it is returning back to a pre-pandemic state.

Even if the national price continues to trend downwards until Christmas, it will still sit at the same level as midway through last year, when the record national price was just under $900,000, she confirmed.

The West Coast was the most cost-effective region in the country, where the average asking house price was around $431,000.

Though interest rates were predicted to rise further Williams did not believe New Zealanders' "passion for property" would change a great deal.

"We've had [interest rates] so low for so long that we sometimes forget there is a bit of a normalisation that is going to happen," she said. "We're nowhere near where we were in the '80s."

A levelling out of asking prices meant a different subset of buyers were able to come into the market, she said.

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