Property market kicks into gear in October

by Alistair Helm in

The property market certainly responded to a long overdue call to restock inventory levels of properties for sale. For the past 18+ months the message has been clear – there is a seller’s market, which has been continually building, and despite the numerous media reports, home owners considering selling seemed to have been overly cautious about responding to this demand from buyers. In October though it seems the response has been heard and the action taken - let's list!

This assessment of the state of the market is provided via the excellent data released each month by in their monthly NZ Property Report. The report is the first data of the month being released in the first few days after month end and provides insight into the supply side of the market – a unique set of data collated as a result of the website hosting close to 100% of all listings by licensed real estate agents.

The data in the report is comprehensive and the charts provide a great insight, as ever though I am keen to explore new methods of presenting the data and as the original author of the NZ Property Report I though I would analyse the data to see how additional representation of the data could help home shoppers better appreciate what is going on. The main perspective I was interested in was how each region of the country was performing as compared to the national trend and each other region. This process lead me to these three charts below which I think ably reflect this desire.

In terms of inventory the national perspective is that inventory levels remain low – they are 16% below the long term average which supports the view that we are experiencing a sellers market. However this is not reflected across all regions. There are 7 regions where inventory is above the long term average making these buyers markets, with Gisborne and Taranaki having considerable inventory based on the current rate of sale. At the other extreme it is very evident to what extent Auckland continues to witness very low inventory and maintain its market situation favouring sellers.

When it comes to new listings the strength across the country is very clear – nationally based on seasonally adjusted data new listings were up 4% in the month with the majority of regions seeing strong rises with only Marlborough being the outlier with a 20% fall in new listings.

In regard to property asking prices the seasonally adjusted asking price for new listings in October rose 4% in October and only 4 regions saw falls in asking price with a very strong surge in Central Otago / Queenstown lakes district as well as Canterbury.

Disclosure of interest in that I used to be CEO of, although I no longer have any affiliation or financial interest in the business – just a passion to see it continue to provide open property data and deliver a great user experience to home shoppers.