Buyer’s Market Gaps: Number of Homes For Sale Doubles

Buyers have more choices and can take their time through the process.

Kathryn George / Stuff

Buyers have more choices and can take their time through the process.

New data from property listings website Realestate.co.nz indicates that although many parts of the country are now a ‘buyer’s market’, there are no signs of an impending property crash.

Realestate.co.nz reports that the number of homes available for sale has increased steadily since the middle of last year.

In July last year, there were 12,684 on the market. By the end of July this year, that figure had risen to 26,358.

Eleven regions had at least twice the housing stock this year compared to last year, including Hawkes Bay, Nelson and Bays, Wellington, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Central North Island, Manawatu/Whanganui, Wairarapa and Northland.

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“Throughout 2021, we saw record high housing inventory month after month, which would have created challenges for buyers and increased urgency in the market,” spokeswoman Vanessa Williams said.

“But in recent months, New Zealand has seen levels of housing stock not seen since 2019. This has created a stable and less urgent environment for buyers, giving them time to think about their purchase, their offer and organize the necessary inspections. ”

Williams said Wellington, Auckland, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne had become “buyers’ markets”, while Otago, Waikato, Manawatu/Wanganui, Nelson and Bays and Bay of Plenty showed signs of shifting in favor of buyers.

Hawkes Bay recorded the largest increase in registrations.

Auckland had 83% more enrollment than a year earlier and Canterbury 98.5%.

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“Several factors, including total housing stock, new listings and current sales rate, contribute to market sentiment. In recent years, we have experienced high demand and a lack of supply for housing, which has driven up prices and put the power in the hands of the seller,” she said.

“But the market started to change. We have seen a record number of council consents to build new homes and buyer FOMO (fear of missing out) has declined. The balance has tipped; buyers now have the advantage.

But she said it looked like the market was flattening, rather than heading towards a “bubble burst” scenario.

“Because the market surprised us in 2020 and 2021 with record high inventory and record asking prices, we may be expecting surprises to keep coming. For example, some reports suggest the market is swinging a extreme to the other. But our data doesn’t reflect that,” she said.

The national average asking price is now $942,961, up from $1 million in January.

Asking prices fell most sharply in Taranaki and the central North Island, down 9.1% and 8.5% year-on-year, respectively.

“Although the housing stock is growing and buyers are choosing more carefully, the fact remains that many Kiwis are in the market ready to buy a home. It’s a Kiwi dream.

“So while sellers may need to adjust their selling strategy to respond to changing market conditions, in most cases if you market your property well, buyers will be ready and waiting to make an offer. “

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