A four-year slump in housing stock has left Auckland home buyers short, something an economist predicts could lead to price rises.
Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said June was a particularly slow month for the business. Not since August 2007 had the agency had so few properties for sale. Barfoot had 5067 properties on its books at the end of last month.
ASB's Jane Turner predicted Auckland's housing market could jump back into life. Low listing numbers usually squeezed prices up. "Inventory has now fallen to below average levels, which typically sees the balance of supply and demand shift in favour of sellers. We expect house prices in Auckland will start to rise in coming months as a result.
"The REINZ housing data, released some time next week, will provide a better insight into house price movements over June."
Demand for housing in Auckland had picked up ahead of the rest of the country, but turnover had hovered around the same levels for months, suggesting the recovery in housing demand was not gaining any big momentum, she said.
The supply of housing on the market was becoming tight and was likely to add to house-price inflation pressures in the coming months.
Thompson said some people were not confident enough to list their houses for sale. "There is a high level of demand for properties, but lack of confidence in the future of the economy is creating a natural break on the willingness of owners and buyers to commit to moving."