Property editor of the NZ Herald

Winter puts the chill on Auckland property listings

As if low interest rates and record immigration numbers were not enough, now winter is biting into Auckland's stretched housing markets. Photo / Michael Craig
As if low interest rates and record immigration numbers were not enough, now winter is biting into Auckland's stretched housing markets. Photo / Michael Craig

As if low interest rates and record immigration numbers were not enough, now winter is biting into Auckland's stretched housing markets.

Chris Kennedy, chief executive of New Zealand's largest real estate agency network Harcourts, has expressed concern about extremely low Auckland and Northland listing volumes, down 17.6 per cent on the same period last year.

That is due to the cooler weather because winter is traditionally a time when fewer people list houses for sale - which in turn depresses stock which buyers have to chose from, which then pushes up prices.

Kennedy said only a little more than two months of stock was available.

"There are currently 1475 houses for sale on Harcourts' books in Auckland and Northland. At current levels of sale, with no further new listings, this would be enough to last 2.3 months," a statement from him said.

"As the weather's cooled off, so have the number of new vendors listing their homes for sale," Kennedy said.

Only 708 properties in Auckland and Northland were listed with Harcourts last month, compared to 745 in June last year.

The number of new auction listings fell 16.2 per cent, from 357 last June to just 299 last month.

"Low stock levels continue to be the main driver in pushing prices up," he said.

NIWA reported the wettest June hour across Auckland late last month, leaving motorists stranded in their cars, workers trapped in a building and many houses and businesses flooded.

However, in other parts of New Zealand the ski season is delayed and warmer than usual temperatures have been reported.

Snow is likely these school holidays, with the MetService forecasting an approaching front to bring a wintery blast to many parts of the country.

Kennedy's comments come as the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand is about to release its national sales data for June, revealing what happened last month with prices and volumes.

He indicated buyers were becoming increasingly desperate to find a place because if they were looking during the coldest months, they were likely to be extremely keen.

"Those buyers that are out there looking at this time of the year tend to be highly motivated. And with dropping stock levels, there is plenty of competition that can only lead to great results for vendors," he said.

Harcourts' average house prices for Auckland and Northland was $826,045 last June but hit $909,733 last month, up 10 per cent annually.

Harcourts has 190 agencies and more than 1900 sales consultants throughout New Zealand.

- NZ Herald

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