November tends to herald the last month for listing property prior to the Christmas break and this year shows the traditional seasonal rise in listings. However the steady growth in listings seen over the past 3 months have begun to outpace the rate of sales of property across the country leading to a further growth in inventory levels in November – taking the equivalent of stock on the market to 36 weeks.
That is to say, based on the current rate of sale, it would take 36 weeks (8.3 months) to clear all the stock. The lowest point of this property cycle was reached in June when inventory reached a low of 31.5 weeks (7.3 months) – since then it has grown for 5 successive months.
The current rate of sales of property from REINZ statistics shows a 12 month total (Nov 08 – Oct 09) of 67,197, this is up 10% on the prior 12 month period but down 31% when compared to the 12 months to October 2007.
This growth of inventory is not spread evenly across the country with the major centers seeing inventory falls whereas provincial NZ is where the significant inventory rises are being seen. The biggest rises are being seen in the Central North Island, Northland, Marlborough, Gisborne and Southland.
This price represented a 1.9% rise in asking price when compared to the moving average of the past 3 months (Aug/Sep/Oct).
The asking price of new listings in November last year was $404,913 representing a 3.6% year on year increase.
Despite the uplift in listings during November the level of new listings over the past 12 months continues to show a 11% fall with 147,813 new listings in the recent 12 months as compared to 165,690 in the prior 12 months spanning 2007/8.
The overall level of available inventory as measured by equivalent weeks of sales grew again in November – the 5th consecutive month of rise from 31.5 weeks in June to the current level of 36.0 weeks.
Whilst inventory tends to rise approaching Christmas the levels this year are up on the 33.9 weeks in 2007 but down on the extreme peak of 52.6 weeks in November last year – a time when property sales stagnated.
Regional Summary – Asking price expectation
The national mean asking price showed little movement in November from October as the stability of the market saw a level of vendor expectation being met by buyer demand. Overall there were 13 of the 19 regions showing increases with Gisborne registering the largest increase and Central North Island the biggest fall – both regions affected by small base of data.
The price rise in Auckland of 4.1% is a direct result of the tightness of the market with inventory levels remaining tight as the flow of new listings seems to be being met by a steady demand. The same inventory tightness in the other major centers of Wellington and Canterbury does not seem to be directly impacting asking price at this stage.
Regional Summary – listings
The pendulum has swing in the direction of a buyer’s market as the inventory of property on the market is being bolstered by rises in new listings which is meeting a steady, yet uninspiring sales level. Of the 19 regions round the country 10 are seeing degrees of buyers markets with positive year-on-year increases in listings.
The regions of Central North Island, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki and Nelson all saw rises of more than 20%. Only one region – the Wairarapa showed a significant fall of 59% as compared to November last year.
Wellington continues to see a low level of new listings, just 1,114 in November down 17% compared to last year.
Regional Summary – inventory
The regional make up of the market from an inventory perspective points to a growing buyers market with 11 of the 19 regions showing inventory levels as measured in weeks of equivalent sales running significantly above long term averages.
The only conspicuous regions reversing this trend are the 3 metropolitan regions of Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury all of which are showing inventory levels well below long term averages and well below the national average.
These major metropolitan regions are showing characteristics more akin to seller’s market and has prompted some to speculate an emerging property bubble. The breadth of data by reach region clearly refutes this assertion.
Lifestyle listing numbers remain constant over the past 3 months with 1,191 added in November. This represented an 8.1% increase on prior year. Over the past 12 months 11,561 new lifestyle listing have come onto the market a 16% lower amount than in the prior year 12 month period. Significantly lower listing have been seen in Marlborough and the West Coast over the past year both close to 50% down whilst Nelson and Bay of Plenty have seen growth – albeit less than 10%.
The truncated mean asking price for November was $608,616 a 2% increase on November last year and 4% up on the prior 3 month average.
November saw 643 new apartments listings come onto the market, up a significant 27% on November last year, however well down on the peak of 2007 when 983 new listing were added in November. Over the past 12 months a total of 6,385 new apartment listings have come onto the market – down 8.5% on the prior 12 month period.
The Auckland market representing in November 59% of all new listings shows a small increase in listings on a 12 month rolling basis with 3,970 listings in the 12 month period. The truncated mean asking price nationally was $364,384 which was 6% down on the 3 month average – Auckland saw listing asking price down 8% at $323,307.
The full report can be downloaded here (1.8MB pdf document). Additionally the raw data is accessible here as an Excel spreadsheet enabling anyone to analyse the raw data and establish any trends or observations. Usage rights are governed by attribution to the source of the data being Realestate.co.nz. The next NZ Property Report for December 2009 will be published on this blog on Friday 1st January at 10am.