2 Dec 2011

More houses going onto market

7:13 am on 2 December 2011

The number of houses put up for sale surged during November after sellers held back from listing new properties during the Rugby World Cup in October.

Realestate.co.nz's monthly report shows new listings jumped 18% on the previous month.

Housing inventory fell across the regions, suggesting sales increased during November.

Realestate.co.nz chief executive Alastair Helm says it's still a seller's market, highlighted by Auckland and Canterbury.

He says Canterbury's stock has reduced to an inventory that would take 23 weeks to sell, whereas earlier in the year it had a year's worth of inventory.

Mr Helm says in provincial areas such as Gisborne, Wairarapa, Marlborough, Taranaki and Southland it is more of a buyers' market.

He says the Central North Island reported the largest rise in listings, more than doubling in November, while Coromandel was down by nearly a third.

Of the 19 regions 12 reported increases in asking price, with the West Coast showing a 25% jump on the previous year to a record high of $316,000.

By contrast Gisborne fell by 29% on the same time last year to $260,000.

Mr Helm says the figures suggest a total of 60,000 houses will be sold in 2011, just half the number sold in a record year in 2004.

But he says November was a very busy month for the real estate industry which listed the highest level of new properties for 18 months.

Overall, the median asking price fell slightly on the previous month to nearly $426,000, following the trend of the previous four Novembers.