2 Sep 2013

House availability hits record low in August

7:03 pm on 2 September 2013

The number of houses available for sale hit a record low in August, just as the first signs emerged of the flush of new listings that usually hit the market in spring.

More than 10,700 new listings in August were recorded on the realestate.co.nz website, 9% more than in July and 3% more than in August last year.

The website accounts for more than 95% of all new listings in New Zealand

Nevertheless, the number of houses available for sale fell to just 23 weeks' worth of sales, down 24% on August last year and well below the long-term average of 38 weeks.

The marketing manager for the website, Paul McKenzie, says it wasn't expected and it's not good news for the housing market. However, the spring surge of new listings should ease some of the pressure.

"There will be a spread of new listings that start coming into the market in the next couple of months, which is the normal seasonal lift we see coming into spring," Mr McKenzie says.

"I'd say that's going to ease some of the pressure coming into that period."

However, there is unlikely to be a quick fix and it will be a slow climb to get stocks back up, Mr McKenzie says.