Covid-19 has failed to dampen demand for houses.
Low housing stock around the country is driving prices up, according to Realestate.co.nz.
The total number of homes available for sale in July was down 11 per cent on the same month last year, the real estate listings website’s spokeswoman, Vanessa Taylor, said.
The national average asking price increased by 3.9 per cent to $756,250.
“Despite speculation around prices dropping post-Covid-19, the market seems to be performing well,” she said.
“It has been three months since the country moved to alert level 3 and, while we can never say never, we simply haven’t seen the drop that many were predicting.”
In April, the Reserve Bank removed the loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions which restricted the amount of lending done to low-deposit buyers.
Real estate agents are receiving more inquiries from overseas and some people are buying houses without seeing them.
The central bank said the change to the LVR was a response to the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
But Taylor said the housing shortage remained an issue and that it was probably exacerbated by Kiwis returning home from overseas.
While there had been a 20 per cent increase in the number new listings coming on to the market in July compared with the same time last year, the listings had failed to keep up with demand, Taylor said.
Asking prices were up in nearly all regions last month with 13-year all-time high asking price in Northland, Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Coromandel, and Manawatu/Whanganui.
“Omitting the data from the lockdown in April, where prices were skewed upwards as a result of Kiwis being unable to list their properties, we would have also seen a national all-time asking price high last month,” Taylor said.
With fewer than 3000 new listings coming on to the market in April compared to almost 9000 in July, prices in April were inflated by a lack of supply, she said.
“Taking out April’s national asking price spike of $858,432, the national average asking price has been trending upwards since the end of last year and this hasn’t slowed down post-lockdown,” Taylor said.
Northland, Gisborne, Taranaki, West Coast, Canterbury, Coromandel, Marlborough, Wairarapa, Central North Island, and Manawatu/Whanganui all had 13-year record stock lows in July.
The biggest drops were in Taranaki, Wairarapa, and Marlborough where the total number of homes available for sale decreased by 48.4 per cent, 46.2 per cent and 41 per cent respectively.
On the flip side, Hawke’s Bay, Central Otago/Lakes, Southland, and Otago had total homes available for sale increase by 17.8 per cent, 17.8 per cent, 10.2 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.
“Except for in the Hawke’s Bay where prices increased by 3.5 per cent, the stock increases in these regions were reflected by a decrease in average asking prices,” Taylor said.
The average asking price for a house in Auckland was $989,602, in Wellington it was $735,324 and in Christchurch it was $537,800.