Central Otago joins Auckland as one of only two regions in the country where average asking prices of homes for sale now exceed $800,000, although the national average asking price fell in December, according to the latest data from Realestate.co.nz.
The national average asking price in December was $522,930, continuing a downward trend from the record high set four months ago in August 2015 of $568,215.
Realestate.co.nz spokesperson Vanessa Taylor said the Central Otago and Waikato regions were the only two that bucked the national trend.
“In Central Otago, the average asking price in December broke the $800,000 mark for the first time, setting a new record of $824,394. The previous record in Central Otago was $782,684, set in July 2014.”
The Waikato experienced a new record high in average asking price in December of $414,596, up slightly on November’s high of $413,067.
Average asking prices in Auckland and Wellington levelled off, but continued to remain near record-high levels. In Auckland, the average asking price was $848,195, marginally below the record set in September of $851,531. The average asking price in Wellington was $475,422, just below the August 2015 record of $479,399.
Meanwhile in Canterbury, the average asking price in December fell slightly to $450,740, a 5.5% drop on the record of $476,818 set in September 2015.
The total number of new listings across the country in December was 8,011, down 3.3% compared to the same month a year ago. Auckland and Canterbury both had 6.6% fewer listings in December 2015 compared to December 2014, while Wellington experienced a more significant drop of 24.5%.
“National inventory continues to remain near record low levels. For December, National inventory was 16.4 weeks, close to the all-time low of 16.1 weeks set in October 2015,” says Taylor.
Inventory is a measure of the national supply of homes for sale, expressed as the number of weeks it would take for all currently listed properties to sell at average rates, should no new properties get listed. The long-term national average is 34 weeks.