Property market showing signs of recovery - what could this mean for buyers?

The first faint signs that the Kiwi property market is cooling have emerged, with good news predicted for property buyers. 

The number of homes for sale is back to pre-COVID 2019 levels according to but asking prices in some key centres have begun to dip.

The latest data from the website says more than 23,000 homes are now on the market – the first time it’s hit this level since June 2019.

The housing stock in February increased 47% year-on-year. Just 12 months ago, Kiwi buyers had around 7,500 fewer homes to choose from. And just six months ago, the number of homes for sale was 12,249 – a 15-year low.

The all-time high for buyer choice was set in 2008 with almost 60,000 homes for sale.

“We might be moving back to pre-COVID levels, and this will be welcome news for property buyers,” said spokesperson Vanessa Williams.

Stock levels have more than doubled in three regions – Wellington, Wairarapa and Manawatu/Whanganui and Ms Williams said regional NZ is now leading market trends.

New listings have also reached pre-COVID levels. They’re up 7.5% year-on-year with 11,545 homes coming on to the market in February.

The biggest increases in new listings have been in:

  • Central North Island: +41.7%
  • Manawatu/ Whanganui: +30.5%
  • Hawke’s Bay: +28.3%
  • Wellington: +27.1%

The usual trend-setter for Kiwi property, Auckland, registered zero year-on-year change.

Meanwhile, prices have eased in several key markets compared to January’s numbers. Falls were registered in:

  • Auckland: -1.3%
  • Waikato: -2.7%
  • Hawke’s Bay: -3.1%
  • Central North Island: -6.2%

Other areas, such as Gisborne, Wellington and Otago saw their asking prices remain steady.

“We’re still seeing double-digit, year-on-year growth in all regions, but I’d be following this data closely if I were looking to buy. It might just spell good news to come,” Ms Williams said. 

Nevertheless, the average asking price across the nation still shows a 23.1% year-on-year increase. Five of our 19 regions hit 15-year highs in February. They include:

  • $883,947 for Northland
  • $1.03m for Bay of Plenty
  • $726,698 for Taranaki
  • $722,093 for Canterbury
  • $704,533 for Manawatu/Whanganui

“Average asking prices went backwards nationally, and in 11 of 19 regions. It could suggest a slowdown is on the way. This might give hope to those trying to get onto the property ladder,” she said. 

If you’ve been considering buying property, now would be a good time to understand your mortgage options. Don’t hesitate to reach out and we can help get you started.