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Dramatic drop in housing stock


Average asking price rising
Just 70 new properties listed in July

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Housing stock in Wairarapa has plummeted, new data from realestate.co.nz has shown.

Across the country, stock had decreased by an average of 11 per cent for July 2020, when compared with July 2019. In Wairarapa, this figure was far more stark: a decrease of 46.4 per cent. This was the largest decrease in the nation with the exception of Taranaki, which showed a marginally greater decrease of 48.5 per cent.

This meant Wairarapa’s housing stock had decreased by more than four times the national average, which equated to just 120 homes in the region.

With few homes on the market [the supply], and a great number of people looking to buy [the demand] an imbalance was created, which increased competition and therefore price.

This created what was called a ‘seller’s market’, meaning that selling was easy, with buyers flocking to open homes and realestate.co.nz to search online, but relatively few buyers able to satisfy their need for housing [due to the low stock and high price].

Spokeswoman for realestate.co.nz, Vanessa Taylor, acknowledged that the New Zealand property market was “a case of demand and supply”.

“When housing stock is low, prices increase because demand is outstripping supply. And based on realestate.co.nz user data, we are seeing high demand for property right now.”

New listings in July were also down, but not nationally. Wairarapa was one of just three realestate.co.nz regions where new listings for the month of July were down; they’d decreased by 30.7 per cent compared with July 2019.

The national average showed listings had increased for the same period, by 20.7 per cent, across the remaining 18 regions. Just 70 new properties were put up for sale in July across Wairarapa, which has a population of about 45,000.

As Taylor made clear, the knock-on effect of all this was price, which increased due to the astronomical demand and limited supply.

Asking price in Wairarapa for July was shown to have increased by 6.7 per cent compared with the previous month [June 2020], which represented a mean asking price of $559,109 in the region.

By percentage increase, Wairarapa was the region with the third greatest increase to asking price, which was higher than the national average, which showed an increase of 3.9 per cent across the nation.

The regions with greater increases than Wairarapa were West Coast, up 24.9 per cent to $314,094, and Marlborough, up 10.7 per cent to $583,020.

Another interesting data set from realestate.co.nz showed how long it would take, on average, to sell all the available housing stock in Wairarapa, should no new listings come on to the market at all during July – a hypothetical scenario, but an indicator of the rate of turnover.

In Wairarapa, it would take just seven weeks to exhaust all the stock – this was equal with Gisborne, and the fastest of any region with the exception of Northland, where it would take 4.4 weeks.

This was thought to be a good indicator of geographical desirability, and with many people looking to move out of the nation’s employment hubs after the covid-19 working-from-home boom, it makes sense to see areas surrounding Auckland and Wellington [Northland and Wairarapa] having very quick rates of turnover.

Whether one thinks the housing market is a good thing or a bad thing right now depends on which side of the line you’re on, buyer or seller.

Those with stock are seeing their asset appreciate monthly with no input, like a plant growing without water.

Whereas those looking to buy, or priced out of the seller’s market, are questioning why more houses aren’t being built in the growing region  – something that will be a hot topic at the election.


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