The online sales portal spokeswoman Vanessa Williams says when new listings drop but the decline isn't reflected in total stock numbers, it her buyers are taking their time.
"Credit conditions remain tight for buyers while interest rates are uncertain for anyone without a crystal ball. Buyers are still searching for property, but many are delaying their buying decisions given the economic climate."
Williams says REINZ March data confirms this, with days to sell rising to 45 days in March – nine days longer than in March last year.
She says while the market is no longer, buyers and sellers alike have more time to negotiate. “People should never buy based on the market, it must come down to personal and financial circumstances."
There were 28,643 homes available for sale last month nationwide. Prices displayed on adverts overtook auctions as the most popular listing type.
Last month, only 19.2% of residential dwellings on realestate.co.nz were listed as auctions. Two years ago, when the market was in full flight, auctions made up 34.8% of all listings.
"In a slower market, vendors tend to choose a sales method that is less time pressured,” says Williams.
New listings at lowest levels for any April on record
New listings were down year-on-year in all regions last month except Coromandel, which bucked the trend with a 9.8% increase.
Nine regions had new listing levels down by more than 20% compared to April last year.
Looking at every April since 2007, new listings were at a record low nationally and in 16 of 19 regions last month only Nelson, Coromandel and Central North Island did not reach the record.
Williams says many people are holding off listing their properties for sale right as they wait to see what will happen with interest rates.
The biggest year-on-year drops in new listings were in: Bay of Plenty (down 33.2%), Gisborne (down 42.3%), Hawke's Bay (down 21.7%), Taranaki (down 21.5%), Wellington (down 35.5%), Otago (down 27.3%), Central Otago/Lakes District (down 22.7%), Wairarapa (down 21.2%), and Manawatu/Whanganui (down 29.6%).
Average asking prices down in all except two regions
Compared to April last year, average asking prices were down almost everywhere last month.
The only places that didn't have an annual drop were Marlborough (up 6.7%) and West Coast (up 3.6%). In Bay of Plenty and Nelson & Bays, average asking prices remained flat with marginal shifts of just -0.1% and -0.9%, respectively.
Interestingly, after hitting an all-time high in March, Central Otago/Lakes District fell into line with the national trend, with prices dropping by 5.6% in the region last month.
The national average asking price is now almost $100,000 less than it was a year ago, and in Auckland, Gisborne, Waikato, Wairarapa and Wellington, average asking prices are more than $150,000 below what they were at the same time last year.
However, Williams says during the pandemic many people redirected travel spending into the property market. “But with the borders open again, it's as though this is an overcorrection on the way back to something resembling 'normal'.”