Key Facts

  • The number of newly listed properties in December reached the lowest since records started 16 years ago, excluding the Covid lockdown period.
  • A spike in new listings was observed in popular holiday spots including the Coromandel, Marlborough, and central North Island while nationwide listings dipped.
  • The average asking price for properties in December decreased almost 4% compared to the previous year with the biggest drops in Southland, central North Island, and Waikato.
  • The Central Otago Lakes District experienced the highest surge in average property price, up by 16.2% to $1.6 million — an all-time record for any area in New Zealand.
  • Impacts of the rising property prices in regions such as Queenstown include a shortage of affordable housing for workers, affecting various sectors and community services.

Article Summary

Late 2023 news released show New Zealand’s property market slowing down significantly with the number of new property listings in December hitting a record low since started their records 16 years ago (not including the COVID-19 lockdown period). The drop in new listings was attributed to high interest rates, cost-of-living pressures, and property sellers anticipating potential changes from a new government.

However, certain regions broke the trend with a significant increase in listings and even record prices. These regions, particularly popular summer spots like Coromandel, Marlborough, Northland, and central North Island, saw a surge in listings likely due to the influx of summer visitors. Wellington was the only metropolitan region where listings increased.

Despite the growth in listings, the average asking price for properties nationwide in December fell nearly 4% relative to the previous year. The biggest drops were recorded in Southland, central North Island, and Waikato. On the other hand, the Central Otago Lakes District, which includes Queenstown, saw a 16.2% increase in average property price to $1.6 million, a record for New Zealand.

However, this increase in property value has resulted in housing challenges in some regions, particularly Queenstown. The region is grappling with a shortage of affordable housing for workers essential to its community. This has led to initiatives such as community housing trusts offering public housing and various rental assistance programs. But, there’s no easy fix to the region’s housing problem, and building more housing appears to be the most viable solution.

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