Housing shortage driving prices up across the country, new data shows

A housing shortage in New Zealand is driving prices up across the country according to new data released today in the July Property Report.

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Property expert Vanessa Taylor says it’s partly due to an influx of Kiwi ex-pats moving home. Source: Breakfast

The data shows that nationally, the total number of homes available for sale in July was down 11 per cent on the same month in 2019 while the national average asking price increased by 3.9 per cent to $756,250.

Asking prices were also up in nearly all regions last month with 13-year all-time asking price highs in Northland, Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Coromandel, and Manawatu/Whanganui.

Vanessa Taylor, of, told TVNZ 1's Breakfast there “genuinely is a shortage of homes” in New Zealand, and that’s partly due to Kiwi expats moving home.

“There are Kiwis in the likes of the UK and the US that are thinking hey maybe it is time to come back to our little safe haven that we have here in New Zealand and that’s certainly increasing the demand.

“I think that Kiwis genuinely have a love affair of property.”

International traffic to since April has also increased by 12.9 per cent which the property website says could be due to Kiwis abroad searching ahead of their return.

“Statistics New Zealand has reported record numbers of more than 47,000 Kiwis returning home since border restrictions began in March and I think we can expect that some of this extra demand is a result of this,” says Ms Taylor.

Northland, Gisborne, Taranaki, West Coast, Canterbury, Coromandel, Marlborough, Wairarapa, Central North Island, and Manawatu/Whanganui all saw 13-year record stock lows in July, according to the report.

The biggest drops were in Taranaki, Wairarapa, and Marlborough where total homes available for sale (stock) decreased by 48.4%, 46.2% and 41.0% respectively.

Ms Taylor says that record lows in more than half of New Zealand's regions could also be seen as the driver behind the high average asking prices last month.

“The New Zealand property market is a case of demand and supply; when housing stock is low, prices increase because demand is outstripping supply. And based on user data, we are seeing high demand for property right now,” she says.

The surge in demand comes despite speculation around prices dropping due to Covid-19

“It has been three months since the country moved to alert level three and, while we can never say never, we simply haven’t seen the drop that many were predicting,” says Ms Taylor.