November 2014 saw the highest number of building consents being approved in more than seven years, with 2420 residential consents issued. With 1946 houses and 474 apartments being approved, more than 70% of these were within the Auckland or Canterbury regions.
Auckland has most new apartment consents approved
Land strapped Auckland seems to have found a way to increase the housing stock despite the shortage of affordable and available land by applying for more apartment units to be built. In fact, November 2014 saw 442 of the country’s 474 apartment approvals being in the Auckland region.
Canterbury continues to focus on the rebuild after their earthquakes, with 109 approvals for new dwellings in November 2014, with 19,640 new builds having been approved since 2010. With $11.1 billion in building consents in Canterbury since the earthquakes, it is no wonder than both Auckland and Canterbury have over 70% of the approved residential building consents in New Zealand.
Number of homes for sale declines dramatically
While the average asking price for homes across the country remained at the same high levels, the number of houses for sale declined during December 2014. This means that the market continues to be more beneficial to sellers than buyers, with properties still demanding and receiving high prices and selling quickly.
Auckland saw record low levels of available properties for sale and competition for properties may just continue to rise with a low inventory level in Auckland too. The inventory (the number of weeks it would take to sell all unsold property) reached 10.8 weeks in Auckland, compared with the national average of 36 weeks.
December slow down a thing of the past in property sales
With property sales in Auckland during December having been the highest in a decade, real estate agents are struggling with low numbers of properties being put up for sale. Peter Thompson, the Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson said, “The number of properties on our books at the end of December was 2500, our lowest number for any month end in the past 10 years.”
Agents were even completing sale and purchase agreements on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, showing that demand and competition for properties in Auckland is not set to reduce any time soon.