Wellington enjoys flood of listings, Auckland you’re next

At Level 2, Wellington buyers were delighted to see a surge of listings late September.

1 October 2021

194 Breaker Bay Road, Wellington

The whole country is rooting for you, Auckland. We can’t wait to see you regain some normality and activity when it’s safe. And just to give you a little glimpse of what life at Level 2 will be like if you’re planning to buy or sell a home, vendors outside of Auckland who have primped and prepped their homes during lockdown, are bringing their homes to the market in promising numbers.

Trade Me figures show by late September the tight Wellington regional market had taken on 428 new listings from 15 September to 29 September, seeing a jump of 10% of listings between the two weeks, the total, a remarkable leap for the capital even though it is now the spring selling season.

“Two things are going on,” says Craig Lowe, Managing Director of Lowe & Co in Wellington. “They’re people who weren’t able to get on the market at level 4 and 3 and were backed up a bit, so now we’re playing catch up. The other thing is we’re coming into the spring market.”

“People like to wait till the weather is nice, everyone does the same thing at the same time,” he says. And Wellington did have a particularly quiet winter before lockdown, he adds.

I think Auckland will see a big influx of stock at Level 2, says Craig. But people should be readying their homes now at level 3.

“At level 4 and 3, we weren’t resting on our laurels, we were making sure homes were going to be ready,” he explains.

The best time to put a house on the market is when nobody else is, he adds.

14 Hiropi Street, Newtown, Wellington,

There was an indication before lockdown that there was a huge increase in properties coming on, says Tommy’s Real Estate senior agent, Nicki Cruickshank.

Who’s selling? People are concerned that the market is changing and want to benefit from the strong interest, says Nicki. At the same time, quite a few investment property owners are quitting rental properties because they don’t want to spend the money on bringing them up to new Healthy Homes standards.

Other vendors in Wellington are selling up to go to homes in the Wairarapa and don’t want to have another lockdown in the capital, says the senior Tommy’s agent.

And there are more listings to come, she promises. Though there will be a slowdown around the school holidays starting 7 October.

Ray White Group Leaders Wellington agent Ben Stevens says the big jump of listings has had an interesting effect on buyers.

“If you’re in the market and looking, everyone believes the perfect home is just around the corner,” says Ben.

He says prices are balancing out, in line with what people are expecting rather than the extraordinary results which were happening.

Wellington needs mobile Aucklanders

The Ray White agent adds the Wellington property market is affected by Auckland’s Level 3 lockdown. As a transient city, it benefits from Aucklanders coming to live and buy homes in the capital.

“Auckland is the driver and if nothing is going on there, it does have a flow on effect,” he says.

“How Auckland comes out, how that looks and the confidence in the market will have a direct effect on us,” he explains.

Christchurch market back up and running well

Bayleys Christchurch agent Adam Heazlewood meanwhile confirmed that there was excellent activity in the garden city at the end of September.

“I’ve got a good amount of campaigns booked and a promising amount of appraisals. People are getting into the spring market vibe,” says Adam.

Christchurch saw a flood of listings last week and people are confident, he says.

132 Bristol Street, Merivale, Christchurch

“The timing is about right, we’ve warmed up, and there are only so many weeks before Christmas,” he says.

A lot of people are selling because they’re upgrading but staying local, says the Bayleys agent.

A tale of two levels

The surge of listings being seen in Wellington and Christchurch at Level 2 is playing out right around New Zealand, says Harcourts Managing Director, Bryan Thomson.

“And it shouldn't be any surprise. This is the peak selling season going into spring. There were six weeks when you couldn’t easily list, so five or six weeks of pent up listings are coming forward with Christmas crushing up at the other end, he says.

32 Buller Street, Wellington

And selling will go right up to Christmas this year, says Bryan. Christmas falls on a Saturday in 2021 so you’ll get a full week’s trading running up to that. If Christmas falls early in the week, people tend to stop buying and selling on the Friday the week before.

“With Christmas falling on a Saturday this year, we’ll get the best part of an extra week,” says Bryan.

The Harcourts MD doesn’t expect prices to change much in the coming weeks.

“Demand and supply is still out of balance. If anything, the market pricewise, has strengthened with more demand than supply so there’s no reason to expect prices to weaken with the market conditions,” he says.

Both Wellington and Christchurch markets have been very tight for some time and it will take a wee while for the volume of listings to catch up, he adds.

The Harcourts MD notes that the last time New Zealand came out of Level 4 lockdown the country was going into winter and a quieter period for the real estate business. After this lockdown, the property market has gone straight into the busy spring summer selling season.

“Teams in the field are very busy with listings coming on and there’s still a supply demand imbalance,” he says.

Hold tight, Auckland, much more to come

So take heart, frustrated buyers and sellers in Auckland. There’s much to look forward to.

And for those of you who’re keeping an eye out to see if there’s something out there to tempt you, now would be a good time to choose your agent, get your house ready to go in case something comes up that you love, and you have to move fast.