Coromandel bucks trend as national property listings decline

0’s latest stats reveal December 2023 brought a 16-year low in new listings, though the Summer season has still seen some regional hotspots boom, spokesperson Vanessa Williams says

Festive cheer may have been high, but new listings hit a new low during December, down 6.4% year-on-year to 4,828 new listings nationally. This marked the lowest month on record, excluding the national COVID-19 lockdown period.

New listings in Auckland mirrored the national trend with a 16-year record low. Down 11.7% to 1,392 new listings, Auckland had fewer listings in December 2023 than in April 2020, when COVID-19 lockdowns restricted the market.

The summer break brings a different rhythm to the property market. We typically see a natural slowdown as people focus on festivities, time with their loved ones, and getting away to the beach.

But while it’s not unusual to see a December dip, the decrease is more significant than usual. The last time we saw levels like this was December 2019, when nationally, there were only 5,528 listings and just 1,422 in Auckland. It starkly contrasts the more than 10,000 new listings which hit the market just a month earlier in November.

Some vendors may have been holding off on listing until the New Year because they aim to sell via auction, which is typically rare during the Christmas break. Selling via auction has been rising in popularity in recent months.

Across the country, 11 of our 19 regions saw new listings decline. The biggest decreases were in Gisborne (down 32.1% year-on-year to 19 new listings) and Taranaki (down 26.1% year-on-year to 136 new listings).

On the flip side, Coromandel (up 21.9% year-on-year to 117 new listings) and Marlborough (up 14.5% year-on-year to 79 new listings) saw the biggest increases.

The diversity among the regions highlights how different areas navigate the festive season.

Regions like Coromandel often display a unique resilience during the holidays. The allure of beachside living and holiday homes tends to keep activity buoyant during this time. Moreover, the surge in new listings in this region suggests vendors were capitalising on higher visitor numbers and average asking prices rose above $1 million after a November lull.

National stock takes a summer dip, but some buoyancy remains outside of main centres

Down 4.6% year-on-year, national stock levels took a dip last month. This trend, typical during year-end celebrations, predominantly affected major centres like Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, and Otago. However, Gisborne had the biggest drop with only 74 properties on the market, a year-on-year drop of 30.6%.

Many places painted a different picture, with nine of our 19 regions seeing stock levels increase compared to December 2022. Coromandel and Central North Island led the charge with year-on-year stock increases of 35.6% and 27.1%, respectively. Stock also increased in Southland (up 17.3%), Northland (up 15.9%), Nelson & Bays (up 11.0%), Marlborough (up 7.9%), Taranaki (up 5.8%), Central Otago/Lakes District (up 3.9%), and West Coast (up 2.8%).

This highlights the various ‘microclimates’ within the New Zealand property market. While the main hubs experienced a typical seasonal downturn, the stock increases in regions like Coromandel and Central North Island show that seasons can affect regions differently.

While some areas hit pause for summer, others hit play.


Average asking prices are a mixed bag, driven by the regions

December’s average asking prices were mixed, with regional New Zealand continuing to drive the market. Standing out amidst the holiday slowdown, Central Otago/Lakes District, Nelson and Bays, Taranaki, Wairarapa, and West Coast saw both month-on-month and year-on-year growth to average asking prices in December.

Central Otago/Lakes District also reached an unprecedented high in December, with the highest average asking price for any region of $1,590,855, a 16.2% year-on-year increase.

Central Otago/Lakes District is a lifestyle region. Despite its distance from major business hubs, it boasts the highest average asking price in the country.

The average asking price in Central Otago/Lakes District is around half a million dollars more than in Auckland.