December was the “lowest month on record” for new property listings, according to today’s latest New Zealand Property Report., who compiled the data, said the month had 4828 new listings, down 6.4% when compared to December 2022.

Excluding April 2020 — during the first the Covid-19 lockdown — this has marked the lowest month on record, spokesperson Vanessa Williams said.

Auckland had a 16-year low in December 2023, down 11.7% to 1392 new listings. This is fewer than in April 2020, when Covid restrictions had limited the market.

While it’s normal to have a dip in new listings around December, this decrease is “more significant than usual”, Williams said.

“The last time we saw levels like this was December 2019, when nationally, there were only 5528 listings and just 1422 in Auckland.

“It starkly contrasts the more than 10,000 new listings which hit the market just a month earlier in November.

“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.”

She said this is likely brought on by vendors holding off until the New Year to sell via auction, “which is typically rare during the summer break”.

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

Some regions experienced a jump in listings, however, with Coromandel up 21.9% year on year to 117 listings and Marlborough up 14.5% year on year to 79 new listings.

“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,” Williams said.

“Moreover, the surge in new listings in this region suggests vendors were capitalising on higher visitor numbers.”

The national stock took a slight dip of 4.6%, which is “typical during the end-of-year celebrations”.

It mainly affected major centres like Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, and Otago.

Average asking prices were mixed across the country, with Central Otago/Lakes District up 16.2% year-on-year at $1,590,855.

“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,” Williams said.

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

Nelson and Bays, Taranaki, Wairarapa, and West Coast also both had month-on-month and year-on-year growth to average asking prices in December.