No let up in the property market with asking prices on hitting a new high for the third month in a row

Short headline: 
Asking prices on hit new high in March

The average asking price of homes listed for sale on reached a new all time high of $514,712 in March.

It was the third consecutive month that the average asking price on the website has set a new record.

At the same time the number of new listings coming on to the website in March declined to its lowest point for a March month since 2009, when the property market was in the doldrums.

The regional pacesetters in the market were Auckland and Canterbury, with both achieving record new average asking prices in March; $766,912 in Auckland and $467,126 in Canterbury.

Asking prices for Wairarapa properties also set a new record of $357,949.

The average asking price of $461,905 for Wellington region properties was 1.6% less than the record of $469,487 set in March last year.

There were 11,870 properties newly listed for sale on the website in March, down 4.9% on March last year.

Thirteen regions recorded a decline in new listings in March compared with a year ago, while six recorded increases.

In Auckland new listings were down by 5.2% to 4160, in Wellington they dropped 9.2% to 1032 and in Canterbury they were up 3.8% to 1508.

"There is no let up in asking price, especially with regions such as Canterbury and Auckland experiencing new highs," chief executive Brendon Skipper said.

"With the slight fall in the number of new listings in March, sellers are in a good position to maximise the value of their homes."

The tightness of the market is reflected in inventory levels around the country, which are well below their long term averages in most regions.

Inventory is measured as the number of weeks it would take to sell all of the homes listed for sale on the website, at the current rate of sale.

The inventory level for the whole country was 23 weeks in March, compared to its long term average of 36 weeks.

In Auckland the inventory was 11 weeks compared to the long term average of 26 weeks, in Wellington it was 17 weeks compared to the long term average of 21 weeks and in Canterbury it was 20 weeks compared to the long term average of 27 weeks.

See the maps below for the average asking prices, number of new listings and inventory levels in all regions of the country:



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