Otago Property Investors Association Inc
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Harcourts’ latest report is signalling a jump in sales activity, with last month's figures up 52% when compared with March 2008.
Harcourts’ final figures for March 2009 prove what many reports had been suggesting for some weeks, that the real estate market is beginning to perform significantly better than the same month last year.
“In almost every location March 2009 was notably ahead of March last year in terms of the number of sales written, with Harcourts’ Northern, Central, Wellington and Christchurch regions reporting between 27% and 52% more written sales than 12 months ago,” Harcourts’ CEO Bryan Thomson says.
However, Thomson says while the latest sales figures are encouraging, it’s important to put them in perspective.
“The statistics of a year ago were not just low, they were unsustainably so. So while the March 2009 results are noteworthy and it was a much better month than we have seen for some time, we have to remember we are comparing to an abnormally low period.”
That said, he says there are various reasons why buyer confidence has returned to the market, such as “the interest rate environment, more positive comments from economic crystal ball gazers and tax cuts,” and that the lift in sales could continue over the coming months.
With an increase in buyer activity, coupled with a low number of new listings, Thomson says now is a good time for sellers to list and for those who have had a property on the market for some time with no success to reassess their position.
“Perhaps it’s time for a change in sales strategy.”
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