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23-02-2010

Numbers on the up, says Harcourts

Landlords.co.nz

Sales numbers are predicted to improve over the next two months, says Harcourts' chief executive Bryan Thomson.

Despite historically low numbers of properties changing hands last month, Harcourts believes February and March will be significantly ahead of December and January

"Much speculation has occurred about what caused the slump in sales in January...No matter the reason there is no doubt the February figures are eagerly awaited to see if the market has lifted again," Thomson says.

He believes the growth over the next couple of months will be fuelled by a good pool of existing buyers and a larger volume of properties coming onto the market.

"Initial February sales figures are certainly encouraging."

The real estate company recorded improved listings in four of the five regions it measures compared to January last year, with only Christchurch showing a decline, down 6%. The Northern region saw exclusive listings increase 20%, while the Central region saw a 27% increase. Wellington showed a steady 13% lift and South Island Provincial region saw a 10% increase.

It also saw written sales buck the trend in the North Island last month.

"While across the industry historically low numbers of properties changed hands in both residential and rural market segments last month, our figures show Harcourts performed strongly, with an increase in written sales in three of our five regions, reflecting growth in marketshare," Thomson says.

The Northern, Central and Wellington regions' sales were up 22%, 13% and 7% respectively on the same month last year, while the South Island Provincial region was down 4% and Christchurch saw a decline of 11%.

Thomson notes that within the Central region, the Bay of Plenty market "in particular had increased activity levels".

Average sale prices increased in three of the five regions, with Northland gaining 6% to $523,000 from the same month a year earlier, Wellington up 5% to $332,000 and Christchurch up 3% to $365,000. South Island Provincial was down 5% to $296,000 for January 2010 and the Central region was down 2% to $352,000.

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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