Property sales rose in October despite the Rugby World Cup, school holidays and confidence issues negatively affecting buyer enquiry levels, according to First National’s monthly residential property survey.
"While confirmed sales rose 17% in October from September, member offices certainly report a drop-off in enquiry in the latter part of the month, mostly in areas directly impacted by the Rugby World Cup," said First National general manager John Stewart.
"This trend is exacerbated by the traditional downturn in enquiry due to school holidays and people's reticence during periods of pessimistic financial news, which in this case is the Greek crisis and its influence on the world economy."
For First National Motueka principal Bob Brereton, the combination of the Rugby World Cup and school holidays created a perfect storm. "We had nine open homes over Labour Weekend and a zero attendance," he said.
Stewart said that in the days subsequent to the Rugby World Cup and the school holidays, 37% of First National offices reported a notable lift in enquiry.
"However, the increase in confirmed sales over the previous month really reflects business which was well advanced prior to any of these limiting effects," Stewart said.
He said that while house prices appeared steady across the market, smaller homes were seeing some price pressure.
The First National survey, which measures listings levels, sales, market trends and overall activity across the company’s nationwide network, found house prices were consistent in October compared with a year earlier across 46% of the country, an improvement from September when 44% of offices reported prices lower than the year earlier.
When commenting specifically on two-bedroom properties, 46% of respondents said they were lower priced than in October 2010.
Kaitai, Mangonui, Motueka, Blenheim, Otaki, Greytown, Riverton, Cromwell, Wanaka, TeAwamutu, New Plymouth, Stratford, Hawera and Whangamata all reported prices lower across all sized properties.
Bucking the trend, Glendene, Ilam (Christchurch) and New Brighton all reported increased prices across the board.