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07-08-2012

No winter chill for sellers: Realestate.co.nz

Landlords.co.nz

Sellers haven’t been put off by the colder months this year, according to data from Realestate.co.nz.

By Susan Edmunds

In its latest Property Report for July, the website said that while the level of new listings was usually lowest in winter, the number of properties coming on to the market last month was virtually the same as the previous month.

The 9400 new listings was up 5% on the number listed in July 2011 and down 1% on a seasonally-adjusted basis from the 9588 new listings in June.

The asking price was up 3.7% on the same time last year. The July figure of $429,181 was up 0.8% on a seasonally-adjusted basis from June.

“The latest sales prices as reported by REINZ in their stratified mean sales price for June was of a year-on-year increase of 5.3%. On this basis, sellers appear to be realistic in pricing in to their asking price a smaller reflection of the current level of house price appreciation.”

But while the number of listings is holding up, inventory is still low.

Alistair Helm, CEO of Realestate.co.nz, said that following the previous month's record four-year low for inventory - prompted by ongoing high demand for property - the influx of new listings kept pace with the previous month's new listings, preventing a further drop.

"Recent months have placed some stress on the market for buyers, with the shortage of new listings along with higher numbers of sales placing the market's favour firmly in sellers' hands.

"July was certainly not a bad month for buyers."

The 44,729 unsold houses was barely changed from June and is equivalent to 31 weeks of sales, below the long-term average of 40 weeks.

Across the country, 14 of the 19 regions surveyed were sellers’ markets, according to the report, with Auckland and Canterbury experiencing the greatest lack of listings.

The report said it was expected that spring would see an increase in both listings and sales. “The key issue will be to what extent the rise in new listings an take any heat out of the tight property market in the major centres and other pockets of property activity across the country.”

 Helm said: "The clear signal from the July data was one of market stability, but whether that will persist remains to be seen. However, as winter winds down in the coming month, buyers and sellers will no doubt increase their activity in anticipation of spring, which may shift the balance again."

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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