Confidence returns to NZ market as listing increase

More properties are being put up for sale in New Zealand as sellers become more confident of getting a realistic price after six months of subdued expectations.

A shortage of properties listed for sale was regarded as a major factor in recent property price rises but that now may be coming to an end. According to property website listings rose 19% in September, compared to August, while year on year listings also grew for the first time in 2009.

The website’s monthly survey of market activity also found that vendors’ asking price expectations rose 6% last month to $419,841 and up 5% on the previous three month average. It takes the asking price expectation back to within 2% of the peak of the market in late 2007. The trend is expected to continue.

The relatively large jump for both figures in September is a strong indicator of improved health in the property market, said chief executive Alistair Helm. He predicts that the length of time it takes to sell a property could also get better as the real estate markets enters the busier summer period.

The trend is most obvious on three main locations – Auckland, Northland and Bay of Plenty – which accounted for 55% of the overall increase in new listings in the month.

With new listings coming onto the market slightly exceeding sales the inventory level role nationally for the fourth straight month. It is now at 33.7 weeks stock of unsold properties. The level of inventory though is down 40% from the peak of the market back in February of this year when the level reached 57 weeks.

A breakdown of the figures shows that lifestyle property saw a significant increase in September with 1,157 new listings being added to the website, an increase of 271 from August. The total is the highest since October of last year and represents an 18% increase on the same month last year.

The apartment market showed comparable levels of new listings to August with 603 added in the month. This represented a gain of just 1% over August, but a 12% increase over the same month last year. Auckland saw the largest concentration of apartment listings.


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