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Realestate.co.nz report shows subdued listings and asking prices early in Spring; inventory up in buyers market
The first figures out for the property market in September paint a picture of a subdued market where inventories of unsold houses are rising in a buyers market.
The September NZ Property Report from Realestate.co.nz measures the number of new listings, asking prices and levels of inventories. It is the first to show the impact of the September 4 earthquake in Canterbury and the first to give an indication of activity in the first month of spring.
Barfoot and Thompson are expected to release their sales figures for September next week, followed by Quotable Value and then the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand's national sales figures on October 14.
"While September through November are typically the strongest months for new listings, only 10,559 new properties came onto the market nationwide last month, fewer than the winter months of June or July, and up only 8 percent on August," Realestate.co.nz reported.
September's new listings were down 17% on September a year ago. Christchurch new listings fell 26% from August.
The inventory of unsold houses on the market in September rose to 47.5 weeks of sales from 46.1 weeks of sales in August, Realestate.co.nz. This inventory level is up 48% from the same time a year ago.
"With consolidated long-term data indicating 39 weeks to be the national threshold between a market favourable to either sellers or buyers, current inventory levels indicate that most parts of New Zealand remain a buyer’s market," Reealestate.co.nz reported.
“Traditionally, there is a much-anticipated rise in new listings in Spring, however the September figures this year point to a modest increase in line with the overall context of a subdued property market throughout 2010," Realestate.co.nz CEO Alistair Helm said.
Realestate.co.nz said the 26% fall in listings across the Canterbury region in September from August was not as significant as some expected. On a seasonally adjusted basis and in comparison with other regions, listings were down around 20% in Canterbury.
The asking price expectation rose slightly allowing for the seasonal rise which is evident at this time of year as properties are listed to meet the seasonal activity. "This 1% rise on a seasonally adjusted basis would seem to signal a confidence amongst sellers, that buyers who have for so long been sitting on the sidelines will become more active," Realestate.co.nz said.
The asking price expectation of new listings increased again in September up to NZ$411,745 from NZ$403,423 in August. This represents a 2% fall from September last year. It is up 2% from 3 months ago. The current asking price is 4% below the peak reached in October 2007.