Property listings fall, asking prices steady; Are buyers losing power?

The number of new property listings on realestate.co.nz fell 21% in April from March and 34% from April last year. However, April traditionally has been a quieter month for new listings, realestate.co.nz CEO Alistair Helm said. The average asking price for listed properties was unchanged from March at NZ$405,936 (a truncated mean). This was down 2% down from April 2008. "This lower listing inventory which has been seen as a trend for over 12 months, matched to the recent awakening of sales in February and March, could mark the end of the buyer's market which is how the property market has been typified over the past 18 months," Helm said.

"Whilst there is no clear sign that the market has entered into a seller's market phase with any consequential impact on prices, there has to be a point of inflection and that is a sense of where the market currently is," he said. "The asking price expectation in many ways supports this turning point, as the asking price expectations are not perpetuating the declines seen through 2008, rather it is as though it is seeking direction as the market heads into the traditionally quieter winter period." What do you think? Is the housing maket entering a seller's market phase?

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