Uncertainty dogs NZ property market

Last updated 11:08 01/11/2011
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The Auckland market is leading the way in a rise in asking prices for homes, with the national figure up 2 per cent in October to $434,161, according to industry figures.

However, the inventory of unsold homes on the market moved up again, to the equivalent of 38.5 weeks of stocks at present sales rates.

The NZ Property Report from Realestate.co.nz shows the Auckland region led the trend of rising asking prices, recording its highest average asking price - $568,778 - since Realestate.co.nz began tracking the market data in 2007.

There is typically a rise in national asking prices at this time of year, so even though prices have risen for three months in a row, on a seasonally adjusted basis the asking price actually slipped 0.4 per cent in the month.

In other words, the rate of increase was not as strong as usual for the spring sale period. Prices tend to drop back after October each year.

The average asking price in Wellington in October was $439,369, up 3 per cent from the previous month.

There were 946 new listings in Wellington in October, up 6 per cent from September.

However, the unsold stock on the Wellington market has risen to 23.2 weeks at present sales rates, a rise of 15 per cent on September.

Realestate.co.nz chief executive Alistair Helm said the rise in the national asking price reflected confidence amongst sellers, encouraged by demand for property alongside a drop in inventory over recent months.

However, Helm said a steadying of the number of new property listings becoming available last month indicated that the market was balancing out a little.

Slower-than-expected September sales had sparked some uncertainty among potential sellers considering entering the market, he said.

The number of new listings in October (11,312) was slightly up on September (11,117). However, on a seasonally adjusted basis, that was 11 per cent down on volumes recorded at the same time last year - a considerable drop, Helm said.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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