Capital home asking prices inch up

Big lift in listings in Wellington region

JAMES WEIR
Last updated 11:46 02/11/2012

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Asking prices for homes in the Wellington region inched up slightly in October, to a mean price of $450,105, while the number of new listings has raced up.

Figures from Realestate.co.nz show the mean asking price in Wellington was up 0.6 per cent in October, compared with September. Asking prices are up 5 per cent on the same month last year.

But that is a much stronger gain than the Real Estate Institute's more accurate Housing Price Index figures, which showed Wellington prices up just 1.8 per cent in the past year.  Wellington house prices remain almost 3 per cent down on the recent peak.

Asking prices are what sellers initially seek when a property goes on the market, but that is typically much higher than the final sales price.

For example, the mean asking price in Wellington was $447,388 in September, but the final selling price for that month was $400,000, a gap of more than $47,000. In August the gap was more than $50,000.

There were more than 1100 new listings in Wellington in October, up 18 per cent on the numbers listed in the same month last year. There is typically a run of new listings in spring, but the levels were much better in October than those seen last year.

The big lift in new listings meant a rise in the level of inventory in the region, to the equivalent of 21.7 weeks' supply at present sales rates. The inventory was up 6 per cent on September.

The inventory levels for the Wellington region are in line with the long-term average, indicating a neutral balance, neither favouring buyers or sellers.

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- The Dominion Post

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