New real estate company in town

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 12:11 29/04/2014
Southland Times photo
NICOLE JOHNSTONE/Fairfax NZ
Pride Real Estate director John Miller, Principal Officer Tom Dowling and managing director Avinash Varghese.

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Three Invercargill businessmen are not letting a "cautious" housing market get in the way of setting up a new real estate business in the city.

Pride Real Estate managing director Avinash Varghese, director John Miller and principal officer Tom Dowling got a licence last week and have listed their first property.

They say they are offering the lowest commission rate in the city at 2.9 per cent, which was "sustainable". The company will have seven competitors in the city, Varghese said.

Varghese, who also owns Pride Property Management, said he had always wanted to get involved with real estate but the environment was never right.

Although Invercargill house sales lagged behind the rest of New Zealand, with about 90 each month, they believed business would be good.

They plan to hire more agents and expand the business. National data for the first few months of this year, shows housing market activity has slowed.

REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said first-home buyers and investors in Southland were taking a cautious approach to the market, with plenty of attendances at open homes but at a lower conversion rate into sales than previously.

"Vendor expectations were in line with the overall market tone," she said.

The median price trend was now easing and both the sales volume and days to sell trends were now falling.

The REINZ March median house price across Southland fell by $20,000 (10.3 per cent) compared to February, with a 15 per cent fall in Invercargill and an 11 per cent fall in Gore.

Compared to March 2013, the median price fell by $32,500 (15.7 per cent) with prices falling by 22 per cent in Gore and 15 per cent in Invercargill.

Sales volumes were up by 15.5 per cent compared to March 2013, with a 19 per cent increase in sales in Invercargill but a 42 per cent drop in Gore.

Compared to February 2014, sales volumes were up by 4.5 per cent, with sales rising by 50 per cent in Invercargill, but also falling by 50 per cent in Gore.

 

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- The Southland Times

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