Sellers have the edge in the Canterbury real estate market, as LIZ McDONALD reports.
With spring here, the real estate market is entering what are usually its most active three months for sales, as sellers decide it is a good time to sell and buyers start house-hunting.
Canterbury enters spring with one of the strongest sellers' markets in New Zealand, according to a report from a real estate website.
Property owners with homes for sale should benefit from good demand and a shortage of listings, realestate.co.nz said.
The site regularly tallies listings, sales and asking prices to create a picture of the market. The report said the parts of the country where markets most favoured sellers, based on the balance of sales and listings during August, were Canterbury, Auckland and Gisborne.
Southland and Taranaki had the strongest buyers' markets, and those in Otago, Nelson and the central North Island were evenly balanced.
Canterbury and Auckland have had growing housing shortages for several years, even before Canterbury's supply was worsened by the earthquakes. The report described both markets as being "under pressure" from the shortage of listings.
Nine per cent fewer homes were being advertised for sale in Canterbury compared with a year ago, and they were sitting on the market for less time.
The average asking price for properties listed for sale in the region was just under $375,000, less than a year ago, perhaps indicating that more inexpensive homes are on the market.
A survey from real estate network First National revealed it was not only the weather that had been holding back the market.
It found the listings shortage was deterring sellers - that they were getting appraisals, but were reluctant to go to market for fear of being unable to find a replacement home.
The survey also said families wanting to move into school zones by enrolment closing dates also put pressure on the market every spring.
There is good news in store for the region's supply of homes, however.
New home building is up strongly in and around Christchurch, with construction in the city and in the Selwyn and Waimakariri districts now at its highest level for five years, and new subdivisions are reporting strong demand.
During August the number of consents issued for new houses was 95 in Waimakariri and 75 in Selwyn.
The Christchurch City Council issued 90 consents for single dwellings and five for multi-unit complexes, such as apartment blocks.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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