Homes for sale in short supply
Is spring coming early to the real estate market? asks LIZ McDONALD .
The spring flush of real estate listings appears to have hit the market early this year, but it hasn't been enough to ease the shortage of houses for sale.
More homes have come up for sale in the past few weeks than usual for the time of year, but hungry buyers have been snapping them up even faster.
Figures from real estate institute website realestate.co show Cantabrians listed 1147 new homes for sale in August, up 12 per cent on the previous August, but the amount of property on the market slumped by a quarter.
The low level of stock is the lowest the website has ever recorded.
With listings not keeping pace with demand, the market strongly favours sellers.
The average asking price for Canterbury on the website was $404,993.
The problem for buyers and real estate agents is nationwide with 15 of 19 regions across the country witnessing falls in real estate stock.
Canterbury has the second strongest sellers' market behind Auckland, while Nelson and Otago also have strong sellers' markets. Conditions favour buyers in Southland, and are more evenly balanced in Marlborough, the Queenstown- Wanaka area, and the West Coast.
A monthly report from Harcourts, the region's biggest real estate group, said homes in Christchurch were selling on average in three and a half weeks.
The group's August sales figures were "very indicative of Christchurch's low supply, high demand market".
"Low supply remains the key problem in Christchurch, with buyers frustrated by the lack of choice and intense competition," the report said.
"The answer lies in rapid and quality construction ... We can only hope the process for developers is made as simple as possible to allow for a timely delivery to the market."
Real estate agents have reported a surge in request for appraisals, so more homes are expected to go on sale as warmer weather arrives.
Now is traditionally the time when real estate activity picks up across the country, as owners consider their homes and gardens will look their best.
Paul McKenzie from realestate.co says that although the New Zealand real estate market is tight now, particularly in Auckland and Canterbury, "we can expect to see an increase of new listings coming onto the market in September and October, which will provide a healthy selection of new homes for sale in spring".
Listings of lifestyle blocks in Canterbury were also at record low levels, with just 56 coming to the market during August.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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