Sales stats show 'steady market recovery'

PROPERTY MARKET: Timaru's real estate market is growing.
PROPERTY MARKET: Timaru's real estate market is growing.

Timaru's housing market continues to enjoy strong growth, with the median house price increasing by $12,500 last month.

Latest statistics from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand show the median house price for Timaru last December rose from November's $238,000 to $250,500. That puts it just above December 2011's median price of $250,000.

There were 48 recorded residential house sales in the Timaru market for December 2012, compared to 65 in November.

Houses are selling a lot quicker, taking a median of only 27 days in December 2012, compared to 65 in December 2011.

Timaru real estate principal Carl Slade said the figures showed the market was recovering.

"Overall 2012 proved to be another year of steady recovery in our local real estate market.

"Our median price trend line continued its gentle upward momentum and the volume of sales rose again to 679 for the year compared to 546 in 2011.

"We also saw a major shift in the amount of properties available for sale to the lowest levels many of us in the industry have ever seen."

This year should see the growth continue, he said.

"Obviously nobody has a crystal ball, however our prediction is more steady growth in both volume and values.

"Our first two weeks of January have proven to be very busy with strong buyer and seller activity. Overall, there seems to be a very positive vibe and outlook in our community.

"Right at this point the only thing holding us back from making more sales is the low level of listings in the market.

"To put these figures into perspective, the average number of sales per month for the previous 17 years, is approximately 60 sales per month."

The average for the last 12 months was 56.

"According to a search on there are currently 226 houses being advertised for sale in the Timaru residential market. This is a similar level to last month yet still well below the stock levels we would expect in a balanced market."

Based on the last three months' average number of sales, that leaves just under four months' supply of stock available for sale, compared to six months' supply back in January 2012, Mr Slade said.

The Timaru Herald