Winter can be a good time to sell: Trade Me

The property market is in a holding cycle, thanks in part to the looming election.
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The property market is in a holding cycle, thanks in part to the looming election.

Would-be property buyers have a dose of spring fever – but sellers are hanging back more than normal, Trade Me Property says.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said there had been an increase of about 15 per cent in the numbers of people viewing property listings this spring.

But, on the supply side, there had not been as strong a lift in listings as was normal. Last spring, there had been 4400 new listings in Auckland alone.

He said that was probably due to the uncertainty caused by this year's election. "Every election there's a level of uncertainty."

READ MORE: Planning to sell your house in 2017? Make these resolutions to do it right

The number of houses selling across the country has dropped substantially year-on-year as banks tighten lending criteria and new loan-to-value restrictions have limited investors' ability to borrow.

Jeffries said it could take up to a month for the next government to be formed, which would stretch the uncertainty out until the start of summer, which was normally a quieter period for the property market, anyway.

In the new year, that increased supply and limited demand could prompt a lift in prices.

But those who decide to sit out spring and summer may not have to wait until the warmer months of 2018 to list.

Jeffries said listing in winter could pay off.

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In 2016, properties in Wellington and Christchurch sold fastest in winter spending an average of 24 and 38 days on the market respectively.

Properties listed for sale in the capital during the winter months last year also attracted more views than any other season,  fetching more than 2370 views each, on average.

"As the weather heats up in summer, and both buyers and sellers move into holiday mode, we see competition cool in the property market. Houses for sale in the Canterbury region last summer had the least amount of competition than any other time of year, with just 1310 new listings coming into the market."

He said asking prices were still rising although the pace of growth had eased.

Jeffries said people who wanted to sell their properties quickly should focus on pricing them well compared to others listed locally. "That's an important aspect to understand."

Well-priced and well-presented properties should sell at a better price, and faster, than the competition.

 - Stuff

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