Surge in Bay real estate listings

By Brendan Manning

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The Bay of Plenty property market has reached a healthy equilibrium, with plenty of new houses being listed and bargains being snapped up quickly, a industry insider says.

The NZ Property Report, compiled by Realestate.co.nz, revealed there were 955 new Bay of Plenty property listings in October - a 24.8 per cent jump from September.

Average asking prices rose slightly to above $408,000.

LJ Hooker Bay of Plenty owner Neville Falconer said Tauranga had enjoyed a good supply of listings and prices had remained stable.

"The line that you plot if you look at the graph of the prices each month is a bit like the waves on the sea - up a little bit, down a little bit - there's no trend emerging at all yet."

Where vendors had been realistic and based their price expectations on current values, buyers had been responding, Mr Falconer said.

But buyers who waited for a bargain tended to miss out.

"It's better to buy the right property when you know that it's there - for a fair price - and get on with your life."

The market had slightly favoured sellers but the increase in new listings had made the market more balanced, he said.

The Property Report showed average asking prices for New Zealand homes hit a new record high in October, as a surge of new sellers entered the market.

The seasonally adjusted average asking price of $445,529 was driven up by new record highs in Auckland and Canterbury, Realestate.co.nz marketing manager Paul McKenzie said.

It was the first time the average asking price had topped $600,000 in Auckland, and $400,000 in Canterbury, he said.

Mr McKenzie said seller confidence was reflected in the number of new listings, which was up significantly in October, at 12,688 - 14 per cent more than in September and 12 per cent up year-on-year.

But Mr McKenzie said with debate around housing affordability, sellers may start to lower their price expectations if more homes flooded the market, favouring buyers.

Harcourts chief executive officer Hayden Duncan said there were pockets of the country where sellers' expectations were too high and buyers were waiting for new lower-priced stock to come onto the market. But that was not a nationwide trend.

"In a number of inner-city suburbs in Auckland, things are elevating to a point where owners have the right to be optimistic and are achieving what anyone might normally or reasonably think is a unrealistic price."

However, in other areas such as Wellington, demand wasn't as strong so vendors were dropping asking prices to meet demand.

"It's a very mixed market and to generalise across New Zealand is somewhat misleading.

"The only trend that we've seen in every market that we operate in throughout New Zealand is that auctions are becoming the preferred method for people transacting in real estate."

Figures from Ray White Group show October 2012 had been the strongest month since the global financial crisis - with a $500 million turnover unseen since March 2007.

Ray White New Zealand chief executive Carey Smith said strong sales were driven by continued migration and relocation of those affected by the Canterbury earthquakes, record low interest rates and buyer confidence.


By the Numbers


$408,819 - Average Bay of Plenty asking price for October.

0.9 - percentage change from September.

955 - New listings in October.

24.8 - Per cent more listings than in September.

$445,529 - National average asking price for October.


Source: Realestate.co.nz

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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