Property prices in provincial and coastal areas will pick up in 2010, says the head of a national real estate company.
Prices will firm as rural export revenues improve, interest rates remain low and demand returns for holiday baches and sections, says Harcourts CEO Bryan Thomson.
"While compared to the dark days of 2008 there has been significant improvement in the residential real estate market in the main centres this year, in other locations and segments of the market things have continued to be challenging," Thomson said.
"In the major metropolitan centres there has been a marked increase in the volume of house sales and prices have been positively impacted in recent months by the imbalance between supply and demand, but overall sales numbers in most locations remain below historic averages.
"For example in provincial centres the market has not seen as much buoyancy as the big cities, partially because the rural economy has slowed and as a consequence of the financial environment, property investors appear to have been more cautious about provincial locations, while the volume of farm sales has dropped right off and demand for coastal property has been low too", said Thomson.
"In 2010 however I believe that in addition to ongoing solidity in the residential marketplace in the main centres there will be an improvement in the provinces too, all stimulated by attractive floating mortgage interest rates, far better than predicted unemployment figures and positive immigration.
"Improvement in dairy farm income should have a positive impact on provincial areas too and see farm sales start to improve as well, meanwhile we also expect to see more activity in coastal areas in 2010, with the easing economic situation helping renew interest in baches and sections in coastal locations."