Property market moving slowly: latest figures

A rise in house listings could be put down to a rise in confidence.
Photo / File
A rise in house listings could be put down to a rise in confidence. Photo / File

The property market is continuing to show signs of movement, as latest figures reveal a 16 per cent rise in the number of houses put on the market in the past month.

Data compiled by realestate.co.nz revealed that in the month of May, 11,544 new listings arrived on the market.

This represented a 16 per cent rise - the highest seasonally adjusted total month of listings recorded since July 2010, realestate.co.nz chief executive Alistair Helm said.

The rise in house listings was to do with confidence, Mr Helm said.

"What we saw last year was a rise in sales and a growing increase in the sale price and that's the signal that sellers look for before getting into the market.

"Buyers look for the simplest signs - open homes, 'sold' signs on houses - these are the things that play to the psyche.''

Mr Helm said what was happening in the market was the exact opposite of 18 months ago when there was no expectations, houses were in oversupply and prices were falling.

He said there was increased optimism because sellers were hearing there was demand.

The rise in properties listed in May did not align with what realtors expected in the month leading up to winter, which traditionally sees a slowing of new listings coming into the market.

"It appears from the May data on the supply side of the market that this message has finally got through to sellers.''

The mean asking price for listings in May has also set a record high of $435,887.

The past peak in March of this year was $429,865.

The number of unsold houses on the market at the end of May was down to 46,016 when compared to April which had 46,948 houses on the market.

"Some balancing of the market is clearly occurring, with several provincial regions moving away from being selling markets.

"Market demand is still high and shows no signs of easing over the coming months.''

Investors were also back in the market, according to Mr Helm, because interest rates were low and there was a good turnover.

"The market is like an engine and interest rates are the fuel," he said.

"If you get turnover then people get confident in the market. It's a cyclical component, the market refuels itself."

- APNZ

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