More houses are likely to be up for sale in Northland later this year as anxious homeowners prefer to wait until after the general election, a leading real estate expert says.
Paul Beazley from LJ Hooker in Whangarei said noises by some political parties around a capital gains tax and the Labour Party's policy around increasing 42-day notice periods for landlords to 90 days to give tenants more time to find somewhere else to live were making landlords re-think about selling before the election.
His comments followed the release by Realestate.co.nz of figures that show new property listings in Northland for August were down 24 per cent and a decrease of both old and new listings by 19.9 per cent compared with the same period last year.
There were 327 new listings and 1203 of all listings in August in the region. Northland was the third worst in terms of new listings behind Coromandel with 37.6 per cent fall and Bay of Plenty down 27.2 per cent.
Mr Beazley said the biggest surge in home listings were traditionally during spring and late summer but that did not happen this year.
The housing stock has not been able to keep up with demand as more people moved into Northland and Auckland investors bought properties in the past two to three years, he said.
Mr Beazley said even the number of listings on Trade Me and Realestate.co.nz was down in the past six to eight weeks.
Although the number of listing was down throughout Northland, he said the Whangarei market was in pretty good shape except that prices were fast rising because of the shortage of listings.
The median price of a house within the city fringes such as Kensington, Regent, Riverside, Morningside, Maunu, Avenues, and even Kamo and Tikipunga went up from $360,500 in August last year to $442,000 in July this year.
Homeowners were also holding back from selling until after the upcoming general election, he said.
"The Labour Party is making noises about a capital gains tax and about changing the parameters around tenants that are renting and so people are perhaps waiting for the election to be over before making a commitment.
"We've had such a big number of properties sold over the last two to three years before the number of listings came down but I think it will pick up after the election," Mr Beazley said.
Mr Beazley said construction of new houses did not free up more properties for sale because new builds were towards the upper end of the market or around $500,000 and more.
He said a shortage of tradespeople contributed to the problem.