November 'boomer month' for house sales

By Brendan Manning

Real estate insiders remain upbeat about Rotorua's property market following a "boomer'' month in November.

QV's quarterly Property Report shows the median Rotorua sale price dropped 4.3 per cent to $250,000 in the three months to September 30.

However, Bayleys Rotorua spokeswoman Beth Millard said in recent months there had been more market

activity "and definitely a lot more confidence''.

"We have seen a few more multi-offers on properties, we're having good attendances in our auction room.

"We've had a boomer month, November's been a huge month for us and it's probably a lot of stock that's sat around for a wee bit that's sold.''

However, as Rotorua's population remained constant, real estate prices would not be driven up any time soon, she said.



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The most popular price range remained in the $350,000 to $450,000 band, Ms Millard said.

"If we had more of that stuff to sell, we could sell a whole lot more property. There's still a shortage of stock.''

Nationally, sellers notched up a record high average asking price in the last month, according to property database

Ray White NZ chief executive Carey Smith said the property market was still split into two - Auckland, and the rest of the country.

While Auckland prices have continued to surge, prices have slipped in many provincial areas during the September quarter, the report shows.

However, Mr Smith said the picture was still rosy when Auckland was excluded.

"The numbers are still pretty strong...looking at the Central North Island, compared to 2008, it's almost double.''

While the lower North Island was "pretty flat'' there were a lot of "split markets'', he said.

"Some of the stand-alone regional towns have actually been performing quite well.''

Wanganui in isolation had been recovering in recent months while Palmerston North remained flat, he said.

"Kapiti Coast has been good while Wellington's remained flat, so it's quite diversified.''

The regions' mid-to-upper markets had been performing better, with more properties selling above the market average, Mr Smith said.

A recent surge in listings was due in part to people holding off from selling during winter.

He did not expect the new listings to force prices down but said homes would take longer to sell.

"Obviously buyers have more choice, so the pressure comes off.'' spokesman Paul McKenzie said following a strong month of sales in October, which saw 6640

properties change hands, new listings were still not keeping pace with buyer demand.

"Numbers of new listings are traditionally up at this time of year, and November was no exception with 13,571 new

listings arriving on the market.''

But a shortage of stock combined with attractive mortgage packages meant the market was still firmly in the seller's favour, Mr McKenzie said.

This was reflected in the average asking price which last month topped October's record high to reach $446,277, he said.

Harcourts chief executive Hayden Duncan said the QV figures were now out of date, and the biggest activity this year had occurred in the past two months.

Traditionally, "major activity'' increased from October to December.

There had been plenty of activity in the regions though coastal markets had seen the least improvement, he said.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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