Wanganui home sales up as more sellers get real

By Brendan Manning

Property sales volumes and prices have increased in Wanganui, as more sellers lower their expectations to meet the market.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) data showed 81 properties sold in Wanganui in April, up from 74 in March and 56 in April 2012.

The median sale also grew, reaching $180,000 in April, up from $155,000 in March and $164,000 in April 2012.

Local realtor Ross Watson said it was "nothing more than you'd expect at this time of year".

"This is traditionally when the market should be at its peak, and it's about what you'd expect," Mr Watson said.

However, with winter around the corner, a drop-off in sales wasn't far away.

"Over the last 12 months, we've seen a real estate market locally that's certainly stabilised, as far as sales volumes, but it doesn't mean that it's on the mend, or that property prices are going to rise.

"It just means that we're selling more, but we probably are, realistically, getting a wee bit less for the properties."

Nationwide, the number of residential property sales in April reached its highest level in six years, with sales up 25 per cent compared to April 2012.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) data showed the national median price eased 2.4 per cent to $390,500, after reaching a record high of $400,000 in March. However, compared to April 2012, the median price jumped $25,500 (7 per cent) year-on-year. Together, Auckland and Canterbury accounted for 92 per cent of the price increase over the past 12 months.

REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said April was notable for a surge in prices and sales of mid-level homes in many parts of the country: "Several regions appear to be benefiting from the tailwind generated by the strength of house prices in Auckland and Christchurch."

Overall price levels in Auckland and Canterbury continued to have a major impact on the national picture, with the Auckland region recording the second largest jump in median price - rising 13.3 per cent to $555,000 year-on-year - but easing slightly (1.2 per cent) from the previous month.

Canterbury/Westland median prices jumped 10 per cent year-on-year to $353,000.

As house prices continued to soar, the Reserve Bank warned it would force home buyers to come up with minimum mortgage deposits in a bid to cool the heated property market - sparking concerns that first-time buyers could be locked out of the market.

Meanwhile, auctions were increasingly becoming the favourite way to sell, with 1368 dwellings nationwide selling under the hammer in April - nearly 20 per cent of total sales.

Houses took three days longer to sell in April than in March, easing from 31 to 34 days.

REINZ data also showed 7104 properties were sold throughout the country last month, an increase of 1428 sales (25.2 per cent) compared with the same time last year but a fall of 12.6 per cent compared to March 2013. APNZ



$180,000 - median Wanganui sale price in April, up from $155,000 in March and $164,000 in April 2012.

81 properties sold in Wanganui in April, up from 74 in March and 56 in April 2012.

$192,025 - average Wanganui property value, up 2.1 per cent year-on-year, but down 12.4 per cent on 2007 market peak.

Source: REINZ, QV

- Wanganui Chronicle

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