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01-06-2011

Auckland property market shifts in favour of sellers

Landlords.co.nz

The sluggishness of new listings over the past two years has seen the Auckland property market finally tip in favour of sellers, according to the latest Realestate.co.nz Property Report.

"The Auckland market, which saw strong late summer property sales, has now as a consequence of these sales matched to the slower flow of new listings, seen inventory levels below the long term average," the report said.

"At the end of May the inventory of unsold houses on the market fell to 30 weeks as compared to the long term average of 34 weeks. The last time this level was seen was at the end of 2009."

Realestate.co.nz chief executive Alistair Helm said higher sales activity over the first quarter allied to a comparatively low level of new listings had contracted the Auckland market, shifting the balance in favour of sellers for the first time in a year-and-a-half.

"There is a level of confidence here from sellers that we haven't seen in a long while. The cyclical trend we saw following the impact of the global financial crisis in winter 2009 is balancing out and normalising the property market again to some degree."

The report found new listings failed to reach 10,000 across the country in May, a 16% year-on-year fall. This prompted a significant fall in the stock of unsold homes on the market, particularly in Auckland.

May also saw a fall in the asking price for property, with the truncated mean asking price for all new listings down significantly from $429,249 in April to $414,308.

"The seasonally adjusted asking price fell 2% nationally and that was reflected right across the regions indicating that the market still senses no significant property price inflation as yet with new-to-the-market vendors pricing to attract buyers who are still small in number across the regions," the report said.

The national asking price for new listings reached a peak in April and fell in May, a fall reflected around the regions with 12 areas seeing falls and just seven showing rises.

In Auckland the truncated mean asking price fell 4% in May from $555,572 in April to $533,071 and the number of new listings rose 3% from 3,325 to 3,417.

In the capital the truncated mean asking price fell 6% from $451,440 in April to $426,696 and the number of new listings rose 2% from 741 to 758.

The largest price rise was recorded in Marlborough, up 10.2% to $392,757 while the largest fall was in Manawatu/Wanganui where prices fell 7.7% to $248,755.

Helm said that while Auckland and Queenstown Lakes markets were moving in favour of sellers, 10 of the 19 regions still predominantly favoured buyers for the time being.

"We are clearly seeing a ‘two-speed' property market in New Zealand at this time, with Auckland leading the rest of the country in levels of property activity," he said.

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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