‘No panic’ as prop­erty sales fall 11pc

Te Puke Times - - NEWS - By ZOE HUNTER

Real es­tate agents say an 11 per cent drop in Tau­ranga’s sale vol­umes is noth­ing to panic about, as the tra­di­tional spring rush is yet to kick in.

The num­ber of houses sold in Tau­ranga dropped 11.4 per cent last month com­pared with Sep­tem­ber last year, ac­cord­ing to Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of New Zealand fig­ures.

There were 218 prop­er­ties sold in Tau­ranga last month, down from 246 in Sep­tem­ber 2017. This was the low­est vol­ume sold in a month since Jan­uary.

It was a na­tion­wide trend, with a low num­ber of prop­er­ties listed across the coun­try in July trans­lat­ing to 3 per cent fewer houses sold in Sep­tem­ber.

How­ever, lo­cal real es­tate ex­perts were con­fi­dent the mar­ket would pick up over spring.

Si­mon An­der­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Realty Group, which op­er­ates Eves and Bay­leys, said Sep­tem­ber sales had slowed af­ter a record month for the busi­ness in Au­gust. An­der­son said the drop in the num­ber of prop­er­ties sold was due to a lack of list­ings “but we are ex­pect­ing a strong Oc­to­ber”.

He said first-home buy­ers were com­ing into the mar­ket af­ter gath­er­ing their fi­nances and act­ing fast to se­cure the keys to a home. Auc­tions were prov­ing strong, with buy­ers eye­ing the top end of the mar­ket.

First Na­tional Mount Maun­ganui, Tau­ranga and Omoko­roa owner An­ton Jones said there was a no­tice­able drop in sale vol­umes in Sep­tem­ber with fewer prop­er­ties to chose from: “But that is noth­ing to be con­cerned about . . . it is al­ready start­ing to heat up again and we are ex­pect­ing that to con­tinue.”

Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of NZ re­gional di­rec­tor Philip Searle said new list­ings had at­tracted plenty of in­ter­est at first open­home view­ings in the Bay, as the mar­ket con­tin­ued to flow for­ward.

“In­ter­est was shown for prop­er­ties in all price ranges, but the tra­di­tional spring rush hasn’t quite kicked in yet,” he said.

Searle said in­vestors were in­ter­ested but cau­tious with up­com­ing changes to the Healthy Homes leg­is­la­tion that could create op­por­tu­ni­ties for firsthome buy­ers, as com­pe­ti­tion for af­ford­able homes eased off.

List­ing num­bers slightly im­proved from Au­gust’s very low num­bers, which he said would hope­fully be the start of a more ac­tive mar­ket as more ven­dors listed while de­mand con­tin­ued to drive the mar­ket up un­til Christ­mas.

LJ Hooker Rotorua di­rec­tor Mal­colm Forsyth said there had been a grad­ual de­cline in sales vol­umes in the last six months. How­ever, val­ues re­mained high: “There is still a lot of buy­ers out there. There has been mul­ti­ple in­ter­est on a lot of prop­er­ties.”

Forsyth said a drop in sale vol­umes was due to the cooler weather plus a short­age in list­ings as Rotorua’s pop­u­la­tion in­creased.

“There is a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of peo­ple com­ing to live. To ac­com­mo­date that, there has been a real surge around March, April, May. It took a bit of prop­erty out of cir­cu­la­tion.”

How­ever, he said list­ings had started to free up for a more tra­di­tion­ally buoy­ant Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber.

First Na­tional prin­ci­pal and Rotorua REINZ spokes­woman Ann Cross­ley said there had not yet been a huge spring lift.

“Through win­ter, stock list­ings get lower and lower. We are re­ally hop­ing to get a good strong lift,” she said.

“There is an ap­petite to move if there was some­thing to move to.”

A fall in home sales re­flects a drop in list­ings, lo­cal real es­tate ex­perts say, but they are con­fi­dent a tra­di­tional spring surge will change things.

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