Price declines now steadying – realtor

The comment comes after new REINZ data showed a 13.3% annual fall in median house prices nationally

Price declines now steadying – realtor

The latest figures from REINZ show that the pace of price declines is steadying and that there was an overall awakening of the market in January, said Tim Kearins (pictured), owner of Century 21 New Zealand.

According to REINZ’s Monthly Property Report for January, median house prices across the country for the month fell 13.3% annually to $762,000. That’s a 3.5% drop month-on-month, while the median days to sell was at 53, up 16 days compared to 12 months ago.  

“Salespeople around the country say owner occupiers remain active, and that there has been increased interest in out-of-town buyers looking in different regions,” REINZ said.

“January is traditionally a quieter month for summer largely because people are away on holiday, but this time round we also had to contend with the terrible flooding in Auckland, not to mention an ongoing loss of consumer confidence,” Kearins said. 

The Century 21 leader said nationwide sales numbers significantly declined across the industry, but a number of positive signs revealed that things have stabilised somewhat, with many reporting improved numbers at open homes and more multi-offers.  

“Yes, it’s a much quieter summer than we’ve seen in recent years, but our Century 21 agents and offices are still reporting plenty of successful transactions, with many great properties still making good money,” Kearins said. 

He said it was unsurprising that the time it takes to sell had lengthened somewhat as buyers are cautious. 

“This makes complete sense when you consider all the talk around an imminent recession, the fact that it’s harder to secure finance, higher interest rates, not to mention it’s election year which stalls decision-making,” Kearins said.

Now, all eyes will be on the next OCR decision on Feb. 22.

“More buyers are certainly starting to emerge,” Kearins said. “February and March’s statistics will show us if they’ve decided to press play. The good news is vendors are increasingly keen to meet the market as they know this is likely to be a difficult winter.” 

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