The head expects sales volumes to lift in February and March
The property market remains relatively resilient, despite the threat of Omicron, lending restrictions, rising interest rates, and a predicted softening of prices, according to Tim Kearins, owner of Century 21 New Zealand.
Read more: February provides real estate window of opportunity – Century 21 boss
He made the comment following REINZ’s Monthly Property Report for January, which showed median house prices across New Zealand increasing 20.5% compared to the same period last year. REINZ also reported “a decrease in sales activity and easing of price growth nationwide.”
The REINZ report showed that national median house price was down to $880,000 from December, yet seasonally adjusted figures indicated prices held up slightly better than expected when moving from December to January, showing a 1.4% increase month to month.
“While lower sales volumes show a quieter January, the good news is February was off to a better start,” Kearins said. “New listings are coming on with real estate activity more noticeable. In fact, right now is providing a good window of opportunity for buyers and sellers alike.”
Kearins said all eyes will be on the Reserve Bank on Feb. 23 as it makes a call on the official cash rate, with the overall consensus being that interest rates will continue to rise.
“February is proving to be a bit of a sweet spot,” Kearins said. “Many buyers who achieved pre-approval before lending tightened up are motivated to act. First-home buyers want to get in and lock in a good interest rate, and vendors want to sell before the uncertainty of this coming winter.”
Kearins is encouraged that the levels of inventory nationwide will continue to rise, saying more listings means more choices for buyers.
“Compared to previous summers the number of residential sales remain down,” Kearins said. “However, I’m confident that February and March should show sales volumes lifting. In the meantime, there are plenty of good properties still commanding great prices, and let’s not forget that’s after two years of a global pandemic.”