Realtor says winter's a good time to buy

This as some real estate numbers stabilise

Realtor says winter's a good time to buy

Tim Kearins (pictured above), owner of Century 21 New Zealand, said that with rents still high and some real estate figures stabilising, this winter is a good time for those who can organise a mortgage to purchase a property

“It’s good to see some stabilisation in the real estate numbers – no doubt helped by the return of immigration and the Reserve Bank signalling last month an easing of LVR restrictions and a possible end to OCR increases,” Kearins said. 

Kearins’ comments came after the release of REINZ’s latest Monthly Property Report, which showed median prices across New Zealand fall 8.2% year-on-year to $780,000 in May but remained flat month-on-month. Days to sell have risen to 49 days for May —six days longer compared to May last year. 

“As we head into the winter months, we are seeing glimpses of positivity, especially in the regions following the Reserve Bank’s announcement of easing loan-to-value restrictions and the stabilising of interest rates,” REINZ said.

In its report, REINZ said there were early signs of returning confidence as sales volumes increased in the regions, with Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, Tasman, Marlborough, and Southland all seeing a 30% rise or more in sales volumes month-on-month.

With the new, lesser LVR restrictions taking effect in June, banks have been able to approve more of their new lending to owner-occupiers borrowing more than 80%, as well as an easing for investors. 

“Too many creditworthy borrowers were being blocked from borrowing,” Kearins said. “Easing the LVRs gives banks and borrowers a little more wriggle room which is positive for the market, as is the return of some solid inward migration, not to mention that perhaps the peak of interest rates is in sight.”

More opportunities also await would-be buyers as many vendors are getting more realistic with their price expectations and are now keen to sell before the general election campaign, which traditionally sees Kiwis delaying their decisions, Kearins said.

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