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Prepare for action

The residential real estate market could be finally heading for an upturn, says Harcourts CEO Bryan Thomson.

Thursday, August 21st 2008, 12:27PM

by The Landlord

Commenting in the latest Harcourts Marketwatch, Thomson says July was another challenging month with sales volumes well down and the volume of property on hand well up on last year. But on the bright side, “there are some good indicators buyers and sellers are coming to terms with the current market and are preparing to take action.”

For the first time this year, he notes, real estate websites have seen an increase in traffic between months. Given that most people start information gathering on the web before they make a move, Thomson says this augurs well.  


He adds he has also received reports of Harcourts sales consultants experiencing increased buyer enquiry from open homes and other avenues, which is also encouraging for the future.

The report shows the group’s volume of written sales in July 2008 was an average of 24.6% down on July 2007 across its five regions – the best differential in many months.  However, the amount of property on hand was an average of 53% up on July last year, indicating many properties are proving more difficult to sell.  This was particularly so in the Northern region, Auckland north, where the amount of property on hand increased by 116%. In this area, written sales were down 30% and the average price slipped 12% from $517,000 to $456,000.

The central region – from Hawke’s Bay/Taranaki up to Waikato, delivered a better result. Written sales were down 31%, but the average price rose dramatically, up by 33% from $356,000 to $472,000. Similarly in the South Island provincial areas, written sales dropped 23% but the average price move up 17% from $356,000 to $416,000.

Wellington experienced a 26% drop in written sales and the average price dropped 5%. Christchurch’s written sales dropped 13% and the average price dipped by 10%.

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