Marlborough Property Investors' Association

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Harcourts pushes auctions as favoured selling strategy

Harcourts latest figures show the good volume of written sales that occurred across the country in October was not matched by the traditional upsurge in new listings normally seen in spring.

Harcourts chief executive Bryan Thomson says this has ensured that there remains a strong level of competition from buyers for the available properties, he says.

He says this competition has led to a high numbers of sellers choosing auction marketing campaigns to sell their property and "remove the risk of under or over pricing" it.

Harcourts completed 53% more written sales last month than in October 2008, ranging from an 80% increase in the group's Northern region to a 31% increase in its Wellington region.

Thomson says the current imbalance between demand and supply is putting upward pressure on prices and this is reflected in sales. In October the average written sales prices were up on the same month in the previous year in three of Harcourts' five regions, with Harcourts' Northern region experiencing the greatest increase - in part due to increased activity at the higher end of the market.

The amount of property on hand in October was down compared to the same month last year

"Looking ahead we expect strong levels of interest from residential property buyers to continue in the lead-up to Christmas and for this to continue to impact on prices, to the degree of that effect dependant on how many new listings there are," Thompson says.