Marlborough Property Investors' Association

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Residential real estate balancing out

Residential real estate is reporting a better matching of buyers and sellers in the last month and there are reports of an upturn in residential construction according to the BNZ Confidence Survey.

By Jenha White

BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander says residential real estate appears to be variable with a bit more balance between buyers and sellers.

Many residential builders report being booked up and busy, although there was a comment that many people are altering rather than building from scratch.

Exclusive Residential Construction made a comment saying it has had an increase of 500% on new leads for projects to tender compared to six months ago and a quantity estimator reports turn over up 58% on the same period last year.

The BNZ survey also noted a small decline in confidence about the economy with 43% of the 536 respondents optimistic, down from 50% in October, which is still high by historical standards.

Alexander says this optimism will largely be a "sigh of relief factor" that a Depression has been avoided rather than a sign of confidence about the economy.

The following are some comments made to the BNZ confidence survey about residential real estate:

Real Estate - Residential

  • Real estate sales picking up since Sept 09. Not great but better than past 12 months.
  • South Auckland residential is slow
  • Hawke's Bay (Hastings / Havelock North) Busy Residential Sales activity, though not in all sectors. More deals at present in the $450k+ range (fuelled I believe mainly by Internal migration) often at good prices ... due to multiple part interest. Lower priced housing is receiving offers, but generally stand-alone at "Buyers Price" (often well-below Vendors expectation). I am doing large number of appraisals (3 to 5 per week) for prospective sellers. I forecast high levels of activity ongoing to Xmas, then again in late January, after the holiday period.
  • Property Valuer, Auckland - residential market is seeing some ridiculous prices being paid again, in some areas above 2007 levels and in some cases above the vendors asking price in mini bid wars.
  • Property Valuation. The resurgence of rising values in Auckland basically due to a tight supply would appear to have slowed with increasing supply in the last month.
  • Real Estate Valuation - Property consultancy We have generally been busy right through, apart from a couple of quieter months August & September. The residential team is down 10 - 15% on this time last year. Our Commercial & rural teams are up by about that much though.
  • Auckland Central-Real Estate We have put a huge effort into our business this year and have been rewarded towards the end of the year. Instead of perhaps one buyer we have had two or three buyers.
  • Real Estate Tauranga - last two months activity has slowed. We are looking for improved confidence in the new year.
  • Valuation - job list patchy from week to week. At present less market sales particularly in some sectors (eg.industrial and development land), therefore getting harder to ascertain current market value as opposed to a forced sale value. Forced sales seem to be influencing asking prices unduly. Some in the Real Estate sector are finding it hard to appreciate there is a difference as a result of these forced sales.
  • Group home builder - very up and down. A lot more enquiry but our market is still unstable
  • I am a property lawyer on the ... and we are flat out with property deals, estate planning work (Trusts, Wills etc) and small business work. There are a lot of sections moving again out here and a lot of local confidence despite some unknowns around local roading issues.
  • Real estate, looking solid
  • Our industry - coastal and residential property. Enquiry rates picking up, sales being concluded now (20% below 2007 prices unlike urban and suburban), lack of finance for purchasers a big question mark.
  • Real-estate Auckland: Sales volume is good and prices are rising slowly.
  • Listings are very slow. Maybe related to the time of year. Sales of course continue to be steady.
  • Lack of residential housing to sell, buyers still strong. Mortgage sales with investment property will continue particularly those who are affected by the leaky home issue.
  • Real Estate Johnsonville; Ticking along ok with a few more listings coming to the market. Maybe a little quieter due to closeness of Christmas where it will remain until mid to late January. The small increase in listings is welcome. Buyer numbers still good, some properties around I have noticed maybe taking a little more time to sell whether it is price or marketing but market becoming interesting.
  • Property. We are finding that the land agents have very strong inquiry for 400 - 700k houses. There is a shortage due to down trading, expats, first home buyers,
  • Investment Property is looking up! More investors seem to be aware of the opportunities that are still available.
  • December for our company will be the best since May 2007. We have a lot of residential settlements for first home buyers and interestingly some residential subdivisions and developments. These have been non existent for 18 months as lenders, both Bank an non Bank avoid higher risk proposals. Another area of growth has been our business ... providing mortgage and debt reduction coaching. Now the worst is felt to be over we are finding clients are very open to putting in place a strategy to avoid being caught again being both over borrowed and with income under threat. 2010 should be a better one and the majority of people we meet believe this. Bargain basement prices in the property market are gone and the demand is now lifting even for those more expensive properties on the shore in prime coastal locations.
  • Residential real estate Howick/Pakuranga - activity has slowed considerably in last two weeks; seems to be sellers thinking prices are rising so overpricing properties and buyers refusing to pay.
  • Residential Real Estate sales...Wellington. Good generally. Strong with first home buyers & the rich. Investors pushed out by low yields...never got a look in because prices didn't drop much here, & too much demand. And few pressed sellers. $700k to $1m struggling (middle management, self employed. Carrying the burden.) Provinces seem very weak still.
  • Residential real estate Christchurch, listings still very tight and stock numbers are well down on this time last year. Heaps of purchasers out there wanting to purchase at last years prices and lots of vendors wanting to sell at next years prices .
  • Vendor of lifestyle blocks on the Coromandel. No sales for several months despite advertising and up to 20% discounts to this year's registered valuation figures.
  • Real Estate - buyers are starting to show signs of past nervousness with less bidding at auctions and less urgency to make offers for properties that are priced. People appear worried about rising mortgage rates and comments that CGT will come out from the government.
  • Real Estate. Activity normally slows / halts somewhere between 6 Dec - 20 Dec depending on the year the past eight years. Definite slow down with erratic bursts since early November this year. I think the buyers are not wanting to 'buy into' a price strengthening market, and pulling back. Also wariness with some uncertain economic factors, with high end buyers, $3m+ still tight.
  • Property Valuer - have noticed that people are starting to build again - land values have fallen and buyers have been able to pick-up bargains making building a viable option again. There is still steady buyer demand for mid-priced good quality family homes with a lack of listings in the Auckland region, many agents have reported multiple offers on homes with some offers exceeding their listing price.
  • Residential Property rentals in Wellington; Demand is growing for tenancies, with prices holding up strongly in the inner city. Excellent tenants turning up with demand for premium properties strong. Small rise in vacancies showing up on Trademe in the last couple of months that could spell problems, but the shortage of houses overall is likely to offset this.
  • Residential Real Estate (Chch)- Very few sellers coming to the market. It seems as if they've shut up shop for Xmas. I believe buyers are still active if the right property comes to the market. Same story, sought after properties are popular as ever. properties with warts are sticking.