Marlborough Property Investors' Association

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Sense of normality returning

The residential property market seems to be progressing "normally", with signs supply and demand are balancing out, according to the latest Harcourts MarketWatch.

"The buying and selling public appear to be in ‘normal' mode and are just getting on with their property transactions," says Harcourts chief executive Bryan Thomson.

The company saw a good volume of activity last month, with an average of 26.4% more written sales than in November last year, while the average price was up in four of the five regions.

Prices are at solid levels, Thomson says, and there is anecdotal feedback in the market suggesting the imbalance between demand and supply is easing.

"In the upper North Island regions last month we finally saw an increase in the number of new listings coming forward, which is assisting buyers to satisfy their needs," Thomson says.

In the Northern region, listings were up 21% from the same period last year, while the Central region was up 17%. The area with the next highest growth in listings was the South Island provincial region, increasing 11%. Wellington and Christchurch were slightly down 3% and 1% respectively.

Written sales were also up in November in all areas. The Northern regions saw a 34% increase on the same month last year, while the Central region was up 43%. Wellington was a little more sluggish in terms of sales, only increasing 11% from the same time last year.

In the South Island, Christchurch saw a jump of 38% in written sales, while the South Island provincial regions saw only a 6% increase.

Solid average prices last month also suggest the market is steady at current levels.

Christchurch saw an increase of 13% in average sale price from the same month last year, while Wellington had an increase of 10%. The Northern regions' average price was up 5%, the South Island provincial regions 3% and the Central region was the only area to decline, with a drop of 5% in average price.

"Further south, listings remain tight and the level of demand for the available stock saw prices in November lifting above those of 12 months ago," Thomson says.