New Zealand’s Christmas property siesta an opportunity
LoanPlan Mortgages and Finance
17 December 2013
New Zealand’s Christmas property siesta an opportunity for tenacious Auckland homebuyers
In view of the competitive nature of the Auckland housing market and recent changes in homebuyer behaviour, the coming holiday period could give enterprising home seekers an edge when it comes to finding their dream home.
Auckland mortgage broker and principal of integrated financial services provider LoanPlan, Christine Lockie says that most property buyers shelve the property hunt over the holiday period, which creates opportunities for more diligent buyers to shop without the competition.
“The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s loan-to-value ratio restrictions has seen a fall off of auctions in favour of property negotiations – essentially this means the real estate agent gives all other interested parties an opportunity to make an offer before taking any offer to the vendor. It’s like a silent auction, and it often pushes up the price of a property.
“However, as a result of most home buyers going on holiday over this period, there is an opportunity for tenacious home seekers to find a property and secure it without the buyer and price competition that will re-emerge come mid-January,” she said.
Ms Lockie said she expected Auckland’s competitive property market to continue so long as there is a supply and demand problem, and overseas markets – particularly from Asia – consider New Zealand property a good investment.
“On the plus side, competition for properties dies right down between Christmas and the middle of January. People who want a faster answer on their finance application from the banks, can also usually get their answer a bit sooner.”
She said that while many solicitors shut shop until around the 20th of January, there were some who were available to move a transaction along.
“We will be available on mobile and email and often do get some inquiry over the Christmas period – I actually welcome inquiries during this period. I know that there are also some solicitors and real estate agents who are still working through.”
Director of Auckland North Shore based Central Realty, Shane Coote, said he would generally get some new property listings just prior to Christmas but will only start actively marketing those properties from the middle of January.
“If smart home buyers ask me if I have anything else available, that hasn’t been advertised over this period, we generally have something to show them.
“It just isn’t worth us marketing those properties until everybody gets back, but that doesn't mean they’re off the market.
“If they are prepared to make an offer that is in the price range that the seller is looking for, they will most likely be able to secure the property without the added competition from other house hunters because they are all away on holiday.
“Don’t expect any bargains or deals, but if you’re prepared to pay market rates for a property and you’re the only one around, you can generally get what you want without the fuss and stress of competing with a bunch of other buyers,” he said.
Mr Coote said that most home vendors do not remove their property from the market over Christmas, unless it’s been on the market for an extended period.
“We may need two or three days notice to get you an appointment to view, but if you’re seriously looking for a property, we’re around,” he said.