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Stalemate as buyers and sellers hold off on acting

Media Release

Stalemate as buyers and sellers hold off on acting

20 June 2008 – Harcourts New Zealand’s latest statistics along with anecdotal evidence from around the group’s nationwide network both confirm there’s a ‘stalemate’ in the property market, CEO Bryan Thomson says.

Commenting in the latest issue of Harcourts MarketWatch newsletter Mr Thomson says the ongoing low level of sales coupled with widespread anecdotal feedback indicate that many buyers are holding out for the significant price reductions some have predicted while some potential sellers are delaying taking action by either not listing or refusing to accept today’s prices.

“Many buyers and potential sellers are sitting tight, essentially having a stand-off. Conversely those sellers coming to the market with realistic expectations are finding good demand from genuine buyers at today’s levels. These sellers and buyers are achieving success.”

Mr Thomson says May 2007 was a record month for Harcourts so it’s no surprise that compared to that the group’s latest figures are not looking good.

“But even taking that into account there’s no question that we’re in a transition period with the amount of written sales across Harcourts’ regions in May down by between 33% and 58% when compared with the same month last year.”

In terms of average prices Harcourts’ latest figures show a more mixed bag, Mr Thomson says, with Harcourts’ South Island Provincial region recording a significant increase in average price when compared with May 2007, three of its regions recording minimal change and Harcourts’ Northern region recording an 11% drop in average price when compared to last year.

“Despite the figures and negative rhetoric from commentators with varied agendas we believe buyers and sellers should act when they need and want to, remembering that if you buy and sell on the same market you are protected and that there is no ‘perfect time’ except that identified by those looking back with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight.”

Editor’s Note: See Harcourts MarketWatch (attached) for the group’s latest figures and for other Harcourts and Mortgage Express news.


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