Harcourts MarketWatch - Nov 2008
Last month saw the lowest volume of October sales Harcourts has seen for some time, but the scene is now set for the market to heat up again as we head into summer.
October is traditionally a strong month, but according to our latest statistics the number of written sales last month was between 25% and 40% down on October 2007 across our five regions while across the whole industry the number of sales nationally was down by a total of 35% when compared with the same month last year.
A number of factors contributed to the October sales results to a larger or lesser extent. Firstly, there was ongoing financial turmoil in many key international markets, which undoubtedly affected the decision-making of many New Zealanders. Couple this impact with the United States’ election and the uncertainty associated with the New Zealand election campaign prior to our 8 November vote and it’s easy to understand the hesitation by both buyers and sellers over what is most people’s largest asset.
Looking forward however, in addition to the traditional reasons why summer is usually a more active period, there are other reasons why the next few months should be more positive.
For example, we have seen the largest ever co-ordinated international effort by Governments to address the ‘global financial crisis’; the US election result has seen significant change and the message of hope the new face brings is clearly a positive for the future; and in the New Zealand election there was a decisive victory and therefore no long wait for a coalition to be formed.
In addition, interest rates are trending down, summer is on the way, there’s an abundance of buyers with pre-approved finance and a lot of properties on hand for them consider, along with many motivated vendors - so there is every reason to look forward with hope and confidence that the level of activity will increase.
Bryan Thomson, CEO
Harcourts New Zealand