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Vendor uncertainty affecting real estate listings

3 September 2011

Vendor uncertainty affecting real estate listings

Vendors are confused about whether it is a good time or not to sell their house at the moment so listings figures remain weak, according to First National’s monthly residential property survey.

First National Group general manager John Stewart says, "The lack of listings right across the market is a continuation of a trend since late last year.

“Vendors are uncertain about whether now is the right time to list their house for sale so they are holding back,” he says.

“However, for those people with properties on the market this is good news as well presented and well priced properties are being contested across all forms of selling, in fact they are being snapped up by vigorous buyers.”

Listings are down 0.8% from July 2011 and down 8.0% compared with August 2010.

As part of its survey, First National asked its office owners across the country whether their buyers are favouring brokers or banks for their mortgage finance.

“Similar to financial media reports recently showing investors are favouring the safety of bank deposits, most people are arranging mortgages with banks too,” Stewart says.

On average, 75% of First National respondents say their clients are finalising contracts with banks and 25% are utilising mortgage brokers.

For most clients, their decision is based on who they have an established relationship with and who can offer the best deal.

“This is no surprise in view of banks’ renewed focus on promoting their own mortgage services, incentive offers and dedication of frontline staff to support this strategy,” Stewart says.

“It reflects banks’ desire to provide hands-on service and gain a better knowledge of their customers’ situation. In general, their customers are seeking the security of banks’ support for their mortgage borrowing rather casting a wider net,” he says.

Offices which found clients favouring brokers over banks are Papatoetoe, Blenheim and Alexandra, who state clients in their region find brokers are able to offer more deals.

The survey, which measures listing levels, sales, market trends and overall activity across First National’s nationwide network, found house prices have fallen in August compared with a year earlier across 43% of the country, which is an improvement from July’s 51% annual change figure.

The survey also found 43% of agencies across the country say house prices are the same, while 14% replied prices are higher.

In the August 2011 survey, 45% of offices say two-bedroom property prices are lower than August 2010, while 48% say three-bedroom home prices have fallen. The largest proportion of responses, 48%, say four-bedroom homes are priced the same.

The lower North Island and the upper South Island in general note prices are down on last year for all property types.

However, First National Motueka and Waihi Beach note price increases on three- and four-bedroom homes. First National Glendene has price increases on all homes when comparing results from a year earlier.

A number of First National respondents suggest investor activity is on the rise including Dargaville, Albany, Howick, Taupo, Johnsonville, Timaru and Riverton.

Offices recording a significant annual increase in general enquiry, including open home visitors, emails, and face-to-face and telephone enquiries, are Te Puke, Alexandra, the central North Island region, Christchurch, Taupo, Papatoetoe, Wanaka, Tauranga, Blenheim, Bethlehem, Gore, Motueka, Howick and Ashburton.

Notably, 43% of First National respondents say open home visitor numbers are up compared with a year earlier.


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