Real estate sales increased in October, but buyer enquiry was negatively affected by the Rugby World Cup, school holidays and confidence issues, according to First National’s monthly residential property survey.
First National Group general manager John Stewart says, “While confirmed sales rose 17% in October from September, member offices certainly report a drop-off in enquiry in the latter part of the month, mostly in areas directly impacted by the Rugby World Cup.
“This trend is exacerbated by the traditional downturn in enquiry due to school holidays and people’s reticence during periods of pessimistic financial news, which in this case is the Greek crisis and its influence on the world economy,” he says.
The situation is exemplified by First National Motueka Principal Bob Brereton.
“The combination of the Rugby World Cup and school holidays was a perfect storm. We had nine open homes over Labour Weekend and a zero attendance,” Brereton says.
Stewart adds, “In the days subsequent to the Rugby World Cup and the school holidays, 37% of First National offices reported a notable lift in enquiry, including Motueka.
“However, the increase in confirmed sales over the previous month really reflects business which was well advanced prior to any of these limiting effects,” Stewart says.
Mostly, house prices are steady across the market, he says, but smaller homes seem to be under price pressure.
The survey, which measures listing levels, sales, market trends and overall activity across First National’s nationwide network, found house prices were consistent in October compared with a year earlier across 46% of the country, which is an improvement from September when 44% of offices reported prices were lower from a year earlier.
When commenting specifically about movement in prices for two-bedroom properties, 46% of First National respondents say they are lower than October 2010.
Kaitaia, Mangonui, Motueka, Blenheim, Otaki, Greytown, Riverton, Cromwell, Wanaka, Te Awamutu, New Plymouth, Stratford, Hawera and Whangamata say prices are lower across all sized properties.
Bucking the trend, Glendene, Ilam (Christchurch) and New Brighton (Christchurch) say prices have increased across all sized properties.
According to 54.5% of First National respondents, website enquiry from buyers through the web was lower.
This was not the case for First National offices in Howick, Manakau, Golden Bay, Cromwell, Wanaka, Ilam (Christchurch) and New Brighton (Christchurch), which all say enquiry is up across all the avenues of open homes, the web, phone calls and walk-ins.
The survey shows 41% of First National respondents had an increase in appraisal requests in October compared with the previous month.
Of the appraisals which did not convert to a listing, 68% of First National respondents believe vendors are waiting for a better time to sell. This was predominant in Northland and central North Island offices.November 3, 2011