Property market thawing

The New Zealand property market appears to be thawing, with both buyers and sellers becoming more active.

Harcourts New Zealand CEO Hayden Duncan says the New Zealand property market is showing signs of a traditional Spring thaw, with a lift in the volume of properties being listed for sale and an increased level of buyer enquiry too.
"According to our latest figures there has been an increase in the volume of listings recently as sellers have decided it’s time to take action in order to be able to make a move over the preferred Spring and Summer months.
"This has included a good lift in the number of listings in the mid-upper price range," he says, "which could see more balance in that segment of the market, given it has been affected by limited availability of good quality, well-located properties of late."
Meanwhile a recent record volume of traffic to Harcourts’ New Zealand website and the record level of pre-approved finance being reported by Mortgage Express, a preferred supplier of Harcourts, suggests there are many active buyers in the market according to Mr Duncan.
"With low interest rates and more choice as a result of the recent increase in listings buyers are well positioned to act," he says.
"Given what we believe is a solid amount of pent-up demand, now could be a good time for sellers to act too, particularly if they want to trade up, as there should be a lower price differential to their next home now than there would be in a hotter market."
Mr Duncan says to take full advantage sellers need to take the appropriate steps to maximise their opportunities.
"Sellers should ensure their property is presented well – clean, tidy and de-cluttered, with minor repairs and maintenance done at least. They might also like to consider fixing anything that could be seen as a defect.
"Selecting the best method of sale and ensuring their property is marketed well are also key, with auction campaigns proving to be both popular and most successful for Harcourts’ clients currently.
"Choosing a skilled and knowledgeable sales consultant is also vital." says Mr Duncan.
New Zealand dwellings' median prices
Creating a good first impression
Property presentation is crucial when it comes to selling, however it’s important not to over-stage your home.
To maximise the final sale price and to sell the property in the shortest timeframe sellers do need to make the effort to present their homes in the best possible way, but when preparing a property for inspection it’s important not to over-do it as that could backfire.
A clean and well-maintained home should be a minimum, but be wary of creating an empty, sterile environment stripped of personality for example.
If a property has a “lived in” look and feel it will typically be more appealing to potential buyers. They will be able to more easily imagine themselves living in the home if they can get a sense of how the property is enjoyed now from the human touches of the current owners.
At the opposite end of the scale, if you decide to add furniture, art or other items in order to create a certain look, be careful not to add so many touches that potential buyers end up focusing on the ‘stuff’ and don’t look at the house or grounds properly.
Whatever you do it’s important not to be obviously contrived in how you stage your home as potential buyers will see through it and could be distracted, or put off entirely, by it.
In summary, common sense and subtlety will usually prevail, with the aim being to make your property’s features and not its presentation buyers’ talking point.
If you have questions on presenting your home and the subtle extras that can make a powerful difference talk to your Harcourts Sales Consultant who can advise you of the common turn-ons and turn-offs.
Tip: Don’t forget some people are afraid of or allergic to animals, so bear that in mind if you have pets as you don’t want to stop potential buyers from coming through the gate or door during your open homes.

Did you know?
  • Confidence in the housing market remains stable according to the latest ASB Housing Confidence Survey, however expectations for further rises in house prices have fallen.
  • The national median number of days to sell a house in New Zealand was 43 in August according to latest figures released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.
  • Variable rate mortgages have become more popular according to the latest Reserve Bank data, accounting for 36.8% of the total as at the end of July while fixed-rate mortgages had dropped to 63.2% (down from 87.3% in December 2007).
  • Kiwibank accounted for 40% of new residential mortgages written by the major banks in the June quarter according to analysis by, followed in order by BNZ, ANZ, Westpac,TSB and SBS Bank.
  • The Reserve Bank kept the Official Cash Rate at 3% in mid-September and said the pace and extent of any future increases is likely to be more moderate than it had projected in June.
  • Mortgagee sales dropped by more than 20% from May to June according to the latest figures from Terralink, down to 202 in the latter month.
  • More than 90% of Harcourts’ clients would recommend Harcourts to others according to the results of three recent consecutive months’ surveys.


This update was kindly supplied to by Stu Jenner of Harcourts Remuera Auckland

To see Stu's listings please visit his website -

Posted: 5 Oct 2010

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