New Zealand Property Investors' Federation

The NZPIF is the umbrella body for 17 local Property Investors' Associations throughout New Zealand.

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Prices creeping up even in sellers' markets: Survey

Prices are rising nationwide – except in Northland and the Bay of Plenty, according to real estate agents.

The latest BNZ/REINZ survey of the country’s real estate salespeople shows strong growth in the number of agents reporting more interest from investors and first-home buyers.

And while most regions said they had more motivated sellers than buyers, prices were creeping up everywhere except Bay of Plenty and the Far North.

More agents felt they had higher traffic at open homes in October compared to the month before – a trend that has been increasing all year.

Agents reported that few buyers were backing out after making a conditional offer  - a builder’s report was the main reason for a sale not going through.

But auction clearance rates are reportedly dropping. The survey report said it was not clear why that would be, but suggested sellers’ price expectations could have crept ahead of what buyers are prepared to pay.

The survey shows the third month in a row where strong numbers of real estate agents reported more potential vendors asking for market appraisals. But despite this, there is not a noticeable increase in housing supply on the market.

More agents thought investors were looking to buy – a net 29% of agents reported more investor interest, the strongest result since the BNZ/REINZ survey began.
First-home buyers were perceived as being active everywhere, although not as strongly in Northland, while investors were not perceived as displaying more interest in Taranaki and Manawatu/Wanganui but they were strongly prevalent in Auckland and Waikato.

A net 41% of agents reported that they felt prices were rising but only a net 3% of agents said buyers were more motivated than sellers.

BNZ chief executive Tony Alexander said: “This is an interesting pullback from a net 12% in October and 18% in September though what exactly it signals is somewhat hard to discern.”

There is a continuing decline in the number of agents reporting that people are not buying because they feel prices will fall. Finance concerns have crept up slightly even as banks ease their lending criteria.