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Auckland house listings squeezed, prices expected to rise

Tuesday 5th July 2011

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Auckland house prices are expected to rise in coming months, as a leading real estate firm reports its lowest number of listings in nearly four years.

Barfoot & Thompson said it had 5067 properties on its books at the end of June, the lowest number since August 2007.

"Choice at present in Auckland is severely restricted," Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said today.

Many home owners appear to be putting off decisions about their property until they have a better feel for where the economy was heading.

Barfoot & Thompson reported the sale of 873 properties in June, up 31.3 percent from a year earlier although down 1.8 percent on May. June was the fourth month that sales were ahead of year earlier levels.

The 1153 new listings in June were similar to levels in May and a year earlier, insufficient to improve the lack of choice which had been tight for the past three months, Thompson said.

The average price slipped 1.6 percent from May and was down $2000 from a year earlier to $521,019.

"There is a high level of demand for properties, but lack of confidence in the future of the economy is creating a natural brake on the willingness of owners and buyers to commit to moving on with their housing plans," Thompson said.

The situation was unlikely to change until late spring.

ASB economist Jane Turner said the supply of housing on the market in Auckland was becoming tight and would likely add to house price inflation pressures in coming months.

Auckland housing demand had picked up ahead of the rest of the country, although turnover had hovered around current levels over recent months, suggesting the recovery in housing demand was not gaining further momentum, Ms Turner said.

The recovery in housing demand had been more subdued in the rest of the country, a trend she expected to be confirmed when Real Estate Institute of New Zealand nationwide data was released.


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