The little theme of this week’s newsletter is about looking ahead at the property market and what is happening. Pondering the market is something we often do and it is worth addressing again as there is so much uncertainty and change.
While the news has been pretty gloomy and the housing market appears to be dead, I wonder if it is as bad as some make out?
As readers know we try to be a bit more balanced in our view on the market and look for positives as well as negatives.
One thing that strikes me is winter is always a moribound season for house sales; this year is no different.
Some interesting figures from Alistair Helm yesterday show that the trend quite well. Often when we enter the spring period the market lifts quite swiftly.
On a month by month basis the last set of numbers looked sad. However its worth looking at them with a longer term view.
Helm’s reports says sales fell by 2.9% from June to July, and a total of 4,411 property sales were recorded by licensed real estate agents in July.
Back in July 2009 the total sales was 6,014. On a moving annual basis sales are up 2.8% with 63,701 sales in the past 12 months as compares to 61,952 in the prior 12 months.
The stratified price fell from $363,925 in June to $359,525 in July. The June price is up just 1.8% as compared to July 2009.
Sale prices across the country has remained fairly stable over the past nine month with some small ups and downs. The current price is still 3.1% below the peak price in the market back in November 2007.
Looking ahead there are a couple of warming signs. One is my discussions with real estate agents. No-one shies away from the fact June and July were awful periods. However, word getting
back to us is that August has been far better with more buying activity and more stock coming onto the market.
While we put together the September issue of the NZ Property investor Magazine we also came across comments that were far more supportive of the market than one would believe if they listened to only some commentors and media.
Everyone agrees it is a buyers’ market and those in the position are doing just that. Again comment which came through was that it’s better now as “there has been a clean-out of timewasters, dreamers and fly-by-nighters.”
The other slightly positive factor was last week’s immigration numbers. (Read about them here).
And if I had to add another it would interest rates. The emerging view is that the next official cash rate will come later rather than sooner, and overall the increases will be less than what we have seen in other cycles.
So the next set of numbers will give us a good feel for whether these positive signs turn into activity.
I started by talking about looking ahead and finding out what is happening in the market. You can help do that too. The annual ANZ/NZPIF survey is on. You can take part here (and go in the draw to win a prize).