Property availability is worsening, putting pressure on rising house prices, the latest BNZ/REINZ survey of real estate agents shows.
BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander released his findings yesterday. They show that only a net 11% of agents reported more people wanting appraisals with a view to selling their properties.
But demand stays strong – a net 29% of agents said there were more investors in the market, the third strongest result on record for the survey. A net 35% said they were seeing more first-home buyers.
That measure appears to be flattening out. Alexander suggested it could be because prices had reached a point where first-home buyers were becoming discouraged.
Auckland Property Investors Association president David Whitburn said he had noticed the auction clearance rate had slowed. “Maybe some vendors think their home is worth a little bit too much.”
A net 50% of agents still think prices are rising.
Auckland and Christchurch are strongly sellers’ markets, and Hawke’s Bay/Gisborne is becoming one. Northland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty agents said the market in their areas still favoured buyers.
Agents in Northland and Southland felt the least confident about prices.
Alexander said he expected Auckland's market strength to prove infectious. "Over this year and through 2014 we expect to see the strength in Auckland and Canterbury spreading to other regions in the country as happened during the 1990s housing cycle. This will involve some older people selling and shifting with cash for spending, and younger people leaving Auckland in particular for cheaper housing and a less traffic-impeded lifestyle elsewhere. These developments however will not stop the worsening housing crisis in Auckland for first home buyers and those at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum."