Harcourts' sales finally get a spring lift although the Auckland market is less buoyant than other parts of the country

Spring arrived two months late at the country’s largest real estate agency this year, with the usual lift in sales not occurring until November.

Harcourts sold 2065 residential properties throughout the country in November, compared to 1688 in October and 1741 in September.

However November’s sales were down 3.3% compared to November last year, while new listings in November were up 5.8% compared to November last year.

That suggests the market overall remains more restrained than it was last year, however there are important regional differences in Harcourts’ results.

Most of the weakness in the market is coming from Auckland, while the markets in Christchurch and Wellington remain more robust.

In Auckland Harcourts’ November sales were down 14.9% compared to November last year, while new listings were down 4.7%, but the total number of homes Harcourts had available for sale in Auckland was up 13.9%.

That suggests buyers in Auckland continue to enjoy a greater choice of properties, and vendors will need to be realistic in their price expectations to achieve a sale.

In Wellington November’s sales were up 10% compared to last year, while the number of new listings was unchanged, and the total number of homes available for sale was up 8%, suggesting the increase in stock has almost matched the increase in sales.

In Christchurch sales were up 3.3% compared to last year while new listings were up 13%, but total stock on hand was down 6.4%.

“We really missed the usual spring market wake up in September/October this year, but it’s great to see a lot more activity in the past month,” Harcourts chief executive Chris Kennedy said.

“I think the Reserve Bank’s slight easing of the LVR restrictions is enticing some buyers back into the market, and that is then encouraging people to list.”

Here is Harcourts’ full regional suimmary: PDF icon201712 National Marketwatch.pdf

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