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Home arrow News arrow Australasia arrow Property markets in Australasia up and down

Property markets in Australasia up and down

Tuesday, 02 June 2009
Australasian markets experiencing a mixed ride
Australasian markets experiencing a mixed ride

The property market in Australasia is experiencing a mixed ride with some parts of the region reporting signs of recovery and others still struggling.

In New Zealand the latest published figures show that the numbers of new property listings have declined for the third month in a row, with listings in May dropping a further 5% on April.

It would appear that many sellers are adopting a wait and see attitude and only listing their property for sale if they have to. The May NZ Property Report shows that listings are now down 29% since the same time last year.

Asking prices are also down. The figures show they are 1% below those in April and 6% down on the market's peak in October 2007.

But according to NZPR's chief executive Alistair Helm prices are softening rather than collapsing and 2008 was a dormant period with many properties just sitting on the market.

But in Australia first time buyers are boosting the property market helped by low interest rates and government grants. According to Yvonne Chan, head of research at Australian Property Monitors, monthly auction figures for the year showed clearance rates were back to the levels they were in 2007.

'The market has recovered from last year. Month on month clearance rates show some real promising signs and in Sydney and Melbourne clearance rates are around the long-term averages,' she said.

But there is concern that buyers other than those seeking their first home need to start entering the market if there is to be a recovery. 'All the action in the market this year has come from first home buyers and demand from first home buyers is definitely still very strong,' Chan explained.

'With government grants available and interest rates at an all-time low, there's a lot of people who believe now is a good time to be entering the market,' she added.


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