2 May 2011

House-buyers market despite high asking prices

9:00 am on 2 May 2011

A property listing website says the asking price for houses has reached a four year high - but this is not translating into high selling prices.

Figures for April compiled by realestate.co.nz put the average asking price at $429,249.

However the website's chief executive, Alistair Helm, says this does not necessarily mean a high buying price.

The average sale price in March was put at about $401,000 by Quotable Value and at $365,000 by the Real Estate Institute.

It remains a buyers market as there is still a year's supply of unsold houses, he says, though he thinks Auckland sellers are starting to have an upper hand.

Mr Helm says the high asking prices are the result of sellers anticipating renewed confidence in the market.

The average asking price is 2% percent higher than in April, and slightly above the previous high reached in October 2007.

New listings fell by 7% while the stock of unsold homes nudged higher as sales remained slow.

Homeowners and Buyers Association president John Gray says the only properties achieving a higher market price are those which are appropriately valued and in good condition.