Monthly Market Update - January
The release of the REINZ stats for January indicates that there were 397 recorded residential sales in our City with a recorded median sale price of $440,000. Anyone who regularly reads this market comment will know I have mentioned many times how steady our market has been in Christchurch over the last couple of years, and the stated figures for this January when compared to figure for January 2018 of 402, show that my steady average market comments have been spot on.
January is never a big month in terms of sales, simply because the sales teams and the market are generally in holiday mode till late in the month. What we have just experienced is very much, another average January in terms of sales data and history, neither good nor bad and difficult to gauge any early trend from.
The median price is still hovering in and around the same level it struck two years ago, a solid indication that prices have flatlined. There has been no pressure on the market to force prices up (generally driven by more buyers than sellers) or to force prices down (generally driven by more sellers than buyers). The REINZ statistics tell us the reported “days on market” average time has slipped out to 55 days. Again this is not unusual simple reason is that the legal fraternity also have a break during the Holiday period so quite simply everything just takes longer.
As mentioned for the last couple of years we are currently in a very balanced market and nothing looks to have changed that.
Property listings are the life blood of any Real Estate business and the volume of listings coming into Harcourts across the city continues to track well in comparison to other years. Harcourts continues to be the preferred company across the city with close to every second new property to the market being listed by your cities favourite company, Harcourts.
There is one aspect of our business however, that has gone through a big change since the 1st Jan and that is the new Legal requirement under Global Anti-money laundering legislation, that we in the industry are required to conduct “ Customer Due Diligence” on everyone and anyone who wishes to sell property. This is part of Global legislation that the New Zealand govt signed up to many years ago and now the Real Estate industry is required to dig a bit deeper into the identity of the individuals owning property before it can be sold. The process is even more in depth when we have property in owned by overseas owners, in Trusts or any company structures. In essence, we have to get all property ownership back to the “warm body” who ultimately owns the property along with a raft of other information. For some people, this can feel a bit intrusive, but unfortunately, it is the new law. Why am I telling you all this? Primarily so you can be prepared, but also so you consider carefully who you are selling your property through. With all this new legal legislation it is comforting to know that Harcourts has already spent considerable time, training and educating their consultants but more importantly, they have invested in the services of the acknowledged leaders of the background systems needed to keep your information secure. With all that happening as well since the start of January it is a wonder any property gets sold.
The months of February and March are traditionally the busiest times of the year, there is generally more stock available and more property is sold. After having said all this, there is no company who can offer the results that Harcourts can, with the busiest time of the year now upon us make the most of the opportunity, list with Harcourts and know we have the training , expertise and resources to get you through this new legislation, this busy period, while also achieving the required results for you.