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'More realistic property market returns' in 2016

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Owner and chairman of Century 21 Australasia, Charles Tarbey, believes the Trans-Tasman property market is returning to what could be defined as 'true real estate’.

"Growth in many areas has been strong over the past three years and there has been huge demand for property. However this growth and demand appear to be slowing at the moment and we seem to be observing a return to a realistic property market," says Mr Tarbey.

The comments by the Sydney-based Australasian company owner are supported by Auckland-based Geoff Barnett, National Manager of Century 21 New Zealand.

"We’re seeing auction clearance numbers generally falling, average selling times lengthening out, and median house prices not rising as steeply particularly in Auckland. However this was always inevitable and in fact is a lot more realistic and sustainable," says Mr Barnett.

He predicts 2016 will still be relatively strong when you consider the regions are performing well, interest rates remain low, and Auckland’s relentless population growth continues.

"Rest assured, Auckland will keep trucking along. Not surprisingly things eased back in the last quarter of 2015 as overseas buyers were hit with the new IRD and Reserve Bank restrictions aimed at slowing down foreign investors in Auckland. But people soon get used to new rules and just work with them."

Mr Barnett says Wellington’s doing well as is the property market in many of the regions.

"I think the story for 2016 will be more Kiwis buying apartments as their first home option. Most apartments offer a more affordable entry point. While at the same time the quality of construction and the overall living environment has improved dramatically in many of the new apartment developments now coming on stream. That also ensures stronger capital gain prospects with banks now more willing to lend more on them," says Mr Barnett.

Charles Tarbey with the property market returning to a more realistic playing field, the job of a real estate agent and the role of negotiation becomes even more important.

"In a realistic property market, agents must do their job of negotiating between a buyer and seller and finding a price with which both parties are happy," says Mr Tarbey.

Mr Barnett says this summer is already seeing more renters coming into the market with low interest rates making buying a more attractive proposition for many. He says all eyes will be on the Reserve Bank on 28 January as to whether the Official Cash Rate is lowered again.

With over 3,000 offices, Century 21 is the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region.

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