The local housing market convulsed into life last month with the most sales recorded for well over two years (19), but a couple of other statistics suggest it is not all good news for sellers. A few key points;
- The average sale price for >$1m houses (the vast majority of sales in Devonport [17 of 19 in February]) was 5% below their average rateable value (RV), although making up that average were a wide range of deltas from +18% to -31%;
- For the last 12 months, almost exactly the same number of houses (in this segment) have sold for more than their RV as have sold for under their RV (51 to 53 respectively).
- So far this year, those that sold for more than their RV did so by an average of 10%, while those that sold for less did so by an average of 13%;
- However, in February 2011, 12 out of 17 properties (75%) sold for less than their RV, yet it was the most houses sold in a single month for over two years.
Conclusion 1: the substantial increase in market activity is more to do with vendors wanting/needing to sell than a pick up in buyer interest.
This is confirmed by the average time to sell for February; it has reached its highest level in 12 months, indicating that a lot of the houses that sold in February had been on the market for some time.
Conclusion 2: Now is an excellent time to buy in Devonport’s upper tier, although some vendors are still getting good deals. Ergo, calibrate your desperation to buy to their’s to sell.