The Devonport housing market experienced a second consecutive month of relatively high activity, with 18 houses south of the golf course changing hands in March.
Two interesting things to note; firstly, once again, most of the houses were in the $1m plus bracket and had been on the market for some considerable time; note the average time to sell is at an all-time high of 100 days.
However, also note that for the first time since November 2009, double figures sold at a positive price increase of over 5%. This is particularly interesting, given February was similar in terms of average time to sell and number of houses sold, but averaged a sale price lower than GV. Could it be that the window for good deals in Devonport has finally closed, after lasting 11 months?
It will be interesting to see the average time to sell in April, and whether it has dropped. If it has, it might suggest the backlog of houses that have been on the market has finally cleared, and price could finally be on the rise.
If it does not drop, it will be interesting to see where average sale price falls vis-a-vis GV. A negative result might suggest March was a one-off. A positive result might indicate the beginning of the trend sellers have been looking for.
Murray Pelham of North Harbour Valuers had this to say about the market;
“I am often asked what the market is going to do/when is a good time to buy. Obviously I do not have a crystal ball but experience through different periods in the market do give a good insight into the cycles that we go through. For Devonport we have just had a couple of months of higher volume of sales through February/March 2011. Whilst it is often a busier time with the better weather etc it was well up on the previous year. However again it seems like it will be short lived similar to a burst of activity we experienced in late 2009; perhaps offsetting some pent up demand.
In my opinion as long as you are paying a fair market value for the property having done full due diligence and satisfied any concerns you are doing well. The bargains particularly in Devonport are very rare; however during heated periods in the market we due often see over inflated prices paid to secure that “dream” home. In that regard the best time to enable you to achieve this is when the market is in its ebb in the cycle as it is now. The market has now been flat since late 2007 and generally can take 5-6 years before it take off again. This is very dependent on a number of external economic factors (including how bad a recession we go through) and is a rough guide only but could mean there is only a year or two before we again experience conditions favouring sellers. However there is no telling if this may not happen sooner or what impact the Rugby World cup may have; so really there is no time like the present!”