19 Feb 2012

House listings rise as would-be sellers gain confidence

12:53 pm on 19 February 2012

The chief executive of a top property website predicts healthy property sales in recent months will spur house sales, which will help stabilise the market.

Alastair Helm said 61,000 homes sold last year, and though listings on realestate.co.nz were down in the last six months of 2011, they've lifted strongly in February following a surge in sales of 25% in January.

He said listings tend to rise following a period of strong sales as this encourages would-be sellers that the market is strong.

While an increase in listings may not lower prices, he said, it will create a balanced property market with healthy numbers of buyers and sellers.

Real Estate Institute chief executive Helen O'Sullivan says both sales and listings rose steeply in January, a trend she expects will continue.

She says stable prices are also encouraging more buyers into the market.