THE DEMAND for Wellington homes will continue to outstrip supply over winter but one of the capital’s top real estate expert expects prices to stabilise.
“The Wellington housing market continues to move along,” Nicki Cruickshank, Sales Director of Tommy’s Real Estate, says.
“It’s still a good market but I would suggest the rate of growth is slowing — which it needed to do as what has been happening felt unsustainable.
“While we are still short on listings in Wellington, demand is still outstripping supply. Therefore, prices will continue to remain at current levels in the short term.”
Nicki says the first three months of 2021 were busier for Tommy’s than the same quarter last year.
“But having said that, the market was really busy last year as well – right up until 23 March when COVID-19 brought it to a screaming halt!”
She says it’s not just a shortage of listings that’s driving the market but also more ex-pats moving back from overseas to live here.
“We’re experiencing an increase in population because this is where the jobs are, particularly under a Labour government and with the stimulus they are providing.
“Low interest rates have been another key driver, particularly for investors.
“However, with investors no longer able to claim the main expenses to their business, in interest, most are ‘taking stock’ and adopting more of a wait-and-see approach on buying at the moment.
“The market has seen some effect from the recent government announcements, particularly with investors.
“However, when one door closes, it does open opportunities for others.
“Overall, supply is just too low to notice too much of a change. Going into winter, there will be less stock, and therefore I think demand will remain pretty constant.”
She says family homes continue to be most sought after in Wellington.
“There are never enough of them – any property with four bedrooms, good access, some flat outdoor area, and two bathrooms will attract the most interest in the market.
“There is also strong demand for new builds – they’re exempt from some of the new strict rules around the brightline test.”
Nicki says FOMO, or fear of missing out, also have been motivating some buyers to snap up properties.
“But good houses always sell well in Wellington, no matter what the market.”
She says the market isn’t being dominated by any particular type of buyer.
“There’s a good spread of first-home buyers, upsizers and downsizers at the moment. And while there’s a shortage of investors, I do think they will bounce back.”
Nicki adds there’s demand for houses across all suburbs.
“While it’s often more about the house than where it is, a lot of people do have a preference, though, for one side of the city or the other.
“It’s often often what they have grown up with, where their friends might be, or what they have have got used to.
“The best time to buy a house is when you are ready. There is never a good time until you have actually bought it.
“Then most people look back in two months and are relieved they bought!”
Nicki Cruickshank, Sales Director, Tommy’s Real Estate
Wellington Market Update is distributed monthly on: Homed, The Dominion Post.