© iStockphoto.com/Frances Twitty

Property buyers waiting for spring

WE'RE only halfway through the winter, but at the top end of the country's housing markets, sellers are waiting for the spring.

Early this year, the stock market rebounded and shook off the global financial crisis malaise.

Top-end buyers thought they had waited long enough and a flurry of sales took place.

By then a confluence of things happened to cool the market.

The six interest rate rises since October finally bit, the resource super-profits tax was a destabilising influence and the sharemarket was volatile. And in winter the market simply slows down.

Brian White, chairman of real estate agent chain Ray White, said interest rates could always be blamed for a slowdown, but in the prestige market he noticed the cool-down as debate became more public and aggressive over the resource super-profits tax and words such as “sovereign risk” were bandied about.

“It put a rope around the throat of any market that had depended on mining,” Mr White said.

“Only since the resolution of the controversy has some optimism returned.”

The health of the market will partly be determined by the volume of property for sale.



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