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Real estate offices close as recession bites

Nov 14th, 2008 | By | Category: Latest News, News

By Anneliese Jonassen 

SIGNS the credit crisis has hit the property market come with the news three Lower Hutt real estate offices have closed since February.

Bayleys and Harveys no longer have Lower Hutt offices and Just Patterson has combined with the Tommy’s Lower Hutt office.

Many real estate agents are also believed to have left the industry in recent months, says Tommy’s real estate agent Phil Cooke (pictured).

“Pay days are less regular than they were 18 months ago,” he says.

“In the boom times, it wasn’t difficult to get a pay day once a fortnight. Now it’s become a lot harder.”

The downturn in the market is shown in the September figures, which saw 66% of Lower Hutt houses sold for below their rateable value.

 “It is possible that the economy scare has put people in the mindset that they shouldn’t be paying above the RV on a house,” says Mr Cooke.

“However, everyone’s houses have taken a drop in value, so if you’re buying and selling in the same market any loss made on one property can be gained back on the other.”

He says agents earn on commission and the time it takes to sell a house has increased in the last two years.

Times are tough at the moment, but it is not all doom and gloom, he says.

Mr Cooke believes house prices have dropped, but they are predicted to rise again in the next two years, perhaps not at the same rate as during the “property boom” times, but enough for the panic to subside.

Mr Cooke’s advice to anyone thinking of going into the market is to “price your home accurately by getting, a registered valuer to do a valuation (on your house) before you get any real estate agents in.”

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