The latest statistics out on Queenstown and Wanaka property report sales may be starting to reflect what the feeling is out and about around the streets. Has the cycle turned or plateaued and is there less urgency out there with the buyers?

Wanaka’s average house sale was $1.02m in February compared to $1.16m for Queenstown. These averages were down noticeably from December averages of $1.35m and $1.503m respectively.

Discussions with valuers concur with my observations that properties that have the X factor are still selling strongly, with multiple parties interested but unlike a year ago some properties are not attracting any interest. Unlike the previous 3 years agents can hold open homes and no one will turn up. Properties are passing their deadline dates and not being sold.

There appears to have been a definite feeling that buyers have their hands in their pockets in Queenstown – Wanaka traditionally follows with a lag, what is happening over the hill.

Given that many of the regions buyers are based in Auckland, Christchurch and Sydney this slow down here isn’t surprising. These markets are tricky for vendors at the moment. Dunedin, our nearest city is however, incredibly buoyant.

My international and local clients hooked into the global financial scene have been predicting an international financial correction to kick in, sometime from July this year onwards. On a national basis, business confidence and economic performance, as well as property prices are all easing. The prospect of the introduction of a Capital Gains Tax as a result of the release of the Labour parties Tax Working Groups recommendations has caught the attention of the local buyers but my Australian based buyers are undeterred, as they are used to this.

The trans Tasman exchange rates are having an impact – bringing the Australian dollar across the ditch is hurting many buyers, with establishing a mortgage here being an option preferred to cash buying as previously practiced.

So the jury is out and time will tell if the autumnal temperatures reflect the pattern of the sales curves and figures in our Queenstown and Wanaka property markets.