House listings slip in wide overpricing

By REN LANZONnewsroom@gladstoneobserver.com.au

THERE is a dearth of house listings for buyers to choose from, according to city real estate agents.

One of the agents estimated that there were now more than 50 per cent fewer listings than one year ago and as many as half of them were overpriced.

Gladstone LJ Hooker director Mark Spearing said strong sales in the past month had reduced available listings at his office "but not so seriously as to really affect the market''. "It's true that some vendors have very optimistic expectations, which often happens following a rising market,'' he said.

He said part of the blame could be attributed to some real estate agents who accepted overpriced listings.

Gladstone City Real Estate principal Mary Ayscough said she believed another reason for the reduced listings was some vendors were still withholding their homes in the expectation of an announcement that the second stage of the Comalco alumina refinery and the Aldoga aluminium smelter were going ahead, kick-starting the local housing market.

She said there were a number of spec homes (homes constructed by builders on the expectation of selling them) for buyers to choose from.

Mrs Ayscough said there was a great need for lower bracket homes for first-home buyers.

Andre Taute, principal of PRD Nationwide Tannum Sands, reported a "tremendous shortage'' of listings on the books.

"If 18 months ago we had 150 listings, now 30 or 35 is plenty, and of them 15 will be overpriced and are not selling,'' he said.

"Those two things are leaving people with restricted choice when buying.''

Mr Taute blamed much of the "slackening off'' in the market on rates increases and "negative talk by government''.



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