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11-08-2011

Property sales and prices down in July

Landlords.co.nz

There were 301 fewer property sales in July compared to June, and the national median house price fell by $15,000, according to the latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand report.

July saw 4,928 unconditional sales for the month, up by 517 sales on July 2010 though 301 sales less than June 2011, "a slightly larger decline than the seasonal pattern expected for the time of year."

The national median house price was down 4.2%, falling $15,000 to $345,000, continuing the trend of moving between $340,000 and $365,000 each month evident since June 2009.

"The July results continue the trend of prices moving sideways with volumes on an annual basis continuing to recover," said REINZ spokesperson Philip Searle.

"The drop in volumes and the median price in July is not unexpected and reflects the fact that we are in the middle of winter. The lack of listings and vendors in the market is continuing to be an issue for agents with more and more regions reporting shortages of new stock and a lack of choice for buyers."

Hawkes Bay saw the strongest rise in prices for July, up 8.3%, followed by Canterbury/Westland (up 5%) and Taranaki (up 2%). Compared to July 2010, Central Otago Lakes recorded the strongest lift in prices, up 4.9%, followed by Hawkes Bay (up 3.8%) and Auckland (up 3.3%).

The headline drop in the number of sales masks some sizeable changes at the regional level for the month of July, the report said.

Canterbury/Westland recorded an increase of one quarter, reflecting the increased certainty for homeowners in the region following the Government’s announcements at the end of June, while Hawkes Bay also recorded an 18.8% increase in sales. In contrast, Taranaki recorded a drop of 23.1% and Auckland a drop of 14.2% for the month of July. Compared to July 2010 sales volumes increased in all but two regions, with eight regions reporting double-digit increases in the number of properties sold.

"Despite these challenges, many regions report good attendances at open homes and active buyer interest, although concerns about the economy and volatility in financial markets may be holding some buyers back at present," Searle said.

The national median days to sell improved by two days from 44 in June to 42 days in July.

The shortest days to sell was recorded in Auckland at 34 days, followed by Canterbury/Westland at 37 days and Wellington at 45 days.

Central Otago Lakes has the longest days to sell at 108.

Across the country, the total value of residential sales, including sections, was $2.08 billion in July, compared to $2.26 billion in June and $1.78 billion in July 2010.

The REINZ Housing Price Index fell by 0.6% in July compared with June, with the stratified median house price just under $361,500.

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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