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House prices continue their decline

Monday 11th August 2008

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New Zealand residential property prices fell last month as a weakening economy and higher household costs sapped demand in the housing market.

The average property price fell 2.2% in July after gaining just 0.1% in June, according to Quotable Value, the government valuation agency.

“The question has now changed from when will prices stop rising to when can we expect to see them stabilise,” said Blue Hancock, spokesman for QV Valuations. Many sellers are now “accepting the state of the market and dropping their expectations accordingly.”

The QV report follows government figures that showed home building consents tumbled 20% in June, adding to evidence the housing market is contributing to a weakening economy. Many economists predict the central bank will cut its official cash rate at every opportunity this year to stoke an economy that probably shrank in the first half.

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