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Median house price edges higher in November: REINZ

Thursday 11th December 2008

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New Zealand’s median house price rose for a second month in November while the number of sales fell, as the economic slump sapped demand and people waited to assess the impact of lower interest rates.

The median price rose to $337,500 last month, from $335,000 in October, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. Prices declined from $352,000 in the same month of 2007. Total dwelling sales fell to 4,279 from 4,469.

“Not surprisingly, some people are taking a wait and see approach,” said Mike Elford, institute president. “People are also watching for the effect of the interest rate cuts to come into the equation,” he said. “There are many people who are locked into fixed rates so it may be a while before these benefits can be felt.”

Banks have begun lowering their variable and short-term fixed mortgage rates since reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard this months slashed the official cash rate by a record 150 basis points to 5%. Bollard yesterday chided the banks for not yet passing on the full benefit of a lower OCR, in a speech that concluded inflation isn’t abating as fast as hoped.

The average days to sell a house eased to 44 from 47 in October, though has increased from 36 days in November 2007. In Auckland, the rate fell to 39 days from 41, while in Wellington, the decline was to 47 days from 49.

To find out what's happening in your region, click here

By Jonathan Underhill



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