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Auckland property sales fall: B&T

Thursday 4th December 2008

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Auckland property sales fell 38% in November from the same month last year and the average sale price fell, according to Barfoot & Thompson, the city's biggest real estate firm.

Barfoot had 546 sales last month, down from 881 a year earlier, it said in a statement. The average sale price fell to $500,840 from $546,364.

"Buyers are very cautious and holding back on committing themselves," said managing director Peter Thompson. Still, the central bank's 150 basis point cut to the official cash rate today "may be just the confidence booster buyers need to make a move," he said.

Four banks - SBS, Kiwibank, ASB Bank and Westpac - trimmed mortgage rates following the central bank's decision to cut the OCR to 5% today. SBS lowered its floating rate to 7.20%, ASB cut its variable rate to 7.95%, Westpac reduced its 18-month and two-year fixed rates to 6.79% and 6.85% respectively, and Kiwibank reduced its one-year fixed rate is 6.49% and its variable rate to 7.45%.

Barfoot said it signed up 1,407 new listings in November, down from 1,945 last year. Property management picked up, with 660 properties let last month, up from 628 in November 2007. The average weekly rental was little changed at $381, from $385 in October.

By Jonathan Underhill



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