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Auckland house price growth stalled for a second month in May, Barfoot says

Thursday 6th June 2013

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Auckland house price growth stalled for a second month in May as buyers baulked at rising prices, according to Barfoot & Thompson, the city's biggest realtor.

The average sale price edged up 0.3 percent to $644,737 in May, following a 0.5 percent drop in April, the firm said. The median price advanced 0.7 percent to $570,000.

"The Auckland property market has come out of the other side of a period of price rebalancing caused by five years of modest price growth," Peter Thompson, managing director of Barfoot & Thompson, said in a statement. "There is resistance to going above current values."

New Zealand Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler has been looking at ways to cool Auckland's overheated housing market without hurting the productive economy. Wheeler may use new macro prudential tools this year to limit low equity loans in an attempt to dampen demand. Economists expect he will also raise interest rates, which could increase demand for the kiwi dollar and hurt local manufacturers.

Barfoot sold 1,284 properties in May, 21 percent more than April and 10 percent higher than May last year.

The firm had 1,315 new listings in May, down 14 percent from April and the lowest level in four months. At the end of May, Barfoot had just 3,034 properties on its books, the lowest number in more than a decade, the firm said.

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