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Home sales up over year, fall from June


Thursday 11th August 2011

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Residential property sales were up 517 from July 2010 to 4928 last month, but down 301 from June, as sales in Canterbury rose but Auckland fell back.

Publishing the figures today, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (Reinz) said the fall from June was slightly larger than the seasonal pattern expected for this time of year.

A lack of listings and vendors in the market was continuing to be an issue for agents with more regions reporting shortages of new stock and a lack of choice for buyers, Reinz spokesman Philip Searle said.

A rise in sales by a quarter from June in Canterbury and Westland was seen as a reflection of increased certainty for homeowners following Government announcements at the end of June.

Hawke's Bay also reported a rise in sales, up 18.8 percent, while Taranaki was down 23.1 percent and Auckland dropped 14.2 percent.

The national median house price fell by $15,000 from June to $345,000, while slipping $4000 from a year earlier.

Searle said the drop in volumes and median price in July was not unexpected for the middle of winter.

While many regions were reporting good attendances at open homes and active buyer interest, concerns about the economy and volatility in financial markets may be holding some back.

The national median days to sell improved by two days from 44 days in June to 42 days in July, having been at 45 in July 2010.

Auckland recorded the shortest days to sell last month at 34 days, followed by Canterbury/Westland at 37 days and Wellington at 45 days. Central Otago Lakes recorded the longest number of days to sell at 108 days, with Northland next longest at 77 days.

The Reinz housing price index fell 0.6 percent in July compared with June, with the stratified median house price just under $361,500.

The index recorded increases in Christchurch, Wellington, and the rest of the South Island, and falls in Auckland and the rest of the North Island.

Compared to July 2010 the index was down 0.5 percent, with the index now 5.1 percent below the peak recorded in November 2007.

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