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Auckland house sales still in doldrums

Wednesday 4th August 2010

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Auckland house sales stayed in a slump last month as winter kept the market in a malaise.

The number of sales dropped 3.2% to 644 in July from a month earlier, and was down 17% from a year ago, according to Barfoot & Thompson, Auckland's biggest real estate firm.

The average sale price crept up 2.2% to $534,389 from June, and was 5.3% higher than July 2009.  

"It's a typical situation that can develop in mid-winter, especially during periods when economic activity is quiet," said managing director Peter Thompson.

"Until winter is behind us, we anticipate market conditions will remain the same as at present." 

The property market has stayed in the doldrums this year as a pick-up in the number of kiwis cross the Tasman to enjoy Australia's stronger economy eroded last year's demand for housing.

The recession took its toll on consumer spending as households pay back debt to get their balance sheets under control.  

Barfoot added 1,267 new listings taking its total number of listings to 5,759 at the start of August, though this was 264 fewer than the start of July.  

The firm's average weekly rent rose $5 to $408 last month and it rented out 775 properties in July, up 12% from June.

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