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Auckland house sales fell in August

Wednesday 3rd September 2008

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Fewer houses were sold in Auckland in August while the average price rose from the previous month, according to Barfoot & Thompson, the city's biggest real estate firm.

The volume of sales fell to 502 from 629 in July, according to the firm's sales figures. Sales were down from 764 in August 2007. The average price was NZ$524,248, up 5.4% from July.

The decline in volumes and lower-than-average new listing suggest vendors are nervous about testing the market and may also be nervous about the impact of the looming general election, said, managing director Peter Thompson said in a statement.

Property rents were unchanged for the month with the average weekly rental at $384.

The figures add to evidence the housing market is in decline, after government figures on August 29 showed the number of home-building consents held near the lowest level in 22 years in July. Consents rose 4.7% in July to 1,405, seasonally adjusted, from 1,341 in June, according to Statistics New Zealand. The June reading was the lowest since 1986.

The domestic economy contracted in the first half of the year, according to the Treasury, the first recession since 1998.

By Jonathan Underhill

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