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Auckland house sales down 30%

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 10/08/2017

Houses for sale. © RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly Houses for sale.

Auckland's property market is continuing to cool dramatically, with sales for July down 30 percent on the same month last year. 

The latest statistics from the Real Estate Institute also show a significant fall in house sales nationally, which have dropped by a quarter.

The institute said tougher lending rules were to blame for much of the fall. It said strict loan-to-value ratios have done their job of cooling the market but were now acting as a handbrake.

REINZ Chief Executive Bindi Norwell said these created an intimidating barrier to entry, particularly for those saving for their first home.

"The LVR restrictions have done their job of slowing the market, but now it seems they are acting as a handbrake which is why REINZ is calling for LVRs to be reviewed for first time buyers," Ms Norwell.

She said the wet weather and school holidays in July would also have brought down the number of sales.

The fall represents the lowest number of properties sold in a non-Christmas month since August 2014. Overall, house prices dipped 2.1 percent in Auckland in July, compared to the same month last year.

The REINZ index showed nationwide house prices were up 1.2 percent in July.

Excluding Auckland, national values rose by 7.5 percent.

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