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Median house price eases in April

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/05/2017 Rebecca Howard

New Zealand's median house price eased slightly in April and while prices held up better outside the nation's largest city of Auckland, the number of sales took a tumble as wet weather and holidays curbed buyer interest, according to the Real Estate Institute.

The national median house price was $540,000 in April, down 0.5 per cent versus March when the price was $542,500. Prices were up 10 per cent on the year. In Auckland alone, prices dipped 5.6 per cent on the month in April and were up 3 per cent on the year. Outside of that city, prices rose 0.8 per cent in March and were up 14 per cent on the year.

Record migration and low interest rates have bolstered the country's housing market, prompting the Reserve Bank to tighten up mortgage lending rules, with a particular focus on Auckland where prices had skyrocketed.

The number of sales for April was 5845, a seasonally adjusted drop of 9 percent compared to March. Year-on-year, sales volumes declined 31 per cent, reflecting impacts on market activity such as the combination of an exceptionally wet April, plus school holidays, Easter and Anzac Day, Reinz said.

The number of days to sell eased by one day to 34 days from March, and eased two days compared to April 2016.

It also noted that the number of properties available for sale continues to decline nationwide, with 1028 fewer houses for sale in April compared to 12 months ago, although the number of properties for sale in the Auckland region has increased by 39 per cent.

The data showed that three regions hit new record high median sale prices in April, including Waikato, where prices were up 22 per cent year-on-year to $489,200, Wellington, up 18 per cent on the year to $537,000 and Otago, up 13 per cent year-on-year to $381,000.

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