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Winter, holidays, election hit house sales

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/08/2017 Rebecca Howard
Restrictions on home loan lending may ease to help first home buyers. © Getty Images Restrictions on home loan lending may ease to help first home buyers.

Auckland's average house price eased in July from June and the number of sales also declined, says realtor Barfoot & Thompson.

There were 747 sales in July, down from 855 in June and 1034 in the same month a year ago, the realtor said in a statement. It noted it was the quietest July since 2010. The average price dipped 0.6 per cent to $908,319 while the median price was down 3.6 per cent to $810,000.

A combination of winter blues, school holidays, and the impending election were blamed for fewer sales and new listings throughout Auckland during July.

"Winter traditionally sees a slowing in the market and this winter has been no different," said managing director Peter Thompson.

New Zealand's property market and Auckland, in particular, has been cooling since banks introduced tighter lending conditions and started indicating interest rates would start rising.

Barfoot said new listings were 1173 in July, down 25 per cent on the month and down 18 per cent on the year. Total month-end listings were at 4088 versus 4297 in June.

Sales below $750,000 accounted for just over a third of all sales during the month, while sales over $1 million accounted for 257 or 35 percent of sales, the realtor said.

At the top end of the market, 41 homes in Auckland sold for over $2m.

The data follows the QV house price index which showed New Zealand property values rose at their slowest annual pace in more than two years as a slump in Auckland sales has seen the country's biggest housing market flatline after several years of rapid price gains.

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