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Housing market bounces back from lockdown - figures

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 13/10/2021
a sign on a pole © RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The housing market has sprung back to seasonal form mostly everywhere but Auckland.

The Real Estate Institute's house price index, which measures the changing value of property, rose 30.4 percent to another record year-on-year high in September to 4088 - the 14th consecutive increase.

The seasonally adjusted median house price rose 15.2 percent to $795,000 on last year, but fell 7.4 percent over in August, dragged down by the Auckland market, which fell 3.5 percent to $1.15m.

"What the data shows, is that confidence remains high, buyer demand is still strong, and outside of Auckland, buyers will be pleased to see more property coming to the market," REINZ chief executive Jen Baird said.

"While spring activity may be delayed in some regions of the country, we expect that as alert level restrictions ease more properties will come on to the market."

The number of properties sold last month dropped to their lowest level in a decade, with activity curtailed by restrictive lockdowns, with the national total significantly dragged down by Auckland where volumes fell 48.5 percent.

"Various levels of lockdown across New Zealand have influenced activity in the real estate market this month lending to mixed results.

"We expect to see a rise in activity as restrictions ease further, especially in Auckland," she said, noting the days to sell a house rose by five to 37 in September.

Houses available for sale also saw a significant fall, with a year-on-year drop of 23.7 percent.

"While inventory levels were down year-on-year, we have seen an increase when compared to August 2021, which is great news for buyers," Baird said

"Over the period, interest in the market has remained high, and we expect to see this reflected in the data post-lockdown as more properties are listed resulting in an increase in sales."

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