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Residential Property Sales Still Subdued

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Residential property sales are continuing at the subdued level seen since June with the 4287 dwelling sales in August down on the 4411 in July, according to figures released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

"These sales levels are almost identical to what REINZ reported during 2008 when the market was at its worst in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis," says REINZ spokesman Bryan Thomson. "However what puts a different perspective on the strength of this year's market is that the August 2010 median selling price of $350,000 is up again on the July median of $349,000 as well as $20,000 higher than in 2008, and average days to sell are stable at 43.

"The days to sell statistics in particular suggest underlying market demand in a number of locations is being frustrated by potential sellers holding off from listing their properties for sale," says Mr Thomson.

"Compared to 2008 our current market appears slower than conditions indicate it should be," says Mr Thomson. "So the impact of Spring weather and the expected flush of new listings soon will bring an interesting period in which we can gauge a more accurate measure of the market for the rest of the year. "The devastating events in Canterbury will also have an influence and our thoughts are with the community of Christchurch as they go through their current trials," says Mr Thomson.

REINZ statistics record the median of all sales during the month and are only an indicator of movements in market values as they can be impacted by the number of properties sold at either end of the price bracket. While the national median number of days to sell fell to 43 in August from 45 for July it is still longer than the 34 days in August 2009 but an improvement on the national median of 55 days in August 2008. The total value of residential sales in August, including sections, stayed steady at $1.8 billion. The breakdown of the values of the properties sold is 139 for $1 million plus, 478 between $600,000 - $999,999, 1,070 between $400,000 - $599,999 and 2,600 for under $400,000.

From district to district, changes in the median prices varied from falls as high as 7.7 per cent in four districts, and increases of up to nearly 10 per cent in the other eight when compared with the same month last year. The largest rise in the median price is in Manawatu/Wanganui which is up more than 9.3 per cent on the previous year, and the largest fall is in Taranaki down 7.7 per cent.

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