Housing market falters in September
Both the number of housing sales and the median house price dipped significantly in September but the Real Estate Institute believes this is temporary.
Friday, October 19th 2001, 5:48PM
by Jenny Ruth
"There are a number of factors that influenced the market during September, not least of which was the school holidays and public concern regarding the events of 11 September," says vice-president Graeme Woodley.
"But none of this will have any long-term effect on the home-buying public," he says.
The housing market declines were despite the Reserve Bank cutting its official cash rate from 5.75% to 5.25% on 19 September.
The institute’s figures show floating rate mortgages have fallen from between 6.84% and 7.7% a month ago to between 6.34% and 7.2% currently.
Woodley says these interest rates are "extremely low by New Zealand standards" and should help stimulate the housing market. "As we come into summer, traditionally a busy season for real estate, we anticipate market activity will increase," he says.
The institute figures show the national median house price fell to $173,000 in September, the same level it was at in September last year, from $176,000 in August.
They show that the number of houses sold nationally fell from 6,976 worth $1.45 billion in August to 5,604 worth $1.17 billion in September but was higher than the 5,071 houses sold in September last year. Woodley says the year-on-year measure is often more important than the monthly comparisons.
On a regional basis, six of the 11 regions saw the September median price rise from August while it fell in the other five. Compared with September last year, the median price was higher in all but three of the 11 regions.
Compared with August, activity fell in all regions except Southland where the 217 houses sold in September just eclipsed the 216 sold in August. Compared with September last year, activity was higher in all 11 regions.
REINZ PROPERTY MARKET REPORT TOTAL DWELLINGS MEDIAN PRICE COMPARISONS FOR SEPTEMBER 2000-2001
REGION SEPT 00 AUG 01 SEPT 01 Northland 140,000 147,500 135,000 Auckland 242,000 240,000 249,000 Waikato/BOP/Gisborne 154,000 161,000 158,000 Hawkes Bay 130,000 123,861 132,500 Manawatu/Wanganui 94,500 103,000 107,000 Taranaki 94,000 95,000 105,000 Wellington 190,500 200,000 185,000 Nelson/Marlborough 140,750 147,750 150,000 Canterbury/Westland 135,000 136,000 142,000 Otago 105,000 101,000 92,500 Southland 73,500 95,000 83,000 NZ Total $173,000 176,000 173,000
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