Turnover still dropping: REINZ

There are clear signs that national house sales turnover is easing, especially among cheaper properties, the Real Estate Institute says.

Friday, April 11th 2014, 12:00AM

by The Landlord

It has released its latest monthly statistics, showing there were 7315 sales in March, down 10% on the same month in 2013.

March is often the busiest month of the year for house sales.

The national median price reached a new record of $440,000, up more than $40,000 on March 2013.  Auckland had another record high median of $637,000 and Canterbury also recorded a new high, of $401,000.

REINZ chief executive Helen O’Sullivan said the price increase could be because of the dominance of Auckland and Canterbury in the market and a noticeable shift towards sales of higher-value properties. Just over 8% of sales were for more than $1 million in March, up from just over 6% in March 2013.

The number of sales below $400,000 fell 21.9% in March compared to the year before, after a 17.7% year-on-year fall in February. REINZ said that could be indicative of the impact of LVR restrictions.

O’Sullivan said: “The results for March further define the divide between the drivers of the current residential market - Canterbury and Auckland - and the rest of the country. The low levels of stock held by agents in Canterbury and Auckland further suggests that there are not enough homes available to meet the demand from potential buyers.”

She said only two of the 12 regions - Southland and Central Otago Lakes -  reported an increase in sales volume compared to a year earlier.

“There appears to be an increasing divergence between the regions that are seeing growth in their property markets, such as Auckland, Canterbury and Waikato/Bay of Plenty and regions where the property market is far more subdued, such as Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Manawatu/Wanganui and Otago and Southland.  In many of the quieter regions the impact of LVR restrictions on first home buyers is still reported as strong.”

Dwellings took eight days fewer to sell in March compared to February at 33 days.  Compared to March 2013, the median number of days to sell eased by two days.  Five regions saw an improvement in the number of days to sell between March 2013 and March 2014, with Central Otago Lakes recording the largest improvement of 17 days. Auckland saw its number of days to sell ease by two days.

Nationally there were 1663 dwellings sold by auction in March representing 22.7% of all sales and a reduction of 130 on the number of dwellings sold by auction in March 2013.

« Price rises plateau: QVQV: First-time buyers return »

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