Signs housing market slowing

Wednesday 25 February 2004

Prices of existing houses showed further weakness in January, but that reflects more sales of lower valued properties and a marked slowdown in sales of higher valued properties.

By The Landlord

The latest Real Institute figures show the median house price fell to $227,750 in January compared with $229,000 in December and November’s record $235,000.

Real Estate Institute president Graeme Woodley says the number of property sales worth more than $600,000 fell from 507 in December to 270 in January while sales between $400,000 and $600,000 fell from 957 to 631. By contrast, sales under $400,000 rose to 7,258 in January from 7,239 in December.

Woodley says it’s too early to reach any conclusions about the trend for the rest of 2004, but many commentators are predicting a slowdown in the rate of house price increases in the face of falling migration and rising interest rates. "The predictions themselves may have affected buyer confidence."

Another sign some of the heat may be going out of the market is that the number of days it took to sell a house rose from just 23 in December to 32 in January, although that was still below the 38 days it took in January 2003.

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