Mixed messages from the housing market

Sunday 23 May 2004

The latest housing market statistics show a somewhat contradictory picture of house prices hitting new records at while the number of sales fell sharply and the number of days it takes to sell a house increasing.

By The Landlord

Real Estate Institute figures show the national median house price rose 0.6% from $240,500 in March to $242,000 in April which was 19.2% higher than the $203,000 recorded in April last year.

The largest annual increase was 48.8% in Otago followed by Southland’s 43.8% rise and Napier’s 34.2% gain. The smallest annual increase of 6.3% was recorded in Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne.

However, the number of houses sold fell 15.6% from 11,371 in March to 9,594 in April, although that was up on the 9,047 sold in April last year. The number of days it took to sell a house rose from 27 in March to 29 in April which was the same as in April last year.

Although he describes the latest figures as "hard to take a reading off," institute president Graeme Woodley says they don’t prove a slowdown is in progress.

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