Housing market easing at

Tuesday 29 June 2004

While the level of housing activity remains high, the housing market is easing "at a fairly hasty clip," Bank of New Zealand chief economist Tony Alexander says.

By The Landlord

Although the turnover figures for May showing 9,416 houses sold were the second highest for the month of May on record, compared with the number of sales in May last year they were down 15.6%," he says.

"It’s the direction of movement that’s really important here," Alexander says. "This is the worst annual rate of decline since October 2000 and probably gives a better picture of annual changes than the data for recent months which had their annual rates of change biased upward by SARS and so on hitting sales early last year."

As well, the average number of days it takes to sell a house has risen from 27 in May last year to 30 in May this year.

"This is the highest increase from a year earlier since July 2001 and merely confirms the easing nature of the housing market."

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