National median house price slips to $247,000 in August
Thursday 16 September 2004
The median selling price for New Zealand homes slipped $2000 to $247,000 in August, on increased demand for affordable properties, figures released today show.
By The LandlordReal Estate Institute (Reinz), which issued the stats, said another factor was slower activity in "upper end" properties.
National president Howard Morley said sales volumes improved in August as the market headed into its customary spring upturn.
The median selling price was below the $249,000 for July, but above the $243,000 recorded in June, Reinz said.
While the market appeared to have retreated, Morley said it had to be considered against July's strong median price increase, largely driven by a spike in Auckland prices.
"This month we have seen a bit of levelling off, but the trend is still pretty much intact," Morley said in a statement.
Recent mortgage rate increases at banks - driven by the Reserve Bank tightening its official cash rate (OCR) successively to 6.25% - might have had some effect, he said.
However, the trend towards fixed interest rates meant the house-buying public was unlikely to lose confidence in the market, even as further OCR rises became likely, Morley said.
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There’s no sign of a slow-down in Wellington’s property prices with Trade Me Property’s latest data showing that asking prices continue to rise solidly.
Vacancy rates in the commercial property sector are set to increase as changing economic conditions dampen demand.
LVR restrictions were never meant to be a permanent feature of New Zealand’s housing market and ANZ economists argue that some further relaxing of them could soon be on the cards.