Auckland momentum follows rest of country

Friday 18 June 2010

The Auckland residential property market has come into line with the rest of the country after being ahead in terms of momentum, according to the latest Mike Pero Mortgages-Infometrics Property Cycle Indicator (PCI).

By Maddy Milicich

The PCI is a sensitive measure of the market based on changes in the number of houses sold, changes in price plus the time taken for a house to sell and ranges from negative 10, showing a strong downturn, to positive 10 - a strong upturn in the housing market.

"The PCI is a momentum-based indicator, rather than an absolute indicator of the market," Mike Pero chief executive Shaun Riley says.

Auckland's PCI for May is at -0.95, down from 2.17 in April, previously the only region recorded by the indicator to be holding positive ground.

"The Auckland market is more resilient than a lot of the regional areas around the country, which tend to see recovery and momentum shifts sooner than the cities," Riley says.

Wellington, which was only just in negative territory in April, also lost ground and dropped from -0.12 in April to -2.57 in May.

Riley says Wellington tends to trend similar to Auckland for the same reasons, mainly due to population and demographic being that much bigger than regional areas.

The national PCI fell from -0.86 in April to -3.71 in May.

"The nationwide PCI slipped further into negative territory last month and is now at its lowest level since March last year," says Riley

House sales activity was also weak in May, down 17% from May last year, with total residential sales inching down to 5,206 from 5,207 a month earlier, according to REINZ.

House prices also fell further in May, with the national median house price falling 1.7% to $350,000 month-on-month, although still up 3.7% from May last year.

Time taken to sell a house was at 43 days, compared to 40 days in April and 42 days in May 2009, the first time since March last year houses spent longer on the market than in the same period the previous year.

Looking at the PCI in other regions, Canterbury/Westland dropped slightly from -4.14 to -4.90; Nelson/Marlborough fell from -3.51 to -4.55, and; Otago also lost ground falling from -4.89 to -6.71.

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