The number of Auckland homes sold in November fell to the lowest level since 2011 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) showed volumes fell 11.5 per cent compared to October, while in the rest of the country sales rose 4.6 per cent. However the shortage of homes meant that prices continued to rise, up 2.2 per cent, or $16,750, to $765,000 compared to the previous month, or a 14.2 per cent annual increase. That compares with annual increases of 16.8 per cent and 25.4 per cent in the September and October years respectively. The slowdown in the country's biggest city meant the national average median house price actually fell between October and November by $500 or 0.1 per cent to $459,500.
The Reserve Bank imposed new restrictions on lending to investors in Auckland from the beginning of November because of concerns that the boom in house prices there posed a risk to financial stability. The government also imposed new rules at the beginning of October including taxing gains on properties bought and sold within two years and requiring foreign buyers of a home other than their residence to have a New Zealand bank account and taxpayer number.
Away from Auckland, there were signs of strong growth in sales and prices. New record median prices were set in the capital, Wellington and in Waikato/Bay of Plenty at $435,000 and $392,500 respectively. In Northland, the number of properties being sold increased 68 per cent compared to year ago. Excluding Auckland, the national median price rose $15,000 or 4.2 per cent compared to a year earlier to hit a record high of $375,000. In all, there were 8,048 unconditional residential sales in November, an 8.5 per cent increase on November 2014 and an increase of 2.7 per cent on October. Seasonally adjusted sales fell 2.6 per cent from October to November, a figure that REINZ described as indicating that sales were generally weaker than would normally be expected at this time of year.
Source: Auckland Herald Friday 11 December 2015
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