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Buyer Enquiry Strong For Residential Property

The national median sale price for residential property has fallen marginally from September to October 1999, but risen on a year to year basis, while the national median sales volume has fallen on both a year to year and month to month basis, according to figures released from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

The national median sale price was $168,000 for October, compared to $170,000 in September and $165,000 in October last year. Sales in October this year were 6,181compared with 6,606 twelve months ago and 6,243 in September 1999.

The President of the Institute, Mr Max Oliver said, “We feel that the market remained relatively stable considering the pre election environment. The slight downward movement in the figures is negligible.”

Mr Oliver said that feedback from Institute members revealed a normal level of enquiries for this time of year but caution in terms of committing to properties.

Mr Oliver, said “This effect is most noticeable in the more distinct fall in sales volume over the last month while the media price remains relatively stable. Well priced properties are continuing to hold their value nationwide”

“The pattern for October is consistent with September, with the pre-election nerves creating a hesitancy in the market as an isolated effect on the last quarter of 1999 and should not be construed as a decline in either public confidence or intrinsic property value.”

There was a marked increase in section activity, with 641 sections sold during October at a median price of $74,500, compared to 614 in September at $76,000 and 502 in the same month last year at a median price of $73,000.

Mortgage interest rates have increased over the period October 10 to November 10, particularly among floating and fixed one year rates. Floating rates increased in the latest period by an average of 0.26 per cent to range between 5.85 and 7.00 per cent.

One year fixed rates now range between 6.30 and 7.35 per cent, an average increase of 0.29 per cent from last month. Five year fixed rates increased on average by 0.14 per cent to range between 7.97 and 8.95 per cent. Fixed two, three and four year mortgage rates now range between 7.05 and 8.95 per cent.

The national median price for the rural property sector rose on a year to year basis, while volumes fell and median price fell on month to month comparison.

The national median price for October was $409,750, up from the October 1998 median of $405,349 but down slightly from the September median of $411,349. The national sales volume fell to 128 in October from the 142 transactions recorded in September, and the 144 properties that changed hands in October 1998.

Lifestyle blocks continued to be a ongoing success story in October as nation wide sales of lifestyle blocks were up from 376 in October 1998 to 399 in October 1999. The national median price also rose over the same period from $180,000 to $195,000.

The value of lifestyle blocks varied enormously around the country. The latest statistics from the Institute reflect this range, showing Auckland dominates price-wise with an October median of $325,000. The Gisborne region was next highest at $272,000, with the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Nelson, Otago and Taranaki also performing well. At the lower end of the market is the West Coast with $70,000 and Southland on $70,250.


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