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Housing Market Holds Steady

Media Release for immediate use: Thursday 17  December 2009

Housing Market Holds Steady


The New Zealand housing market appears to have levelled off last month, following the momentum gained in the previous two months, according to the latest Mike Pero Mortgages-Infometrics Property Cycle Indicator.

“The growth in house sales held steady at 40 per cent per annum in November. However this figure does make activity in the market appear stronger than it really was, as activity in November last year was very weak,” says Mike Pero Mortgages Chief Executive Shaun Riley.

“The median house price was also unchanged from October at $355,000, which was up 5.2 per cent from November last year.”  
The Mike Pero Mortgages-Infometrics Property Cycle Indicator fell slightly to a positive 7.35 in November, from 7.37 in October.  The Property Cycle Indicator is a sensitive measure of the housing market and includes three main factors: changes in the number of houses sold; changes in price; and the time taken for houses to sell.
The third measure of the Property Cycle Indicator, the time taken for houses to sell, rose for the first time in nine months.  

“The average number of days to sell property rose to 33 days in November, two days more than in October.  However, this figure was still 11 days fewer than in November last year.

“The two big North Island cities of Wellington and Auckland are again showing strong signals and are leading the market according to the Property Cycle Indicator,” says Shaun Riley.

Wellington led the country in November with a PCI of 9.16 (from 8.27 in October) and Auckland was not far behind with a PCI of 9.06 (from 8.13 in October).  

In the South Island the Canterbury/Westland’s PCI was 4.65 (slipping down from 5.03 in October), Southland’s was 2.49 (2.43), and Nelson/Marlborough’s was 3.22 (from 3.15).  Otago again made the biggest gain with a PCI of 3.90, up from 3.73 in October.
Rents in November were up 0.5 per cent from a year ago, the strongest annual growth since January this year.

During November floating mortgage rates also held steady at their 34-year low of 6.0 per cent. Fixed mortgage rates were also largely unchanged from last month.


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