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Auckland house sales, prices fell in January

Auckland house sales, prices fell in January: Barfoot

Feb. 4 – Auckland property prices fell last month and the average price dropped from the same month of 2008, according to Barfoot & Thompson, the city’s biggest real estate firm.

The average house price fell about 3% to NZ$502,636 in January a year earlier. Sales fell 15% to 515 in the latest month from a year earlier, though they picked up from December’s 461 sales, according to managing director Peter Thompson.

“The rapid decline in home mortgage interest rates is bringing interest and a degree of confidence back into the market,” Thompson said. At the same time, new listings in January were a decade-low 975, suggesting people were choosing to hold on to properties while buying activity “remains fairly constant.”

Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard last week slashed the official cash rate to 3.5% and said there’s room for further reductions as the weakening global economy drives down inflation. Lenders have trimmed their mortgage rates as the OCR plummeted, according to the website. Kiwibank offers a rate of 5.69% on a loan-to-value ratio of up to 80%, and Public Trust offers a similar rate. TSB bank has a one-year mortgage at 5.79% and ANZ Bank at 5.99%

Property lettings rose in January to 791, the highest for a single month in seven years. The average weekly rental has stabilized at NZ$384, consistent with the average rents achieved since July last year, the real estate firm said.


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