Green shoots emerging in property market

JASON KRUPP
Last updated 11:18 17/12/2010

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New Zealand's property market may still have languished in decline in November, but green shoots are starting to emerge with improvements in price, volume and days to sell, according to an industry analysis.

The housing market was rated at minus 10 for a third consecutive month, according to the Mike Pero Mortgages-Infometrics Property Cycle Indicator, an analysis of changes in house sales, price movements and sales time. A value of minus 10 shows a strong downturn, while plus 10 indicates a strong upturn.

"Sales volumes in November were down 15 per cent from a year ago," said Mike Pero chief executive Shaun Riley. "Although the result is still very weak it is an improvement on the fall of more than 30 per cent per annum recorded in September and October."

Prices have also started to show a measure of recovery in November, with the average sales value rising 2.9 per cent to $360,000 compared to October, and are 1.4 per cent higher than the same month last year, according data compiled by Real estate Institute of New Zealand.

Time taken to sell a house took an average of 40-days in November, the fastest rate of turnover in six months, once seasonally variations are taken into account.

Riley said the time taken to sell a house has been steadily increasing over the past six months, but not as rapidly as it did in the first four months of the year.

The early signs of an improvement in the housing market were matched by an uptick in quarterly farm sales, with 170 properties sold in the three months to Nov. 30, up from 147 in the previous quarter.

However farm prices continued to decline with the median sales price dropping 1.9 per cent to $950,000 from a month earlier.

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