New high for median house price

CATHERINE HARRIS
Last updated 11:28 12/12/2013

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House sales weakened in November but prices continued to strengthen as restrictions on high mortgage lending moved into their second month.

The Real Estate Institute says 6961 houses sold last month, down 6.6 per cent from November last year.

However, house prices continued to hit new levels, with a national median high of $425,000.

Prices are now nearly 11 per cent higher than a year ago and 4.3 per cent above the previous record in October.

Institute chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said turnover last month was 2.7 per cent higher than in October, but that was weaker than usual.

The average increase between October and November over the past decade was usually more than 10 per cent.

O'Sullivan said restrictions on low-equity lending "may well be a driver of the softer sales figures", with changes appearing at the cheaper end of the market.

House sales below $400,000 were down almost 20 per cent compared with November last year.

New median price highs were set in Auckland, Canterbury-Westland, Wellington and Waikato-Bay of Plenty, with Auckland leading the way at $620,000.

The number of days to sell a house was unchanged from October at 31 days.

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- Fairfax Media

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