Property market rises, slower than elsewhere

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:00 11/09/2012

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Palmerston North's property market has continued its upward trend with sales volumes continuing to increase.

But the city hasn't experienced the same lift as other regions in the country, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand's latest figures. The number of houses sold rose from 96 in August last year to 103 last month - a 7.2 per cent increase.

The average length of time properties sat on the market also improved, falling from 54 days to 36.

But in August nationwide home sales increased 16 per cent, year on year.

Northland led the charge with a volume increase of 31 per cent, with Auckland on 25.6 per cent and Taranaki 22.2 per cent.

REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said there was usually a dip in sales volume during winter, but it had not been the case this year.

Auckland's big jumps were "increasingly driving the New Zealand real estate market", with the market in the country's biggest city markedly different to the rest of the nation, she said.

"Across the rest of the country . . . prices continue to reflect the general caution [concerning] the economic outlook."

The increases may look good, but people had to stand back and look at the bigger picture, she said.

"This increased level of activity does need to be seen in context of an overall housing market that is still subdued, and with prices yet to catch up with increases in the Consumer Price Index over the past five years."

A sure sign the housing market was back to normal levels of activity would be turnover reaching the pre-2008 long-run average. This has yet to happen.”

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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