House market 'steady' with one $1m exception
Amid a stable but unspectacular Manawatu property market, a Palmerston North house has sold for more than $1 million.
The private house sale stands out in the Real Estate Institute August figures for the region.
The institute's Manawatu spokesman Andy Stewart said he expected Manawatu's housing market to be reheated by spring sales and the Reserve Bank's coming changes to loan to value ratios (LVRs) affecting deposits.
But for now it was a steady as she goes mentality, he said.
Manawatu/Whanganui had a 5.5 per cent drop in sales volume in August compared to July.
There were a total of 135 properties sold in Palmerston North during August and 27 in Feilding, with the time it took to sell a home averaging 30 and 44 days respectively.
There was just one house sold in Ashhurst last month.
Nationally, there was a slowdown in sales of 3.4 per cent in July, but the national median price rose $5000 to $390,000 in that time.
Stewart said expectations continued to be fuelled by reports of rising prices in Auckland and Christchurch.
"Some vendors who maintain high expectations for their properties find they remain on the market, whereas vendors who meet the market are able to sell their properties reasonably quickly," he said.
He said there were fewer investors in the market than there was this time last year, but there had been noticeably more buyers looking for housing in the $300,000-$350,000 price range.
In Palmerston North, the median sale price was $285,000, the same as July.
Stewart said there were signs emerging that first-home buyers were getting in before the new LVR 20 per cent deposit ruling takes effect on October 4.
The Reserve Bank's changes are expected to make it harder for people to buy houses with less than a 20 per cent deposit.
Real Estate Institute chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said sales volumes were in line with what was expected this time of year, and it was the regions rather than Christchurch and Auckland that were being affected by moves to beat LVR changes.
There were signs of a slowdown in sales but not a drop in price, she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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