Housing market cools down
The predicted rush of first-home buyers getting onto the property ladder before home loan lending tightened did not happen, with buyer numbers dropping in Palmerston North.
There were 104 houses sold last month in the city, well down on August's 135 sales, Real Estate Institute figures show.
However, it was ahead of September 2012's 88 sales in the city.
Many in the industry had predicted a bumper month of sales, as first-home buyers tried to get a low-deposit mortgage before the Reserve Bank's restrictions on borrowing kicked in on October 1.
REINZ Manawatu spokesman Andy Stewart said there were both fewer first-home buyers and fewer property investors in the market last month.
The Reserve Bank's restrictions had also affected those trying to sell property, he said.
"There is some uncertainty and concern from vendors as to what is going to happen in the marketplace with the Reserve Bank's implementation.
"It appears to be a bit of ‘suck [it] and see' attitude at the moment."
People were still getting out to open homes, especially for low-maintenance properties, he said.
But there had been a "noticeable decline" in the number of people looking at properties which had been on the market for a while.
Mr Stewart said listings were still low, but had been consistent during the past three months.
However, the average selling price in Palmerston North rose 4.3 per cent during the past year to sit at $283,750.
Nationally, it was a rosier picture, with the 6720 houses sold last month up 2.6 per cent from August.
REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said sales were strong because of the restrictions coming into place. "Sales volumes are ahead of what we would normally expect for this time of the year, with strong growth coming through in several regional centres."
The national median house price rose back to the record high of $400,000, up 7.8 per cent since September last year.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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