Nelson house prices buck trend

Last updated 13:00 11/03/2014

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House prices increased again in the Nelson region last month, with Richmond showing up as the star performer but nationwide the market appears to be slowing, latest figures show.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures for February this year, released today, show that nationwide sales are easing with only two of 12 regions showing an increase in sales volumes.

In Nelson and Marlborough the median price rose 5.8 per cent or $19,500 on the previous February, with prices rising the most in Richmond. They rose by a smaller margin in Nelson city.

Compared to January the median price fell 6.8 per cent or $26,000, with prices falling 18 per cent in Motueka. Reinz said sales volume in February, compared to January, increased by 20.7 per cent with only Richmond seeing a fall in the number of sales.

In Nelson city the median price last month was $345,000 which was a $10,000 drop on January. However, the median price in February last year was $338,750. There were 71 sales last month compared with 59 in January, but 90 house sales in Nelson city in January last year.

In Richmond the median price last month was $449,000 - up from $413,250 on January and a leap from the median price of $405,000 in February last year. There were 22 sales last month, 26 in January and 24 in February last year.

In Motueka the median house price was $338,000 last month, $410,000 in January and $370,000 in January 2013. There were 22 sales last month, 17 in January and 19 last February.

The time it took to sell a house was three days faster last month than in January, but the pace has eased since a year ago.

Over the past decade the number of days to sell in February in the Nelson region has been 45 days.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said the first home buyer market remained "muted" across the region, but investors were taking up the slack in parts.

"Open home attendances are down and vendors are realistic about price expectations. They are not overly influenced by the activity in the Auckland and Christchurch markets."

AROUND THE COUNTRY 6125 dwellings sold in February 2014, down 7.6 per cent on February 2013. National median price rose $33,000 to $415,000 (8.6 per cent) compared to February 2013 and up $13,000 or 3.2 per cent compared to January 2014. Waikato-Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay and Canterbury-Westland all reached a new high median prices. The Auckland House Price Index reached a new record high and is up 16.9 per cent on February 2013. Auction numbers grew by more than 28 per cent in the 12 months to February 2014 ,however the proportion of sales by auctions in Auckland softened from 37.1 per cent of sales in February 2013 to 31.9 per cent of sales in February 2014.

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