Southland house prices fall
Real estate activity slowed in August, with national sales down 3.4 per cent on the previous month.
However, while prices continued to climb for the rest of the country, the median price in Southland fell $3000, or 1.6 per cent, compared to July, with an increase in Gore being more than offset by a fall in Invercargill. Compared to August 2012, the median price fell $13,000, or 6.6 per cent.
The region's house sales fell almost 10 per cent to 149, from July, and compared to August 2012, the fall was more than 12 per cent.
The national median price rising $20,000 to $390,000, which is $10,000 off the record set in March. Just how high prices have got is shown by the fact that nearly a quarter of all national sales in the month were for homes which sold for $600,000 or more, and 5.6 per cent of homes sold went for more than $1 million.
The Reserve Bank's mortgage lending restrictions, which take effect next month, will limit the number of low-deposit loans the banks can make. That means more people, such as first home buyers and investors, will need to find a minimum deposit of 20 per cent.
The chief executive of the Real Estate Institute, Helen O'Sullivan, said agents nationwide were reporting strong activity from first home buyers moving to secure properties before the central bank's low-deposit rule changes. "However, the reports suggest that this is occurring more in the regions, rather than in Auckland and Christchurch where we are seeing the greatest price pressure."
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