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House prices static as loans rules bite

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 13:54 19/04/2014

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It's been a few months of ups, and some downs, for Christchurch house prices.

Median prices in the city, as tallied by the Real Estate Institute, are well up on a year ago but have been buffeted in the past six months. Market observers say the Reserve Bank's October clampdown on low-deposit loans, and its first moves last month to boost interest rates, have deterred some buyers.

House prices in Canterbury are at about the same level as they were at Christmas.

The March median price of $418,000 was slightly down from a February record of $420,400, and was nearly 9 per cent higher than a year ago.

Canterbury-Westland's median price was a record $411,000 last month, 11.7 per cent up on March last year.

Homes in the region are still the fastest selling in the country, changing hands in a median 27 days.

Agents are still reporting high demand, and say they could sell more stock if they had it.

The institute said the city's market could be settling after a period of steady inflation.

Valuation agency Quotable Value (QV) said this week values in Christchurch have fallen slightly since the start of the year, and averaged $457,744 in March, 11.1 per cent higher than a year ago.

QV described this as a levelling off since the summer, but expected more price growth ahead.

More sales were recorded in March than in February, but there were fewer than in March last year. The region's median section price was $178,500.

Other median house prices were: North Canterbury country $375,000, central Canterbury country $528,000, Mid-Canterbury $285,000, Timaru $285,000, South Canterbury country $222,500, West Coast $245,000.

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- The Press

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