House sales slow down in June

NARELLE HENSON
Last updated 13:15 14/07/2014

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Waikato home buyers sat tight in June as the winter months cooled their appetite for buying.

The latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows that the number of houses being sold has dried up across the region.

June figures for Waikato country show a drop of 23.1 per cent compared to May, and a drop of 10 per cent compared to June last year.

In Hamilton, 8.6 per cent fewer homes changed hands last month than they did in May, down 15.5 per cent compared to the same time last year.

REINZ regional director Philip Searle said the figures were not seasonally adjusted ''so the fall in volume is likely to be a result of the normal winter downturn''.

He pointed out that listings remained tight across the region and ''attendances at open homes are patchy''.

While Waikato's median price was one of eight regions to increase year-on- year, it held steady against May's price, now at $256,000.

The median price for Hamilton now sits at $354,000, down 3.4 per cent on May's figure.

Searle said house prices were staying steady in the face of falling sales because of loan-to-value (LVR) restrictions imposed by the Reserve Bank last year which require people to have a greater deposit to buy a home.

''If the LVR is taking out the lower priced properties, proportionally more higher priced properties are sold which  has the effect of increasing the median sale price,'' he said.

Searle said he expected the number of houses sold to pick up as the warmer weather kicked in, and people ''move into the buying mode''.

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