12 Aug 2014

House sales, prices down in July

10:03 pm on 12 August 2014

House prices and the number of houses sold both fell in July, with the Real Estate Institute blaming winter, rising interest rates and the general election.

There were 5893 houses sold in July, down 13 percent on sales in July last year.

The institute's house price index fell 0.7 percent in July and has dropped 2.2 percent in the three months ended July.

Sales of houses priced below $400,000 were down nearly 22 percent compared with July last year, indicating the Reserve Bank's restrictions on lending to people with small deposits is still having an effect.

The institute's chief executive, Helen O'Sullivan, said a lack of able buyers, particularly in the regions, was affecting sales.

She said the two main reasons for the falls were the interest rate rises over the past six months, and the restrictions on banks with loan-to-value ratio mortgages.