14 Mar 2023

Median house price falls 13.9 percent from a year ago

12:09 pm on 14 March 2023
Christchurch based housing

New listings were down 30 percent compared to February, 2022. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

Houses are taking two months to sell amid the residential market slow down, but stock levels are returning to normal.

The Real Estate Institute's (REINZ) house price index for February, which measures the changing value of properties, fell 14.2 percent from a year ago.

The median house price fell a seasonally adjusted 13.9 percent from a year ago to $772,200.

Auckland's median house price fell a seasonally adjusted 15.2 percent from a year ago, but increased 3.2 percent from January 2023, to be just over $1 million.

REINZ said houses took an average 60 days to sell nationally, up 18 days from a year ago.

The number of property sales eased 30 percent compared to February last year, and new listings fell by 30 percent.

The total number of properties for sale across the country was just over 29,000 at the end of last month - up 25 percent from a year ago.

"Even though new listings are down as communities respond to the weather and the anticipation of economic adjustments ahead, inventory levels are now showing a return to standard levels after a few years at historically low levels," REINZ chief executive Jen Baird said.

Cyclone Gabrielle resulted in slower activity in the affected areas, Baird said.

In Wellington, the median price fell a seasonally adjusted 5.2 percent to be $790,000, with properties taking 69 days to sell.

"Despite there being more interest from prospective buyers, many are still cautious about the current economic conditions and rising interest rates," Baird said.

Canterbury bucked the trend, with the median price increasing 1.2 percent and a median price of $668,000.

"Whilst the disruptive weather events in February did not directly impact Canterbury, the connections are extensive with more buyers from the North Island showing interest in the region - similar to the earthquakes in Christchurch when locals began to look elsewhere to live," Baird said.

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