House sales dive 20pc

By Heather McCracken

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

The number of house sales fell 20 per cent last month, with sales declining across all regions, latest figures show.

But the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) data also shows prices continued to rise, with the national median sales price up 10.7 per cent on April last year, mostly driven by the Auckland market.

Nationally, residential sales in April were 20.2 per cent down on 2013 sales, and 22.5 per cent down on March figures.

REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said the sharp fall was felt across all regions, including Auckland and Canterbury.

April was generally a softer month for sales than March, but the decline on April last year was significant, Ms O'Sullivan said.

"The volume of sales has retreated to 2012 levels, and is the seventh lowest April volume recorded by REINZ.''

Sales of homes under $400,000 has fallen more than the market overall, suggesting the LVR restrictions were having an impact, she said.

Agents reported first home buyers were an "even scarcer commodity'' than in November and December last year.

"At the same time there is increasing activity in the $1 million plus category, not only in Auckland but in a number of other centres as well.''

The national median house price was $432,250, a fall of 1.8 per cent on March, but an increase of 10.7 per cent on the same month last year.

The highest increase was in Northland, with a 16.8 per cent rise in median price, followed by Canterbury/Westland.

Auckland's median price was $611,000 in April, down from $637,000 in March, but up 10 per cent from $555,000 in April last year.

Homes in Canterbury/Westland region were fastest to sell, with a median listing time of 28 days, followed by Auckland with 30 days.

REINZ monthly residential figures are based on actual sales reported by real estate agents.

See the REINZ's regional data here:

See REINZ's residential property market report here:

- APNZ

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