House sale volumes have hit an eight-month low and Auckland's median sale price is sticking in a flat pattern, around $850,000 for nearly two years, new data from the Real Estate Institute shows.
Sales data this morning for September, REINZ said: "The low number of new listings in July has meant that the number of houses sold in New Zealand during September decreased by 3 per cent year-on-year. This was the lowest level number of properties sold since January this year. Auckland's housing market has continued its now predictably stable pattern, with a median price of $850,000 the exact same price as September last year."
Twelve out of 16 regions saw sales volumes fall: Northland and Southland volumes fell 22 per cent while West Coast volumes fell 18 per cent.
Nationally, volumes fell from September 2017's 5674 to 5506 last month which REINZ said was the lowest number of sales for September since 2011. Sales volumes for October and November are expected to be much stronger because listings are up 11.7 per cent, REINZ said.
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Auckland's median staying static for so long showed "an incredibly stable market, positive for first-time buyers who are desperately saving to get a foot on the property ladder," said REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell.
"However, it's also good for investors, buyers and sellers too, as it means that everyone knows what the market is doing – there don't tend to be too many happy people when the market is particularly volatile."
National median sale prices rose 5.9 per cent annually, from $525,000 last September to $556,000 last month.
Norwell said seven regions now had $500,000-plus medians and Northland was the latest area to join that group. Auckland's $850,000 median house price last month was exactly the same as last September.
Four regions had record prices: Gisborne, Manawatu/Whanganui, Northland and the Hawkes Bay.
Real estate agents have 22,847 properties to sell, up from an inventory of 21,727 properties for sale a year ago. That is the highest level of inventory for four months, REINZ said.
Agents had 7429 Auckland properties for sale last month, up 17.7 per cent on September last year.
Median days to sell a property nationally rose by two days from 34 to 36 days. In Auckland, it took a median 39 days to sell last month, up from 37 days last September.
Auctions are used to sell 14.5 per cent of properties nationally.