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Auckland house sales fall for second month, listings at 7-month low, Barfoot says

Auckland house sales fell for a second month in July and the number of listings declined to a seven-month low, which realtor Barfoot & Thompson attributed to a winter downturn and the looming election.

The number of sales fell to 983 in July, from 1,037 in June and down from 1,133 in the same month last year. The average sale price rose less than 1 percent from June to $719,312, Barfoot said.

House sales have been falling nationwide, led by lower-value homes, partly in response to the Reserve Bank's curbs on high-loan-to-value mortgages introduced last October. In signalling a pause in its tightening cycle on July 24, governor Graeme Wheeler noted that house price inflation "has moderated further" since the bank's monetary policy statement in June.

Barfoot managing director Peter Thompson said his firm had 3,273 properties on its books at the end of July, marginally below June and the lowest in seven months, leaving supply "extremely tight." Listing typically picks up again in August but with a general election in September, "the potential exists that trading in August may not follow the normal pattern as the market awaits the election outcome," he said.

The firm sold 169 homes for more than $1 million while 289 were sold for less than $500,000.

(BusinessDesk)