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Housing strong but prices take breather

The median price of houses sold by Real Estate Institute members dipped a little in January compared with last December.

The national median eased from the record $389,000 struck in December 2012 to $370,000 in January 2013.

Sales volumes fell 14.3% (860 houses) to 4933 unconditional sales in January

The Real Estate Institute says a fall in volumes is a seasonal trend.

On an annual comparison, the national median house price remains 4.2% ahead of January 2012 and sales volumes are up 31% on the same month a year ago.

Another measure of market heat is the number of days it takes to sell a house – nationally it took 41 days to sell a home in January 2013, compared to 32 days in December 2012, but still ahead of the 47 days in January 2012.

Canterbury/Westland recorded the shortest time to sell at 31 days last month, followed by Auckland at 33 and Nelson/Marlborough at 40. Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay recorded the longest time to sell at 60 days, followed by Northland with 59 and Taranaki on 55. 

Nationally, there were 449 dwellings sold by auction last month, representing 9.1% of all sales, almost double the number in January 2012.

For the 12 months to January the total number of auctions was 12,168 or 16.3% of all sales, compared to 7195 or 11.6% of all sales for the 12 months to January 2012.

Transactions in Auckland again dominated the auction market in January, representing 73.5% of the national total. They accounted for 18.3% of all dwelling sales there last month compared to 11.2% in January 2012.

More by Chris Hutching