New Zealand property sales fell 4.3 percent in January from a year earlier while the median price slipped from the record high set in December, which may reflect high loan-to-value lending restrictions and seasonal factors, the Real Estate Institute says,.
There were 4,719 dwellings sold nationally in January, down from the same month last year and a 17 percent drop compared with December, the institute said in a statement. The national median price fell by 5.8 percent to $402,000, having reached a record $427,000 in the previous month.
"The softer volume result continues a pattern that began in November and continued in December," said REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan. "Market feedback suggests that first home buyers may be tentatively returning, with some assistance, to certain markets."
The stratified housing index, which looks to smooth out peaks and troughs and is the preferred measure used by the Reserve Bank, fell 2.4 percent from December to 3,756.3 and is up 7.7 percent from January last year.
Days to sell rose by 11 to 43 in January from December and increased by two days from January 2013. The total value of residential sales, including sections, fell to $2.33 billion in January from $3.07 billion in December, and was up from $2.24 billion in the same month last year. In the 12 months ended Jan. 31, sales were valued at $40.20 billion.