New sales figures show further indications of a slow down in the residential property market.
The median residential property price eased in May to $350,000 from $356,000 in April, but was still 3.7 percent ahead of a year earlier, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (Reinz) said today.
The 5206 residential property sales last month were only one fewer than in April, even though winter was usually a quieter period for the real estate market. The median number of days to sell rose to 43 from 40.
The figures showed no real reduction in residential property prices or the number of sales in May, despite pending tax changes and the anticipated move by the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates, the institute said.
Reinz president Peter McDonald said that with the median price still 3.7 percent ahead of a year ago "we are still not seeing any significant fall in property values".
"With tax changes and interest rates now settled, property investors are already talking about returning to the market to cater for the growing demand for domestic rentals," Mr McDonald said.
The Reinz's monthly housing price index fell by 1.4 percent in May, with prices 5.1 percent below their peak in November 2007.
The index, which basically is an average of sale prices for common groups, rose 0.7 percent in the three months to May, and compared to a year earlier is up 2.3 percent.
The Reinz report follows QV figures last week which showed residential property prices 4.1 percent below the market peak of late 2007, having been 3.9 percent below the peak a month earlier.
QV indices showed values were 5.6 percent above the same time last year, the first decline in the annual change since March 2009, having fallen back from the 6.1 percent reported for April.
A newsletter out today from real estate company Harcourts said its figures for May showed a continuation of market conditions experienced since early this year -- "considerable inaction within the property market".
But with the Government having now delivered its budget, and the changes not as dramatic as predicted by some, the company expected to see sales levels rise to more normal levels in coming months, Harcourts said.