New Zealand House Prices Ease in April -- REINZ

By Ben Collins Features Dow Jones Newswires

WELLINGTON, New Zealand--New Zealand home prices eased slightly in Apil from March, data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand showed Friday.

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This comes after Reserve Bank of New Zealand Gov. Graeme Wheeler said on Thursday a recent surge in inflation would likely prove temporary, in part due to slowing house-price growth.

REINZ said the national median home price in March was NZ$540,000, compared with NZ$$542,500 in March. The figure is up 10.4% from NZ$489,000 in April 2016.

The number of days it took to sell a house, a gauge of underlying demand, deteriorated. Home sales took an average 34 days, up two days from April 2016.

The REINZ Monthly Housing Index, which uses all sales by REINZ members rather than just a median price, was up 7.8% on year and up 0.4% on month.

The housing market is one of the major challenges analysts see for New Zealand's economy, especially in the commercial capital Auckland, where chronic undersupply and high demand, fueled in part by high migration both from overseas and the country's regions, have pushed prices to record levels.

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Write to Ben Collins at ben.collins@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 11, 2017 17:52 ET (21:52 GMT)