New Zealand Median House Price Rises in October

By Ben Collins Features Dow Jones Newswires

WELLINGTON, New Zealand--The median price of a house in New Zealand rose 3.9% on year in October, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, or REINZ.

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REINZ said the national median house price was NZ$530,000 but that the number of properties sold fell 15.8% compared with October 2016. This comes after the number of properties sold in September also fell sharply on year.

REINZ said the national median house price was 1% lower in October from September, while the number of properties sold increased by 0.8% on-month, indicating that volumes may be showing signs of life.

The number of days it took to sell a house, a gauge of underlying demand, increased by 2 days to 34 days compared to October last year.

Still, the REINZ Monthly Housing Index, which uses all sales by REINZ members rather than just a median price, was up 0.2% on month to reach an all-time high of 2,708 during October, indicating that the ratio of sales prices when compared to current values is at its highest point since the index began, REINZ said.

Meanwhile, New Zealand's centre-left Labour government recently unveiled plans to ban foreign investors from buying homes in New Zealand from next year.

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The housing market is still one of the major challenges analysts see for New Zealand's economy, especially in Auckland, the commercial capital, 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.

Still, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand said last week that it expects house price inflation to continuing cooling, in part because of the new policies from the recently-elected government, which also include cutting migration to New Zealand.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 14, 2017 15:34 ET (20:34 GMT)