New Zealand House Prices Rise in December

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

WELLINGTON, New Zealand--The median price of a house in New Zealand rose 5.8% on year in December 2017, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, or REINZ.

Compared with November 2017, the median house price rose 1.9%. But the number of properties sold fell 16.2% between the two months. The number of properties sold across New Zealand in December was down 10.1% when compared with the same month last year.

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The number of days it took to sell a house, a gauge of underlying demand increased by one day in December to 32 days, when compared with December 2016.

The REINZ house-price index, which uses all sales by REINZ members rather than just a median price, increased 3.8% on-year during December.

"As there appears to be less urgency for buyers to purchase a property, as well as for vendors to sell their property, we've seen sales count drop and the days to sell increase during 2017," said REINZ Chief Executive Bindi Norwell.

"However, as vendors have been holding steadfast to their pricing expectations, we've still seen the price of properties going up," which is reflected in the increased house price index, she said.

New Zealand's center-left government has tried to rein in prices by locking foreigners out of the market, and plans to build a record number of affordable homes with prices still out of reach of many buyers, who also face a shortage of rental accommodation in the major cities such as Auckland and the capital, Wellington.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 17, 2018 15:22 ET (20:22 GMT)

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