Marlborough Property Investors' Association

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05-05-2010

Auckland house sales dip

Landlords.co.nz

Auckland house sales fell last month, coming off a stronger track in March, suggesting property investors are becoming tentative ahead of the 2010 budget, which will curb tax breaks.

The volume of sales fell 27.6% from March to 671 in April, following their traditional pattern of falling from March to April.

"It is a pattern that has occurred every year for the past 10 years and this year's decline is in fact lower than what normally occurs," Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said.

While the average sale price edged down less than 1% to $541,486, the average price was a record for the month of April.

Thompson said stable sales price and declining sales were both common for April and that people should not read anything significant into April's figures.

While investors wait on this month's Budget for direction, the lack of action appears to be having a modest impact on sales and Thompson says the market is currently being driven by home buyers.

"The budget will give certainty to the market once people have analysed any changes it may contain, but this April has the familiar feel of the start of the normal autumn/winter easing in demand," Thompson said.

Inventory levels in Auckland declined 9% in April from the previous month, from 43.7 to 37.9 weeks, according to Realestate.co.nz's latest Property Report. Nationally the inventory stands at 46.5 weeks, down from 53 weeks in March.

Barfoot had 6,079 properties on its books in April, little changed from a year earlier. New listings fell 12% to 1,312 from March and were up about 22% from April 2009, according to Realestate.co.nz.

The firm let 668 rentals in April, just above the same month of 2009, at an average weekly rent of $398.

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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