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High prices lead to drastic drop in house sales in 2017

Saturday, January 13, 2018

HIGH prices, higher deposits, finance constraints and lending tightening has seen the number of houses sold in 2017 plummet.

The latest data from Quotable Value (QV) showed year-on-year, the volume of houses sold was down every month in 2017, with numbers down by more than twenty per cent in February and October.

"The frenzy in the market of the previous three years induced by high numbers of investors in the market subsided and we saw a return to more normal levels of activity around the country," said QV national spokesperson Andrea Rush.

Despite the slow-down in sales, property values continued to rise, although at a slower rate than in previous years.

Nationwide, average residential property values increased by 6.6 per cent or $NZ41,660 ($F61,512) over the year, with the average house price $NZ669,565 ($F988,233) in December.

Ms Rush said the slowing in the growth rate was because of new Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) restrictions requiring a 40 per cent deposit from investors, as well as stricter bank lending and uncertainty ahead of the election.

"By October nationwide annual value growth had slowed to 3.9 per cent, the lowest rate of growth seen in five years," she said.

"For the Auckland Region it slowed to -0.6 per cent, the slowest annual rate of growth seen there since 2011."

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