House sales plummeted to new low in January

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand

The lowest number of monthly sales since 1992 has been recorded by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ). The January sales figures of the institute display that just 3,706 homes were sold nationwide as compared with 5,186 in January last year.

According to REINZ president Mike Elford, the low turnover is a concern, and the benefit of lower interest rates is yet to make its mark.

In his statement, Elford said, "Its clear evidence that people are treading cautiously and reflects the uncertainty of the wider economic environment."

There has also been protraction in the length of time it takes to sell homes, taking an average of 59 days to sell in January 2008 compared with 49 in January 2008.

The latest data by REINZ also shows that the price of the median house was $325,000 last month compared to $340,000 in January 2008.

The biggest drop was in Northland regionally, which went down by 16.5%.

It should be mentioned here that the only region with positive sales was Taranaki, up 1.42% on the median.