House sale low is sign the tumble has started

The seven-year low in house sales last month could be a sign of prices falling for the year, says the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand’s national president.

Traditionally, January has always been a weak time to sell, with holidays interrupting transactions but sales were unusually low at 5186 – the lowest since January 2001 and down from 7566 last year and 5597 in December.

As a result the national median price also suffered, down from $345,000 in December to $340,000 in January, compared with the peak price of $352,000 in November 2007. The days a property was on the market before it sold rose to 49 nationally, the highest since January 2002 when it took 54.

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