9 Feb 2009

Residential property market falls again

10:40 am on 9 February 2009

Quotable Value says the property market is falling again, despite a short respite in December.

The agency says residential property values fell by 8.3% in the year to January, worse than a fall of 7.4% in the year to December.

It was the seventh consecutive month of falls.

QV also says the number of properties selling remains at low levels.

However, the average sale price for a residential property increased slightly to $382,762 in January.

QV says lower interest rates would normally stimulate buying, but people are too worried about the security of their job to risk an expensive purchase like a house.

New Zealand has been in recession for nine months. Economists forecast unemployment will eventually reach 7% - double the level it reached at the height of the last housing boom.

QV says all this worry is already bedded in: with three bedroom houses with a garage in south Auckland, selling for $220,000 in mortgagee sales.