13 Aug 2013

House prices may be moving sideways

7:37 am on 13 August 2013

Deutsche Bank chief economist Darren Gibbs thinks that house prices are moving sideways as people become less prepared to pay higher prices.

The Real Estate Institute's data shows the number of houses sold in July was the highest that month for six years, but prices eased 0.5% from June.

However, the institute's data shows its house price index was up 8.6 percent compared with July last year.

Nearly 6800 houses sold last month, an increase of almost 15% compared with July last year.

The total value of sales was $3.3 billion, from more than $3 billion in June.

Mr Gibbs says there are signs that house price inflation is moderating and that there's more buyer resistance.

He said people are looking ahead to possible loan-to-value ratio restrictions and likely higher interest rates next year, and anecdotally, the banks are already tightening lending in anticipation of an announcement by the Reserve Bank.