NZ house prices edge up, sales fall in April - REINZ

Sun May 11, 2014 11:13pm EDT

WELLINGTON, May 12 (Reuters) - New Zealand house prices rose
for a third consecutive month in April to a record high, while
the number of houses sold fell, the Real Estate Institute of NZ
(REINZ) said on Monday.
    The REINZ said the sharp dip in sales volumes, especially in
lower valued properties, pointed to the impact of the central
bank's limits on low deposit lending and the start of the 
interest rate tightening cycle.
    Last week the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) said limits
on low deposit home loans have been effective in slowing house
price inflation and will stay in place at least until late this
year. 
    The RBNZ has also raised its benchmark interest rate by 50
basis points since March to 3 percent, and is expected to raise
again next month possibly before pausing. It has said the
housing market will be one of the key factors in the timing and
extent of rises. 
    
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 House price index (in pct):  
                              Month    Pvs month   12 months    
 NZ total                     +0.1       +3.4        +8.5 
 Auckland                     +2.0       +0.4       +15.2
 Christchurch                 +4.4       +1.9       +13.6 
     
                              Month    Pvs month   Vs yr ago 
 Houses sold                  5,670     7,315      -20.2pct
 Days to sell                    34        35         34
 ------------------------------------------------------------
    The full data is available at www.reinz.co.nz
    

 (Reporting by Gyles Beckford; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)