Housing market indicator firms in September

NZPA Wednesday October 21 2009 – 11:28am

An indicator of the housing market firmed in September, led by Wellington and Auckland. The Mike Pero Mortgages — Infometrics property cycle indicator lifted to 6.99 last month from 6.66 in August.

The indicator runs from minus-10, showing a strong downturn, to plus-10, showing a strong upturn. It moved into positive territory in May, with a reading of 0.34, after 20 negative monthly readings. By June the indicator was up to nearly 4, and in July was close to 6.

The indicator looks at three main figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand — changes in the number of houses sold, changes in price, and the time taken for houses to sell. Mike Pero Mortgages chief executive Shaun Riley said growth in house sales held firm in September at 39 percent a year.

The median house price rose to $350,000, up 6.1 percent on September last year, and just 0.4 percent below the peak recorded in November 2007. The time taken for houses to sell, eased to a two-year low of 33 days in September, one day fewer than in August, he said.

Once again Auckland and Wellington were showing strong signals and were leading the market according to the indicator, Mr Riley said.

Wellington led the country with a reading of 8.41 in September from 7.79 in August, while Auckland was at 8.27 last month from 7.50.