Property market indicator strengthens

NZPA Monday August 24 2009 – 11:07am

A housing market indicator strengthened in July as the average time taken to sell properties fell sharply from a year earlier.

The Mike Pero Mortgages-Infometrics property cycle indicator climbed to a positive 5.95 in July, from 3.98 in June, Mike Pero Mortgages said today. The indicator takes into account changes in the number of houses sold, changes in price and the time taken for houses to sell.

It runs from -10 for a strong downturn to +10 for a strong upturn. Mike Pero Mortgages chief executive Shaun Riley said the biggest change in the market was the much shorter time houses were taking to sell.

Houses took on average 37 days to sell in July, 21 days fewer than a year earlier, and the biggest year-on-year improvement since records began in 1991. House sales volumes held steady around 6000 in July from June, and were up 34 percent on July 2008.

The national median house price also held steady at $340,000 in July, unchanged from a year earlier for the second month in a row.