July boost in house sales may signal early onset of renewed growth

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) says a slight upswing in house sales during July could be an early signal of growth in the market.

The number of homes sold across the country was up 2.5 per cent in July, compared with the same time last year, going from 4120 to 4224.

The regions with the greatest increase were Nelson (25 per cent), Gisborne (14.9 per cent), Canterbury (14.6 per cent) and Marlborough (13.7 per cent).

On the downside, West Coast was down 19.4 per cent, Tasman was down 18.9 per cent and Southland was down 17 per cent.

REINZ Chief Executive Bindi Norwell said "this is the first time in eight months that we’ve seen the number of properties sold around the country increase on an annual basis suggesting that we’re starting to see some early signs of growth.

"Some of this can be attributed to more certainty post the removal of the Capital Gains Tax, but it's also about pockets of renewed confidence and parts of the market finding its new normal in terms of pricing," Ms Norwell said.

"With August's surprise 50 basis points drop in the OCR, going forward we expect to see even more signs of growth – especially as we move towards the warmer weather when we tend to see more activity in the market.

"Looking around the country, nine out of 16 regions saw annual increases in sales volumes with strong growth recorded at the top of the South Island and the middle of the North Island.

"Overall, we saw the highest number of properties sold for the month of July across the country in three years."

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