New Zealand November House Sales Plunge 45.4%, Institute Says

Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) — New Zealand home sales plunged in November as a contracting economy and tighter credit deterred buyers.

A total of 4,279 homes were sold last month, down 45.4 percent from the same month in 2007, the Auckland-based Real Estate Institute of New Zealand Inc. said today in an e-mailed report. The median house price dropped 4.1 percent from a year earlier to NZ$337,500 ($183,000).

Home sales are near an 18-year low, adding to signs that nation’s first recession in 10 years will be prolonged by the effects of a global credit freeze on bank lending and consumer spending.

Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Alan Bollard has lowered the benchmark lending rate by 3.25 percentage points since July to try to kick-start the economy.

It took 44 days to complete the median house sale, up from an average 36 days in November last year.

Still, the time needed to sell a home fell from 47 days in October and 52 days in September. The median house price rose from NZ$335,000 in October.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tracy Withers in Wellington at twithers@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: December 10, 2008 16:30 EST
By Tracy Withers

Source: Bloomberg

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