New Zealand house price growth slows in September

[WELLINGTON] Growth in New Zealand's house prices slowed for a ninth consecutive month in September, although there were signs the sector is becoming more active, the government property valuer said on Monday.

Quotable Value's (QV) residential property index rose 6.4 per cent in the year to Sept 30, compared with an annual rate of 6.9 per cent in September.

The index is 16.2 per cent above the market's previous peak in late 2007, with the country's biggest city, Auckland, leading national gains.

The government agency said the housing market was showing signs of perking up. "Following a lull in sales activity and low listings in the lead up to the election, the election result coupled with the coming of spring and stable interest rates is bringing renewed interest and activity to the market," QV spokeswoman Andrea Rush said in a statement.

The Sept 20 election has seen the re-election of the centre-right National-led government, with no tax or law changes expected in the housing market.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand paused its rate tightening in July after raising interest rates by 100 basis points, and is seen staying on hold until the first quarter of next year.

House prices in the Auckland region were 10.3 percent higher in the year to September compared with an 11.4 per cent rise the month before, while prices in earthquake-damaged Christchurch rose 5.1 per cent from an annual rate of 5.9 per cent in August. - Reuters


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