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Canterbury house sales reach record high in over a decade for the month of April

Travis Mitchell
Housing New Zealand
April house sales highest in 14 years in the Canterbury region.   newzealandnow.govt.nz (supplied)

Canterbury house sales have reached the highest number in over a decade, despite the numbers being down on the previous month.

Figures released today from the Real Estate Institue of New Zealand (REINZ) show Canterbury house sales were the highest for the month of April in 14 years, with 1076 houses sold.

However, the number of properties sold during April decreased from the March number of 1409, down 23.6 percent.  

The real estate market across the country was still piping hot last month, the busiest April for house sales in five years with some 7,218 properties sold across the country.

The Canterbury median house price sits at $566,000 with a $102,000 increase compared to this time last year.

New Zealand’s new median price is now $810,000, 19.1 percent higher than April last year, although March claimed the record.

Acting CEO of REINZ Wendy Alexander said the slow-down of house sales was expected coming into the colder months. 

"Looking forward, we expect the normal winter slow-down over the coming months, before picking up again in spring.”

Alexander said within Canterbury, first-home buyers were still active in the market although at a lower level than previous months. 

"First home buyers are taking more of a wait and see approach to the recent Government announcement and whether this will make any difference for them."

Last month the Government announced it was extending the bright-line test, reducing tax deductions on property investments, and would step-up investment in communal infrastructure to support housing developments. 

The announcement was an attempt to tilt the market towards first-home buyers and away from the investors

Alexander said the new government changes have already slowed down investors and seems to be doing its job.

"Interest from out-of-town investors also seems to have eased in April, as the LVRs have been reinstated and the new Government changes have taken effect." 

After removing LVR's (Loan-to-value-ratios) in April last year to promote cash flow during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Reserve Bank later announced they would return in an attempt to cool down the boiling housing market that went crazy in 2020.