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Economist says leaked REINZ figures suggest January sales slump (Update 1)

Economist says leaked REINZ figures suggest January sales slump (Update 1)

Anne Gibson at has reported that NZIER economist Shamubeel Eaqub says REINZ figures from January that are yet to be released publicly show house sales volumes fell 17% in January after seasonal adjustment, and the median house price fell to NZ$350,000 from NZ$360,000 in December. (Update 1 includes REINZ response.)

Shamubeel Eaqub, economist at NZIER, said the Real Estate Institute had yesterday posted housing figures on its website, but issued no general statement with the numbers. "Sales volumes plunged 17 per cent in January, once seasonal patterns are accounted for. It was -1 per cent from year earlier levels. The volume of sales is very similar to the lows we saw in 2008. This is deeply worrying," he said. "There is suddenly a flood of unsold homes. Total listings of homes for sale were up 12 per cent in January [seasonally adjusted data], combined with a plunge in sales, this means there is now 12 months' worth of homes for sale, up from nine months' in December. " The national median which stood at $360,000 in December was $350,000 last month. It also takes 10 days longer to sell a house on average: 33 days during December but 43 last month.
We have checked the REINZ website this morning and the figures do not seem to be available publicly. We have left a message with the REINZ to check the veracity of Eaqub's comments, but have yet to receive a reply. REINZ figures are scheduled for release on Friday. Update 1: The REINZ returned our call, saying they could not comment on the report, except to say the final figures would be released tomorrow.

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