New Zealand House Prices Rise Is Slowest in 13 Months as Confidence Slumps

New Zealand house prices rose last month at the slowest pace in more than a year as consumer confidence slumped, according to a report from Quotable Value New Zealand.

Prices advanced 0.3 percent in November from a year earlier, after gaining 1.1 percent in October, according to an index compiled by Quotable Value. The growth of house values has been falling since March, the Wellington-based government agency said in an e-mailed statement today.

Weaker demand for property adds to signs that New Zealand’s recovery won’t accelerate until later next year. All 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News expect central bank Governor Alan Bollard to refrain from raising the official cash rate until at least March after he left the benchmark unchanged at 3 percent on Oct. 28, citing sluggish spending and a muted housing market.

“There has been an increase in the number of properties put on the market. However, with the low level of sales, this is increasing the stock of unsold property,” said Jonno Ingerson, research director at Quotable Value. “We now expect that many buyers will delay any purchase decisions until the New Year.”

The agency doesn’t publish monthly index values and says its average sale price shouldn’t be used for monthly comparisons.

New Zealand consumer confidence was little changed in November near a 14-month low, according to an ANZ-Roy Morgan index published Nov. 18.

Quotable Value said the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck Canterbury province on Sept. 4 stopped real estate transactions for some weeks, and while the market is slowly recovering, there is still insufficient information to create a valid regional index. Preliminary results show property values have bounced back, Ingerson said.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net

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