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New Zealand House Sales Limited by Lack of Listings, REINZ Says

New Zealand house sales rose at the slowest annual pace since April last year as a shortage of new listings stokes prices, according to the Real Estate Institute.

Sales in September increased 8 percent from a year earlier to 5,653, half the pace of the gain in August, the institute said in a statement on its website. Prices rose 0.6 percent from August and 5 percent from a year earlier to a record, the Auckland-based institute said, citing an index.

Sales fell from August, whereas usually they increase at the start of the southern hemisphere spring when owners prefer to sell homes, the institute said. Rising house prices will be watched by the central bank after new Governor Graeme Wheeler agreed to monitor asset prices as part of his agreement with the government signed Sept. 20.

“The traditional rush of spring listings has not eventuated this year and the market is tightening as buyers face a limited choice,” said Institute Chief Executive Officer Helen O’Sullivan. “This has been reflected by increases in the median price across much of the country.”

The average time to sell a house fell to 33 days from 35 days in August, the institute said.

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