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New Zealand House Prices Rise at Fastest Annual Pace Since 2007

Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- New Zealand house prices rose in November at the fastest annual pace since late 2007, led by demand in Auckland, while monthly property sales were the highest in five years.

Prices rose 7.3 percent from a year earlier, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand said in an e-mailed statement. That’s the most since November 2007. Values in Auckland, the nation’s biggest city, jumped 13 percent.

Rapid increases in house values are preventing central bank Governor Graeme Wheeler from cutting interest rates to boost the economic recovery as reports showed the jobless rate hitting a 13-year high and slower retail spending in the third quarter. Wheeler last week kept the official cash rate at a record-low 2.5 percent and signaled no change until 2014.

“The activity in the Auckland market is now starting to see some spill-over into other parts of the country, with increased buying activity,” REINZ Chief Executive Officer Helen O’Sullivan said in the statement. “Tight supply remains the key factor behind increasing prices.”

Prices rose 1.4 percent from October, today’s report showed. Auckland prices gained 0.9 percent.

House sales climbed 24 percent from a year earlier to 7,454, the most since November 2007, the report showed. Transaction volumes fell 1.2 percent from October after adjusting for seasonal influences, O’Sullivan said.

The time needed to sell a house dropped to 33 days from 35 days in November last year, REINZ said.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net

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