Otago house prices recover to '08 level

After months of real estate gloom and turmoil, Otago house prices are back where they were 12 months ago.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand's December report gives a median dwelling sale price for Otago of $230,000 - the same as December 2008 but down $10,000 on November 2009.

The December figure for New Zealand was $360,000 compared with $328,500 a year earlier and $355,000 in November.

The number of sales in Otago in December, at 231, was up 10 on the same month in 2008 and down 56 on November.

The New Zealand figure for December, at 4957, was up 655 on December 2008 but down 1099 on November.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand president Peter McDonald said house prices had "definitely stabilised" and appeared to be gaining slightly.

However, it was concerning fewer than 5000 residential properties were sold in December.

The market was "fuelled" by a shortage of properties for sale.

Sales were happening more quickly with the median time for December sales nationally at 33 days, 12 fewer than in December 2008.

Wellington sales took 28 days and Otago 29 days - the same as for November.

In December 2008, Otago sales took 47 days.

For Dunedin, the median price in December decreased to $243,000 from $256,752 in November but was only $2000 down on the December 2008 median price.

The number of houses sold in Dunedin was 185 against November's 210 and December 2008's 180.

In North Otago, 30 houses sold compared with 41 in November and 21 in December 2008.

The median price decreased to $186,500 from $192,000 in November and $188,000 in December 2008.

In South Otago, 15 houses sold compared with 19 the previous month and 16 in December 2008.

The median price increased to $200,000 from $175,000 in November and $162,500 in December 2008.

In the Central Otago Lakes region, 95 houses sold compared with 99 in November and 84 in December 2008.

The median price dropped to $432,500 from $441,000 in November but was up against December 2008's $427,500.

In Southland, 133 houses sold compared to 165 in November.

Sales totalled 113 in December 2008.

The median price increased to $184,000 from $182,000 in November.

In December 2008 the median price was $166,000.

Of the 4957 houses sold across New Zealand in December, 165 sold for more than $1 million and 2886 sold for under $400,000.

The total value of sales was $2.15 billion with

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