The total number of houses sold in New Zealand decreased to 6,210 in April from 6,694 in March, but was higher than 4,450 sales in April last year, the latest report from Real Estate Institute of New Zealand showed Tuesday.

Mike Elford, the institute's president said the figures reinforce a certain level of stability in the property market. The figures are not hugely significant, but enough to generate a degree of optimism about the way forward from here.

The median price for homes across the country rose to NZ$340,000 in April from NZ$335,000 in March. However, it was lower than NZ$345,000 in April last year.

The length of time taken to sell a house improved in April to 42 days compared to 44 days in March and in April last year.

Meanwhile, the report showed that home sales were strongest under the NZ$400,000 price bracket, accounting for nearly 4,000 of the total sales of 6,210 in April.

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