Strong start to spring sales

Southern Real Estate Guide - - SOUTHERN HOMES -

The hous­ing mar­ket has made a strong start to the spring sell­ing sea­son with a solid in­crease in the num­ber of sales in Septem­ber and me­dian prices hit­ting all-time highs in Auck­land and Can­ter­bury.

The lat­est Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of New Zealand (REINZ) fig­ures show that 6720 un­con­di­tional sales con­tracts were signed in Septem­ber, up 2.6 per cent on sales in Au­gust and up 18.9 per cent on Septem­ber last year.

REINZ chief ex­ec­u­tive He­len O’Sul­li­van says sales were strong in the lead-up to the Re­serve Bank’s new loanto-val­u­a­tion mort­gage lend­ing rules, which came into ef­fect at the be­gin­ning of this month.

"Sales vol­umes are ahead of what we would nor­mally ex­pect for this time of the year, with strong growth com­ing through in sev­eral re­gional cen­tres," Ms O’Sul­li­van says.

The na­tional me­dian sell­ing price of $400,000 equalled the all-time high hit in March this year, how­ever most of that gain was driven by con­tin­u­ing price gains in the Auck­land and Can­ter­bury mar­kets, with the two re­gions ac­count­ing for 95 per cent of the an­nual price growth na­tion­ally, ac­cord­ing to REINZ.

The me­dian price in Auck­land was $570,000 com­pared with $563,000 in Au­gust and $515,000 in Septem­ber last year.

In Can­ter­bury/West­land the me­dian price was $375,000, com­pared with $365,000 in Au­gust and $330,000 in Septem­ber last year.

Around the rest of the coun­try prices were patchy, with Waikato, Wellington, Cen­tral Otago/Lakes Otago and South­land post­ing higher me­dian prices in Septem­ber than Au­gust, while me­dian prices de­clined in North­land, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu/ Whanganui, Taranaki and Nel­son/Marl­bor­ough.

"Auck­land’s me­dian has in­creased by $120,000 (26.7 per cent) since the end of the pre­vi­ous price cy­cle in Novem­ber 2007, and Can­ter­bury/West­land’s me­dian price has in­creased $61,000 (19.4 per cent), O’Sul­li­van says.

How­ever, for the rest of New Zealand com­bined, the me­dian price in Septem­ber was still $3000 (1.1 per cent) be­low where it was in Novem­ber 2007, she says.

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