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Real Estate Institute reports strong house sales


The total number of homes sold continued to improve in August according to the latest residential sales statistics released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

REINZ National President, Graeme Woodley, said 8,036 homes changed hands in New Zealand during the month for a median price of $185,000 and total value of $1.824 billion.

“These figures sit very much within our expectations,” he said.

“We always track increasing sales at the beginning of Spring and, with this winter’s reasonably favourable weather, we had already had positive reports of strong sales from real estate agents during the month.”

He pointed to the fact that while sales were strong, the median price for all homes sold nationally remained unchanged at $185,000 from the previous month and was still below the record $189,000 recorded in April this year.

“While demand for good properties remains strong, and many areas are reporting a shortage of listings, buyers and sellers are being realistic about housing prices.”

On an annual comparative basis, last month recorded the highest number of sales ever in August. (In August 2001, 6,976 homes sold for a median price of $176,000 and during the same month in 2000 5,489 homes had sold at a median $170,000.)

“Interestingly, the general election appears to have had little, if any, impact on housing sales this year.”

Mr Woodley said this continuing confidence in the real estate sector appeared due as much to confidence in property as an investment, as the current stability in the mortgage sector.

“We’re also still witnessing continuing positive migration flows and this all helps to underpin the residential property market.”

The median price rose in five of the country’s 11 regions, most markedly in Northland to reach $155,000 from the $141,500 recorded in July with Auckland increasing to $264,000 ($259,000 in July). The total number of dwelling sales also increased in Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu/Wanganui, Wellington, Otago and Southland regions.

“For most regions this was the best month for sales or median prices since May, which also fits in with the anticipation of stronger sales in Spring,” he said. Section sales also followed the seasonal trend, with the total number sold again at their highest level since May. In all, 895 sections sold in August for a median price of $85,000.

Regional highlights:

Northland: Northland recorded an improved median price of $155,000 during August for all dwellings sold; an increase of $7,500 over a 12 month period ($147,500 being recorded in August 2001). However total sales eased back to 184 from the 222 recorded the previous month and 207 in August 2001. Twenty four sections sold for a median $106,250.

Auckland Total sales for the Auckland region continued to improve during August with the total 2,873, the highest number of sales since May, again reflecting the seasonal trend. At $264,000, the median continued to edge back nearer to its May value when $266,000 had been recorded. Sections also sold readily with 233 changing hands for a median $135,000.

Metropolitan Auckland followed the regional trend with a total of 2,609 homes selling for a median $270,000, up from the 2,528 recorded the previous month at a median $263,900. In August 2001, 2,208 homes had sold for a median $244,625. In North Shore City, total sales improved by three to reach 514 from the previous month, while the median edged back minimally to $294,165 from July’s $295,000. On an annual comparative basis, however, the median differential was more marked with $255,000 being recorded in August 2001, $250,000 for the same month in 2000 and $245,000 in August 1999. In Waitakere sales improved to reach 379 (333 in July) while the median eased to $208,000 from the $215,000 recorded the previous month. At $302,000, the Auckland City median edged back up closer to levels recorded earlier this year with the highest number of sales being recorded since May (August: 1,037 August; May: 1,197). Manukau City sales also edged fractionally forward to 608 (600 in July) while the median, at $264,500, also tracked closer to the $265,000 recorded in May this year. While sales eased back to 71 in Papakura (83 in July), its median improved to $270,000.

Waikato / Bay of Plenty / Gisborne Sales continued to be strong in the region during August, but had eased back slightly, at 1,174, from the 1,189 recorded in July, however they were still well ahead of the 939 recorded in August last year. The median price plateaued at $165,000, slightly down from the previous month but improved by $4,000 from August 2001. One hundred and forty four sections sold for a median $73,000 in August.

Hawke’s Bay August recorded the third highest number of monthly sales in the Hawke’s Bay this year with a total of 308 homes selling (March 2002: 330; May: 342). The median price eased back slightly to $134,250, down from July’s $138,000, but well ahead of the $123,861 recorded in August 2001. It was a record month for section sales with a total of 51, however the median section price moved slightly back by $1,000 from the $69,000 recorded in July.

Manawatu / Wanganui Buyers appeared confident during the month in the Manawatu / Wanganui region again following the national trend with sales at their highest level since May this year. In all, 359 homes exchanged hands (May: 388 houses sold). At $112,000, the median also moved back closer to levels recorded earlier this year. Sales for sections were also strong with 23 selling for a median $36,000.

Taranaki The median price for all dwellings sold in Taranaki held at $110,000, down by $1,000 from the previous month. Total sales of 182 were also down from the 204 recorded in July, but were ahead of the 173 recorded in August 2001. Seven sections sold for a median $48,000.

Wellington Sales for Wellington homes were again at their highest level since May, with 912 changing hands for a steadying median price of $200,000. On an annual comparative basis the median and total number of sales remained unchanged from August 2001. In July a total of 846 houses sold for a median $205,000. Section sales decreased to 44 from the 58 recorded in July, but were well up on the 31 sold in August 2001. The median for sections also eased back slightly to $73,000.

Nelson / Marlborough Demand for homes continued to be strong in the Nelson / Marlborough region during August, with 313 selling for a median of $150,010. While slightly eased from the previous month when 319 sold for a median $156,000, on a 12 month comparative basis, statistics had tracked upwards from the 262 sales recorded at a median $147,750 in August 2001.

Canterbury / Westland The median price for all properties sold in the Canterbury/Westland region during August reached $147,750 – the highest this year, while total sales eased back to 990 from the 1,003 recorded in July. In Christchurch City a total of 694 homes changed hands for a median selling price of $157,000; well ahead of Timaru’s median of $85,500 where 63 homes sold and the 37 sales recorded on the West Coast at a median $80,000. While sales for all sections sold in the region improved to 155, their median price eased back to $85,000 (July: 101 sections sold at a median $92,000).

Otago Although Otago recorded strong sales during the month with 438 homes selling for a total $55.7 million (July 2002: 320); the median price for all dwellings sold eased back to $100,000 from the $106,750 recorded in July. Sales for sections were also strong with 83 selling for a median price of $53,000.

Southland In August, Southland also recorded the highest level of sales since May this year with 303 changing hands for a median $77,000 (May 2002: 315 sold). Fifty two sections were sold at a high median price of $169,000, 38 of those sales coming from the Queenstown area which reached an individual median price for sections of $197,500.

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