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House Sales Continue - Strong Winter Levels

House Sales Continue - Strong Winter Levels

Homes continued to sell readily during September with 7,943 changing hands during the month according to the latest residential statistics released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

REINZ national president, Graeme Woodley, said while the total number of sales reported by real estate agents had eased back slightly from the 8,036 recorded in August; the improvement on an annual comparative basis underlined the current strength of the residential property market.

“While the national median price for all properties has remained steady at $185,000 for the last three months, these sales statistics show we are again following this year’s trend of tracking well ahead of total sales recorded in the same month in previous years.”

On an annual comparative basis, 5,604 houses sold for a median $173,000 in September 2001; with 5,071 selling at the same median ($173,000) in September 2000.

The total value of all homes sold in September was $1.855 billion.

Mr Woodley said there continued to be strong interest from the investment sector as well as home buyers.

“Continuing strong migration flows and the opportunities residential housing provide in building personal investment portfolios all play a contributory role in the current demand for housing.”

The current shortage of listings reported across the board in every region in the country would normally be expected to improve in Spring.

“Spring through to Christmas is always the peak selling time for housing. One trend we are continuing to record however is the realistic expectations about housing prices from both buyers and sellers in most regions.”

The median price rose in eight of country’s 11 regions in September, once again most markedly in Northland up to $169,000 from $155,000 in August and the $141,500 recorded in July, but still below May’s record $170,000. The Auckland region also moved up by $9,000 to reach a median $273,000 ($264,000 in August).

Total numbers of dwellings sold also increased in Northland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne, Taranaki, Nelson/Marlborough, Canterbury/Westland, Otago and Southland.

“For most regions this tracks the seasonal trend for improved sales at the beginning of Spring,” he said.

The total number of sections sold during the month eased back to 798, down from the 895 recorded in August, but well ahead of the 441 sold in September 2001. Their median price improved by $2,000 to reach $87,000.

Mr Woodley anticipates residential housing sales will continue strongly for the rest of the year.

“Lending institutions are starting to decrease long term fixed rate mortgages on offer. Lower rates mean better returns for investors and altogether good news for residential and first home buyers.

“However, the current shortage of listings appears to be the only inhibiting factor to sales levels at this time.”

Regional highlights:

Northland: A strong month for sales with a total of 217 dwellings selling for an improved median price of $169,000 (in August 184 sold at a median $155,000). The improvement was more marked over a year to year comparison, with 162 homes having sold for a median $135,000 in September 2001. The median price of the 33 sections sold during the month also improved by $20,000 from the previous year, to reach $85,000.

Auckland At 2,799, total sales in the Auckland region had eased back from the 2,873 recorded in August. The median price for the region though improved to reach $273,000 (August 2002: $264,000). A total of 189 sections sold in the region for a median $120,000.

Sales continued strongly in North Shore City with the 526 sold reaching a median $300,000 – an almost 10 percent increase in values from September in the previous year when the median was $272,000. Fifty one sections also sold during the month in North Shore City for a median price of $135,000.

Waitakere City also recorded an improved median of $220,000 (August 2002: $208,000). However although sales were well up on September 2001 (when 242 sold) on a month to month comparative basis they decreased from the 379 sold in August this year to 308 in September.

In Auckland City, sales were relatively stable at 1,035 – two less than the previous month, but well ahead of September last year when 688 had sold. The median price edged up slightly to reach $305,500 (August: $302,000). In September homes in Auckland City took a median 23 days to sell. A total of 35 sections sold for a median price of $139,000. Manukau City also recorded an improved median during September, moving up to reach $284,400. Sales had decreased however to 522 from 608 in the previous month, but were well ahead of the 370 sold in September 2001.

In Papakura, sales followed the same trend – an improved median ($196,250) but lower sales volumes (60) when compared to the previous month.

Metropolitan Auckland’s median price improved $10,000 during the month to reach $280,000, again following the Auckland region trend for decreased sales volumes (September 2,451; August 2,609) with an improved median price.

Waikato / Bay of Plenty / Gisborne Sales of residential housing were steady in September with a total of 1,176 (just two ahead of the previous month) reaching an improved median of $168,750 ($165,000 in August). On a 12 month comparison basis the improvement was more marked, 761 having sold for a median $158,000 in September 2001. The median for sections remained steady at $73,000; however sales decreased to 125 from the 144 recorded in August.

Hawke’s Bay The total number of homes sold in the Hawke’s Bay region during September eased back slightly to 282 from the 308 sold in the previous month. The median price, however, improved slightly to reach $135,500 ($134,250 in August). Only 15 sections sold during the month at a median $69,000 (in August 51 had sold for a $68,000 median).

Manawatu / Wanganui Again following the trend, sales edged back marginally during September in the Manawatu / Wanganui region, at 338 being 21 less than the previous month. The median price also eased slightly to $106,500 from the $112,000 recorded in August. The median price for all sections sold in the region improved to $43,000 ($36,000 in August) but total sales decreased to 15 from the 23 sold the previous month. Overall, however, prices are reported as remaining stable in the district with well priced property selling quickly.

Taranaki While total sales in Taranaki improved to reach 201 in September (August: 182); their median price decreased slightly to $106,000 – $4,000 less than the previous month. Total sales were well up on September in the previous year, when 139 had sold. Nine sections sold for a median price of $44,000.

Wellington The current shortage of listings in the Wellington area is reflected by decreased sales volumes in September. A total of 811 homes sold during the month, down from the 912 sold in August, but ahead of September 2001’s 753. The median price for all residential dwellings sold in September, however, edged forward to $204,000 – an increase of $4,000 over the previous month. Section sales continued to be steady with 43 attaining a median price of $60,000.

Nelson / Marlborough Houses continued to sell readily in the Nelson / Marlborough region in September with 317 reaching a median of $155,000 – ahead of August when 313 sold at a median $150,010 and September 2001 with 250 selling for a $150,000 median. The median for sections edged up slightly, by $1,000, to reach $86,000 for the 85 sold during September.

Canterbury / Westland Strong demand for property and a shortage of listings in Canterbury / Westland edged the median price for the region up to $148,500 in September. Total sales for the region also increased during the month to reach 1,005. The median for properties sold in North West inner Christchurch (Fendalton/Ilam/Merivale) reached $280,000 for the 59 properties sold. In the southern seaside suburbs properties sold readily for a median $282,000, with Christchurch City reaching a median of $156,750. On the West Coast, 38 homes sold for a median $75,500. Sales in Timaru were also strong during the month with 72 changing hands for an improved median of $98,500.

A total of 161 sections sold in the region during the month for a median $81,250.

Otago Levels of enquiry for homes continued strongly during September with the market strong in all sectors of residential real estate. While total sales improved to reach 471 (438 in August) their median price eased back $500 to $99,500. On a 12 month comparative basis, however, the improvement was marked, 259 homes having sold in September 2001 for a median $92,500. Eighty seven sections also sold in September for a median $74,000.

Southland In Southland, 326 homes sold during the month at an increased median price of $79,250 – improved over the 303 sold at $77,000 in August. On an annual comparative basis, total sales levels were even more marked with 217 selling in September 2001. Thirty six sections sold for a median price of $134,500.

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