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Residential Real Estate Market Gains Ground

February Residential Real Estate Market Gains Ground - Real Estate Institute

Strong Wellington and Auckland property markets lead the way to a rise in the national median selling price for residential real estate in February, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (Inc).

Institute National President, Mr Graeme Woodley said today the national median price firmed to $195,000, equaling the November 2002 high.

The February 2003 median compared with the January median of $193,400 and the February 2002 figure of $186,000 – an increase year on year of 4.8 per cent.

Auckland prices firmed 8.5 per cent to $280,000 over the February 2002 figure of $258,000 and also showed an improvement over the January 2003 figure of $272,000, despite predictions of a weakening market.

Wellington also put in a strong performance with the median rising 7.5 per cent to $215,000 over the February 2002 figure of $200,000, also up on the January 2003 median of $210,000.

Mr Woodley said the market’s strength was underlined by the rise in volumes with 9,624 sales in February, an increase on the holiday-interrupted January figure of 8,159, a solid improvement on the February 2002 volume of 8,733.

Auckland sales at 3,069 increased over the 2,832 sales in January but were slightly lower than the 3,120 sales in February 2002. Wellington sales were stronger, at 1,208 compared with 859 in January and 1,111 in February 2002.

Canterbury Westland had a similar experience to Wellington with sales of 1,307 in February up on the 1,089 recorded in January and 1,063 sales in February 2002.

Around the country, Mr Woodley said agents reported that again economic growth and low interest rates are underwriting the market’s confidence and liquidity.

“In Auckland our agents say its very much ‘business as usual’ following the Americas Cup, which is encouraging news. They report strong demand in the lower to middle range properties between $200,000 and $275,000 but also in the $400,000 to $600,000 range.”

Wellington agents say the market is healthy and stable with strong demand in the low to middle range, $200,000 to $400,000.

Canterbury Westland saw a decline in the median from $156,000 in January 2003 to $148,000 in February, however the median is up slightly on the February 2002 median of $145,000.

Mr Woodley said not too much should be read into the month-to-month Canterbury Westland decline, since it was a reflection of more movement in lower priced houses.

In Christchurch City, although the median drifted down slightly at $166,500 compared with $171,000 in January, the market is regarded as busy with good volumes, and showed a 7.4 per cent improvement over the February 2002 median of $155,000.

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