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Record breaking month for residential real estate

Record breaking month underlines health of residential real estate market - Real Estate Institute

In a recording breaking month, residential property statistics for March 2003 report the highest sales volume and median sales price for any March since the REINZ began collating the information in 1996, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (Inc).

Institute National President, Mr. Graeme Woodley said today the national median price has firmed to $200,000, while the national sales volume rose to 10,747.

Mr. Woodley said, “Despite some market commentators predicting a downturn for the property market, March’s figures only reinforce our belief that the residential market is both stable and healthy. Certainly the level of activity recorded indicates that the New Zealand public still has an active interest in property, not just as a home, but also as an investment.”

The March 2003 median compared with the February median of $195,000 and the March 2002 figure of $186,000 – an increase year-on-year of 7.52 per cent.

The total value of sales for March was $2.66 billion, compared with $2.29 billion in February and $2.23 billion in March 2002.

Mr. Woodley said, “The Institute believes that New Zealanders perceive the property market as a safer haven for their savings than many other investment vehicles, and that is a large factor in the increased total value of sales. Indeed, given the poor performance of equity markets and managed funds, it is not difficult to see why so many New Zealander’s are placing their capital into residential property.”

Auckland prices firmed 6.47 per cent to $279,500 over the March 2002 figure of $262,500, while easing slightly from the February 2003 figure of $280,000.

Activity in the Auckland market remained strong with 3,758 sales, compared to 3,069 in February. This is the highest level of sales since 1996, when 3,937 homes changed hands. The Wellington residential market continued its strong, steady growth, with the median rising 9.87 per cent to $225,250 over the March 2002 figure of $205,000, also up on the February 2003 median of $215,000. With 1,250 transactions, sales in the region hit an all time high for any previously recorded March.

Mr. Woodley said that there had been a nationwide improvement in sales volume and median price on a year-to-year basis.

He said, “Only one of the eleven districts surveyed experienced an easing in median sales price, while just two recorded a decline in sales volume. The latest figures are illustrative of a New Zealand-wide improvement in the property market, and is not limited to only the large urban centres.” Canterbury Westland showed a similar pattern to Auckland with sales of 1,377 in March, the highest volume recorded since 1996, when 1,489 were sold. These figures compare to the 1,307 recorded in February and 1,273 sales in March 2002.

Canterbury Westland also experienced an increase in median sale price from $148,000 in February 2003 and $141,000 in March 2002 to $158,000 in March 2003, a 12.05 increase on a year-to-year basis.

Christchurch City sales volume and median sales price was improved on both last year and last month, totalling 931 in March at a median price of $175,000 compared to February 2003 when 827 sold at a median of $166,500 and the 885 homes sold in March 2002 for a median price of $155,000. Forty-five houses sold in Riccarton and Upper Riccarton for a median $185,000, well above last month’s results of 37 sales with a median price of $166,500. The North Western inner suburbs of Fendalton/Ilam and Merivale recorded a median price of $323,750 for the 92 homes sold – well up on the 80 sales at a median of $311,500 in February 2003.

Sales in the Otago region showed signs of easing with a decrease in sales from 573 to 549 from February 2003. The median price also weakened to reach $115,000 compared to $118,000 in the prior month.

In Dunedin City, the median eased slightly to $115,000 compared with $120,000 in February, while the number of sales improved over the same period, from 339 transactions in February to 343 in the latest period. On year-to-year comparison, both volume and median price had improved from the 297 homes that changed hands at a median sale price of $106,000. -

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