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Property prices and sales on the up in October

By NZPA

Thursday 18th November 2004

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The residential property market is proving to be a bubble that won't burst, according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

REINZ said monthly sales volumes were up and median selling prices rose to a new record high in October, defying predictions of a softening property market.

The national median selling price hit $252,500 in October, up from $250,000 in September. Sales rose to 8191 in October, up from 7854. It also took less time to sell properties, with median days to sell down from 31 to 30.

On an annual basis prices were up 11.23% from the $227,000 median of October last year, but sales were well down from the previous year's 10,923.

REINZ president Howard Morley said it looked like the lower end of the market was recovering more quickly than the top end of the market.

There were 6604 sales of residential properties under $400,000, up from 6336. Sales in the $400,001 to $600,000 price band were relatively flat at 1405, compared to 1025 in September, while sales over $600,000 rose slightly from 493 to 542.

Eight regions recorded higher sales prices, while three posted dips.

The median selling price in Auckland rose to $340,000 from $337,000, but turnover was down from 2682 sales to 2667.

Wellington's median selling price jumped $10,000 to $280,000 and sales volume was also lively, increasing from 736 in September to 950 in October.

The Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne median price rose to $230,000 from $212,500, while Hawke's Bay improved from $196,100 to $217,000 and Taranaki increased from $158,500 to $161,500. Median prices in Nelson rose $20,000 to $270,000, while in Canterbury/Westland prices rose from $223,250 to $227,000 and Otago increased from $186,550 to $195,500. On the downside, the Northland region's median sales price fell from $195,000 the previous month to $185,000. Manawatu/Wanganui fell $1000 to $145,000 and Southland prices dipped to $121,350 from $133,500.

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