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Auckland house prices rise by 12 percent, say realtor Barfoot

Friday 3rd August 2012

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Auckland house sales jumped 28 percent last month, driving the number of listings down to a seven-year low, according to the city's biggest real estate agency.

Barfoot & Thompson, which accounts for about a third of Auckland's housing market turnover, says the number of houses sold rose to 998 last month from 779 in July last year. That pushed the number of properties on its books down to 3,975, the lowest since the end of 2005.

"The low number of properties for sale is being caused by high turnover, not by the low number of people listing properties for sale," managing director Peter Thompson said in a statement. "It has created a market in which people are prepared to act decisively."

The high turnover in Auckland houses comes as the country's biggest city struggles with a lack of supply and increasing demand. That's sparked fears the region may be in for another housing bubble unless something's done to expand the housing stock on offer.

July's average sale price increased to $591,444 from $530,191 a year earlier. In the past three months the average sale prices has increased about $9,000.

"Prices are increasing, but they are not spiralling up," Thompson said. "What is out of the ordinary is the number of properties being sold for this time of the year, and the speed at which they are being sold."

Thompson said the number of homes sold for less than $500,000 rose 8.7 percent to 498.

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