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NZ home sales, prices rise in September

Monday 8th October 2012

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New Zealand house sales rose in September, with a shortage of listings causing buyers to make rapid decisions and lifting house prices to record-highs in the Auckland and Nelson/Marlborough regions, according to the Real Estate Institute.

The number of sales rose 8 percent in September to 5,653 from the same month a year earlier, the Real Estate Institute said in a statement. The national median house price rose 5 percent to $371,000. That's just below June's record high of $372,000.

A new record median house price was reached in Auckland, rising to $515,000 from $475,000 a year earlier and $505,000 in August. The Nelson/Marlborough region recorded the biggest increase in prices, up 7 percent to $353,000.

"Auckland continues to be the key region in terms of price increases and demand for housing, however, other regions are now starting to see pressure building with the median price in five regions within 10 percent of their record medians and the number of days to sell falling quite rapidly in some parts of the country," chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said.

The REINZ figures come after last week's Barfoot & Thompson figures reported a fall in Auckland house prices last month to $585,838, snapping four months of gains as the number of new listings continues to fall.

Today's figures showed eight of the 12 regions recorded an increase in sales volumes compared to September last year. Central Otago Lakes recorded a 26 percent increase in sales to 102, followed by Auckland up 17 percent to 2,257 sales and Waikato/Bay of Plenty rising 15 percent to 799.

The number of houses sold at auction reached a new record, representing 20 percent of all sales up from 12.9 percent last year. Auckland's auction sales reached a new high at 37 percent.

Nationally the number of days to sell a house fell by two days to 33 in September compared to a month earlier. Since February the number of days to sell a house has fallen by 13 days, with Taranaki and Southland seeing the biggest decline down 22 days.

In September, Canterbury/Westland and Southland recorded the shortest number of days to sell a house at 29, followed by Auckland on 30 and Otago at 32.

Quotable Value, the government valuer, will release its monthly property values tomorrow.

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