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NZ housing sales rise 17% in November as median price climbs to record

Friday 9th December 2011

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New Zealand home sales jumped in November and the median price rose to a record, suggesting strengthening of the property market seen in Auckland is now becoming a nationwide phenomena.

The number of sales rose 17 percent to 6,008 last month compared to November last year and was up 20 percent from October, according to the Real Estate Institute. The gain in the latest month was 4.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The national median house price rose 2.4 percent, or $8,500, to $367,500 in November from October, exceeding the previous record of $365,000 reach in March this year. All regions recorded an increase in sales from October, REINZ said.

The Reserve Bank this week kept the official cash rate at a record low 2.5 percent and indicated tepid inflation and overseas financial market turbulence meant it was in no rush to hike rates, which should help keep a lid on floating rate mortgages. The REINZ data comes a day after government valuer Quotable Value reported a 1.7 percent gain in property values in November from a year earlier, 4 percent below their peak of 2007.

Still, the volume of sales is well below 2007 levels, when 92,000 properties were sold compared to about 56,000 so far in 2011.

“While the data coming through from the housing market is generally positive, the volume figures say recovery, not boom as some commentators have suggested,” said REINZ chief executive Helen O’Sullivan.

The REINZ stratified median housing price index, which strips out monthly variations in the proportion of high or lower-value properties sold, rose 1.1 percent in November.

The median house price in Auckland rose 5.4 percent to a record $490,000 in November from October. The number of properties sold rose to 2,266 from 1,789 a year earlier.

In Northland, the median price rose to $305,000 from $292,000 while sales rose 26 percent to 136 from the same month of 2012.

In Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne the median house price fell 1.7 percent from October to $310,000 while sales jumped 22 percent from a year earlier.

Hawke’s Bay recorded an 11 percent increase in the median price to $288,750 and the number sold rose 9.7 percent from a year earlier to 192. Manawatu/Wanganui’s median price rose 3.7 percent to $230,000 and sales rose about 19 percent to 275 from the same month last year.

Taranaki recorded a 6.2 percent decline in the median house price in November from October to $272,500 and the volume of sales rose 11 percent from a year earlier to 161.

In Wellington, the median price fell 4.2 percent to $383,250 and sales fell 1.9 percent to 657. The Nelson/Marlborough median price was unchanged at $330,000 and the volume of sales climbed 5.2 percent to 224.

In Canterbury/Westland the median price rose 1.8 percent from October and sales jumped 19 percent from a year earlier to 816. Central Otago Lakes saw a 3.6 percent decline in the median price to $405,000 and a 13 percent gain in sales to 85.

Otago’s median house price rose 5.6 percent to $245,000 while the volume of sales slipped 2.7 percent to 253. In Southland, the median price dropped 3.9 percent to $196,000 and the volume of properties sold rose 11 percent from November 2010 to 139.

(BusinessDesk)

BusinessDesk.co.nz



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