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BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand home sales climbed 25% last month as the property market extends its recovery from the lows of 2011, while prices reached a fresh record high amid a shortage of listings.
The number of sales rose to 7330 in March from 5848 the same month a year earlier, and was up from 6168 in February, the Real Estate Institute said.
The national median house sale price gained 1.4% to a record $370,000 and was up from $355,000 in February.
“The real estate market has had a strong March with the largest number of sales in a month since November 2007 and a new record national median price,” chief executive Helen O’Sullivan said.
“Outside of the Auckland and Canterbury regions most of the country is seeing an upward trend in sales volumes, although price gains outside of these centres are relatively modest.”
The figures come after Quotable Value said national property values eased last month, dragging down the quarterly pace of growth that the state-owned valuer uses to measure the residential market.
The institute stratified house price index, which strips out monthly variance in proportion to high or low value housing, rose 1.9% in March to 3343.5, and has gained 4.2% on an annual basis.
The index is 1.1% below its peak in late 2007.
The national median time to sell fell to 35 days from 41 days in March 2011, and was down from 46 days in February.
Auckland’s national house sale price rose 5.4% to $495,200 from March 2011, while the number of sales advanced 17% to 2848.
Wellington’s national house sale price dropped 5.1% to $393,750 last month from the March 2011, and reported a 0.1% fall in the number of sales to 762.
Christchurch sale prices jumped 11% to $354,250, while the number of sales surged to 542 from just 193 in March last year, just after the February earthquake.
Dunedin sale prices climbed 13% to $232,500 in March, with 4.2% more transactions at 270.