NZ home sales rise 20% in July – Auckland, Christchurch lead
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand home sales climbed 20% in July as the property market extended its recovery from the 2011 lows on continued strength in Auckland and Christchurch even as prices fell from June's record high.
The number of sales rose to 5907 in July from 4,928 the same month a year earlier and were down 3.7% from June, the Real Estate Institute says. The national median house sale price gained 4.6% to $361,000, down from June's record high of $372,000.
"Buyer interest in Auckland and Christchurch remains the engine of the New Zealand residential estate market," chief executive Helen O'Sullivan says.
"We are still seeing recovery rather than boom conditions when we compare the number of transactions in July 2012 with earlier years such as July 2003, when over 10,000 transactions were recorded.
"Buyer caution is also evident in the easing of the national median price this month and the slightly slower pace of transactions in July compared with June," she says
Auckland and Canterbury/Westland recorded the shortest period to sell as house at 31 days, followed by Nelson/Marlborough on 38 and Central Otago Lakes on 76.
The institute says the national average median time to sell a house eased by one day to 38 from 37 days in June.
Auckland maintained its record median price of $500,000 for the third month in a row, while Christchurch hit a record $335,000 for the third time since November.
“In the Auckland real estate market it seems winter has been cancelled with strong demand right across the city, although the inability of the median price to ‘push on’ indicates that buyers are still cautious about price," Ms O'Sullivan says.
The institute figures come after Quotable Value today said national property values rose 2.2% in the three months ended July 31 and have increased 4.6%over the past year, to be 0.8% off the market peak in 2007.