Election and Rugby Cup wild cards for property

The residential property market is tracking steadily but the effect of the Rugby World Cup and general election is impossible to predict.

The effects of the Rugby World cup and general election are wild cards for the residential property market. 

Real Estate Institute chief executive Helen O’Sullivan said it was impossible to predict how people would respond.

Nearly 1000 more houses were sold throughout New Zealand during August while the median price firmed 2.9% to $355,000.

The total number of unconditional sales was 5192, which is in line with the same month during the past four years but well shy of August 2003 when there were 10,222 sales.

The biggest jump in sales was in Waikato/Bay of Plenty, up 33% compared with August 2010, followed by Nelson/Marlborough, up 29%, then Auckland, up 27.4% and Northland, up 25%.  Taranaki, saw a drop in sales.

The strongest price rises were in Northland (11.8%), Southland (+7%), Central Otago Lakes (+6.1%) and Otago (+5.6%).

Tight supply of listings remains the key feature of the market, Ms Sullivan said. Buyers appeared to be well informed and focused on buying at what they see as their price level.

The national median number of days it took to sell a property from listing date to unconditional date improved by three days from 42 days in July to 39 days in August. Auckland recorded the shortest days to sell at 33 days, followed by Canterbury/Westland at 35 days and Southland at 37 days.

The total value of residential sales, including sections was $2.18 billion in August 2011, compared to $2.08 billion in July 2011 and $1.74 billion in August 2010.

Two thirds of all properties sold were valued at less than $400,000 while the $1 million-plus market made up 2.4% of sales.