House sales boom in February
Housing sales for February have hit their highest monthly level in six years, with 6632 houses switching owners nationwide, worth a total $3.15 billion.
The latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures show house sales up 7.5 per cent on the same month last year and up 34 per cent on January 2013.
Prices were also up, with the national median house price rising 7.6 per cent to $382,000 compared to February 2012. It now sat $7000 below the record set in December last year.
REINZ president Helen O'Sullivan said despite prices being at near record levels, the rate of sales growth was slowing. The year on year increase in February 2012 over 2011 was 34.3 per cent compared to a more modest 7.5 per cent in February 2013 over 2012.
"Supply shortages in Auckland and Christchurch are the main constraint, resulting in double-digit price increases in those regions with the median days to sell from listing at around 33 days. Across the rest of the country activity is more modest which is reflected in smaller increases in regional median prices," O'Sullivan said.
All but two regions recorded increases in sales volume compared to February last year, with Northland recording an increase of 28.7 per cent, followed by Auckland with 15.6 per cent and Wellington with 11.7 per cent. Given January is traditionally a slower selling month, all regions recorded increases sales in February compared to the previous month.
But the number of transactions remains well below historic levels, with February sales just 71 per cent of the total 9357 recorded in February 2007.
The popularity of selling by auction was reinforced with 1238 dwellings sold by auction in February, representing 18.7 per cent of all sales. That's an increase of 80 per cent on the number of dwellings sold by auction in February 2012.
Transactions in Auckland again dominated the auction market in January, representing 71.9 per cent of the national total.
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