House asking prices at record high

MICHAEL FOREMAN
Last updated 12:02 04/03/2014

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A sellers' market for residential property helped to push the average asking price for New Zealand homes to an all-time record high in February, according to the latest monthly NZ Property Report.

The report, compiled by real estate industry website realestate.co.nz, said the average national asking price for homes was $483,099, a 9 per cent rise on the same month last year.

The average asking price in Auckland was a record $677,370, an increase of 12 per cent since February last year.

However, asking prices are rarely disclosed to prospective buyers meaning the survey relies on accurate submissions.

Paul McKenzie, of realestate.co.nz, said the new high was part of a continuing growth pattern.

"While the asking price did reach a new high, a 9 per cent increase from the same time last year, it is only a 1 per cent increase on last month," McKenzie said.

"Asking prices are trending upwards and look set to remain high into the spring season."

Across the country 12,167 new properties came on to the market in February, up 31 per cent on January (due to seasonality) but down 7 per cent year-on-year.

The national inventory figure, which measures the number of weeks it would theoretically take to sell all unsold housing stock, fell slightly to 26 weeks of stock.

This was well below the long-term average of 37 weeks, and "another indication that the market is in the seller's court", McKenzie said.

The rise in asking price was noticeable across more than half of New Zealand, with 11 regions reporting a rise, McKenzie said.

Apart from Auckland, big rises were also seen in Wairarapa, up 24 per cent year-on-year to $329,396, Marlborough up 16 per cent to $418,945, and West Coast up 8 per cent to $320,245.

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- Fairfax Media

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