Capital busy on the home front

Last updated 14:06 16/03/2014

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Residential Property

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Wellington recorded one of the country's largest sales volume increases in February, when houses more quickly in the capital than most other centres and investor activity increased.

According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, sales volume in all regions was up on January's, with Southland posting the largest rise (61.9 per cent), followed by Wellington (57.1 per cent) and Central Otago Lakes (40.5 per cent).

Houses sold fastest Canterbury/ Westland and Otago (32 days), followed by Auckland (34 days) and Wellington (37 days).

The median price for the Wellington region rose by $43,625, which was up 11.6 per cent on January's but still $1375 below November's record median of $420,000.

Nationally, the median price climbed 8.6 per cent, by $33,000 to $415,000 - which was up $13,000 (or 3.2 per cent) on January's and $13,625 (or 3.4 per cent) on February 2013.

Wellington's prices rose the most in the western suburbs (up 24.8 per cent on January's median, to $667,750) and Upper Hutt (up 14.1 per cent, to $340,000).

Close behind were Pukerua Bay/ Tawa (up 12.4 per cent, to $416,000), central Wellington (up 11.8 per cent, to $551,500) and the southern suburbs (up 8.7 per cent, to $538,000).

The northern suburbs' median climbed 2.6 per cent, to $495,000; the Hutt Valley was the only area to record a decline, down 2.3 per cent, to $366,500.

Compared to January, sales volumes skyrocketed 57 per cent across the region, with the slowest growth coming from Pukerua Bay/ Tawa (25 per cent).

Compared to February 2013, sales volumes fell by 10 per cent. Sales were down almost right across the region, with only Pukerua Bay/ Tawa seeing a slight increase of 1.4 per cent.

The number of days to sell improved from 42 in January to 37; over the past 10 years the median number of days to sell in February has averaged 37 days across the region.

"First-home buyers are starting to return to the market in greater numbers, although there are certainly more investors active in the region," REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan says.

"Overall the Wellington region market appears to be reasonably well balanced with a good flow of listings and manageable vendor expectations."

More properties were auctioned in Wellington both year-on-year and month-on-month.

Auctions accounted for 2.3 per cent of total sales in February, compared to 0.3 per cent in January and 1.7 per cent in February 2013.

Nationally, there was 27.8 per cent annual growth in auctions compared to 37.5 per cent in January and 69.9 per cent the previous February.

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The total number of auctions for the year ending February was 16,258, compared to 16,431 for the year to January and 12,720 for the year to February 2013.

- The Dominion Post

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