The Auckland property market started the new year with a bang, with one real estate firm reporting the most active January in five years with strong listings and average prices topping $600,000.
Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said January was normally a quiet month with people choosing to take holidays rather than buying homes, but ''this has not been the case this year''.
The company listed 1440 properties last month - the most new listings for the month in five years - and almost 40 per cent more than in January 2012.
"January is always one of our lowest months for new listings, but interest in selling rolled over into January as a result of the excellent prices being achieved pre-Christmas, and our agents have been active since the first business day of the year,'' Thompson said.
Barfoot & Thompson sold 820 properties last month - a six-year record - and up 20 per cent on last year.
Of those, 68 were worth more than $1 million, just under half went for less than $500,000 and almost 16 per cent sold for under $300,000.
"As always occurs at the start of a new year, prices edged lower than those pre-Christmas, but January's average price of $600,754, is the first time we have achieved an average price above $600,000 in a January,'' Thompson said.
The figure was up just over 13 per cent on January last year.
Thompson picked sales numbers and values would hold up through the ''remainder of the warmer months to come''.
He said the high number of new listings had ''slightly eased the lack of choice available in December'', and at the end of January it had 3763 properties on its books.
"While this is 10.4 per cent higher than in December, it is also 21 per cent lower than in January last year, so the current situation of greater choice may not last long.''