House auctions boom in Canterbury-Westland
Homes in Canterbury-Westland are still selling the fastest in the country, and prices remain at record levels.
The region's median price for August was $365,000, which was 5.8 per cent up on a year ago, the Real Estate Institute reports.
The median August sales price for Christchurch was $374,000. This was up from a year ago but down slightly from July, perhaps partly due to a rise in sales to first-home buyers and investors.
The institute's house price index, which adjusts for changes in the types of homes selling, put Christchurch prices 6.1 per cent above where they were a year ago. However, the institute cautioned the figure could be skewed by upheavals in suburbs triggered by the earthquakes.
Despite a shortage of homes, real estate agents and mortgage brokers have reported strong interest from first buyers trying to beat new Reserve Bank caps on low-deposit lending.
Institute director Tony McPherson said ''buyers of all types remain very active in the Christchurch market with both investors and first home buyers after similar types of properties".
''Open homes continue to be active, with vendors generally meeting the market, albeit a rising market.''
Insurance remained an issue for some, but was slowly becoming less of a problem for both buyers and sellers, McPherson said.
Homes across the region sold in 28 days in August, five days faster than a year ago and the fastest in New Zealand.
Prices were up particularly strongly in Rangiora and other parts of North Canterbury.
The number of sales was 12 per cent higher than a year ago, with sales up most in Christchurch and North Canterbury. Other parts of the region saw sales volumes fall.
There were around 145 house auctions in the region, a tenth of the national figure.
Institute chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said that while agents around the country had seen a lot of first home-buyers getting in before the new lending rules, first timers were finding buying harder in both Christchurch and Auckland where the markets were the most heated.
As well, sellers were taking a ''wait and see''attitude to both rising prices and the effect of the new lending policy, further exacerbating the problem of supply. However, she expected a lift in listings throughout spring.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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