NZ asking prices at record high

Last updated 13:09 05/04/2014

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March saw more homes come up for sale in Christchurch, as LIZ McDONALD reports.

Asking prices for New Zealand homes are at a new record high, according to a real estate website.

Realestate.co, which is owned by the Real Estate Institute and five of the country's big real estate groups, says the average asking price on its site during March was $484,263.

The average Christchurch asking price was $438,129, down one per cent from in February and six per cent higher than a year ago, according to the site's monthly report. Christchurch's new listings were 3.7 per cent higher than in March last year, and the report described the amount of homes for sale in the city as "healthy".

Real Estate agents are reporting that the flow of listings in the city is uneven, with homes coming onto the market in batches as earthquake repairs are completed suburb by suburb.

The latest median house price in the city, based on sales, is $420,400, according to the institute.

Spokesman for the realestate.co website, Paul McKenzie, said seller confidence in the major centres was rising, buoyed by strong demand, and this suggested that asking prices would continue to rise.

The Auckland, Wellington and Waikato regions all had record asking prices, with Auckland topping the country with an average $683,169. The lowest average asking price was $244,000 in Southland.

McKenzie said the number of properties on the market had risen across the country, and there was eight per cent more stock available than during February. This follows a downward trend in listings seen during 2013.

Regions with the markets most strongly favouring sellers were Canterbury, Auckland, Northland, Central Otago Lakes, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty. Those slightly favouring sellers were Waikato, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wellington, Marlborough, and Nelson. Buyers have the upper hand in Southland, the West Coast, central North Island, Taranaki, and Wairarapa. Otago's market is evenly balanced.

There were around 12,500 new listings across New Zealand during March, of which 1450 were in Christchurch.

The report's figures come from 95 per cent of New Zealand's real estate offices.

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- The Press

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