Keen buyers across the country are driving strong growth in the volume of residential properties sold in October. Sales are 32.6 per cent up on October 2011 and the national median house price is at a new record of $380,000.
The Chief Executive of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), Helen O’Sullivan, says the springtime surge in new listings is struggling to keep pace with buyer demand leading to a further drop in the average number of days taken to sell to 32 days.
Sales volumes rose across the country in October but prices did not automatically follow.
"The market is very much in two parts - the metropolitan regions of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch where prices are rising and the rest of the country where price trends are mixed."
"Within Auckland, most of the activity is in close proximity to the central city, the northern suburbs and eastern beaches. Buyer enthusiasm is less evident in South Auckland and the rural fringes north and south which is reflected in smaller increases in the median price and a longer time for sales to be achieved. "
REINZ data shows there were 6,640 unconditional residential sales in October, an increase of 1,633 sales (+32.6%) compared with the same time last year and an increase of 17.5% compared to September. On a seasonally adjusted basis October’s sales were 5.7% higher than September and 24.7% higher than October last year.
The national median house price increased by $9,000 from $371,000 in September to $380,000 in October; an increase of 2.4%. Auckland’s median house price moved up 2.9% compared to September to a new record median price of $530,000. The national median house price is up 5.8% compared to October last year, while the Auckland median price is up 14.0% compared to October last year.
All regions recorded increases in sales volume compared to October last year, with Central Otago Lakes recording an increase of 54.4%, followed by Northland with 52.0% and Hawkes Bay with 47.7%. All regions recorded increases in sales volume in October compared to September, with Taranaki recording a 56.7% increase followed by Wellington with a 27.2% increase and Hawkes Bay with a 23.8% increase.
Demand for more expensive homes is rising much faster than the increase in prices or sales volumes. In the past year, sales of houses in the $600,000-$ 1million band increased 73%, and in the Over $1 million band sales have increased by 96%.
For the month of October, Canterbury/Westland recorded the highest lift in prices for the month with an increase of 3.9%, followed by Auckland with 2.9%, and Otago with 2.1%. Compared to October 2011, Auckland recorded the highest lift in prices with an increase of 14.0%, followed by Canterbury/Westland with 4.3% and Otago with 3.4%.
The REINZ Stratified House Price Index, which adjusts for some of the variations in mix that can impact on the median price, is 6.9% higher than October 2011 and is at another record high. The House Price Indices for Auckland and Wellington also set new record highs in October.
Days to sell
The national median days to sell improved by one day in October compared to September, from 33 to 32 days, with the number of days to sell also improving by three days compared to October 2011. For the month of October, Canterbury/Westland recorded the shortest days to sell at 28 days, followed by Auckland and Otago with 29 days. This is the second shortest number of days to sell for the Canterbury/Westland region since April 2007. Northland recorded the longest number of days to sell at 58 days, followed by Taranaki with 56 days and Central Otago Lakes with 54 days. Over the past 10 years the median days to sell for the month of October has averaged 33 days across New Zealand.
Nationally there were 1,343 dwellings sold by auction in October representing 20.2% of all sales, up from 689 sales in October 2011 representing 13.8% of all sales. This is a new national record for the percentage of sales by auction and beats the previous high of 20.0% reached last month. Auction sales in Auckland also reached a new record with more than 38% of all sales in the region in October sold by auction, or more than 1,000 sales.
Transactions in Auckland again dominated the auction market, representing 74.7% of the national total of auction sales. 38.0% of all dwelling sales in Auckland were by this method in October; this was up strongly from the 26.4% of sales by auction in October 2011. Sales by auction in Waikato/Bay Of Plenty accounted for 9.4% of the national total, Canterbury/Westland accounted for 7.8% of the national total, and all other regions combined accounted for the remaining 8.1% of auction sales in October 2012.
Across New Zealand the total value of residential sales, including sections was $3.15 billion in October, compared to $2.62 billion in September, and $2.15 billion in October 2011. For the 12 months ended October 2012 the total value of residential sales was $32.59 billion.
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