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Auckland marches on - REINZ

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A new record of 2,267 dwellings sold by auction in March, 604 more than for March 2014 Auctions in March 2015 representing more than 25% of total sales for the first time, with almost 50% of Auckland’s sales by auction

REINZ, the most up to date source of real estate data in New Zealand, announced today that there were 8,803 dwelling sales in March 2015, up 20.3% on March 2014 and up 27.6% compared to February. This the highest March sales volume since 2007.

The national median price for March was $475,000, an increase of $35,000 or 8.0% compared to March 2014 and an increase of $45,000 or 10.5% from February 2015. Excluding the impact of the Auckland region, the national median price was flat compared to February at $350,000 and $5,000 (+1.4%) higher compared to March 2014.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Chief Executive Colleen Milne says: "March is the strongest sales month of the year, with almost 1,400 more sales than for any of the past 12 months. While the increase in the number of sales is more or less spread across the country, the movement in the national median price is almost entirely an Auckland effect."

"Auckland has posted a record number of auction sales in March, with almost one in two sales by auction. Our data shows that on a suburb-by-suburb basis auctions sell for a premium compared to other sales. We also see in the data a noticeable spike in the number of sales over $1 million in Auckland. These two effects explain, at least in part, the jump in the national median and Auckland median prices for March - although the underlying demand pressures remain and supply continues to be restrained by low numbers of new listings."

"Across the rest of the country, sales volumes and median prices are far better balanced, with a number of regions reporting good sales numbers, good listings and plenty of activity. The national median price, excluding Auckland, has remained at $350,000 for the past two months, indicating that supply and demand are far more balanced outside of Auckland."

Sales Volumes

REINZ data shows there were 8,803 unconditional residential sales in March, a 20.3% increase on March 2014 and an increase of 27.6% from February. On a seasonally adjusted basis the number of sales rose 2.9% from February to March, indicating that March sales were higher than would normally be expected for this time of year.

All regions apart from Central Otago Lakes recorded an increase in sales volume compared to February, with Auckland recording the largest of 56%, followed by Taranaki with 50% and Southland with 39%. In comparison with March 2014, all regions recorded increases in sales volume, with Waikato/Bay of Plenty recording the largest, of 41%, followed by Central Otago Lakes with 27% and Hawkes Bay and Manawatu/Wanganui with 23% each.

Prices

The national median house price rose $45,000 (+10.5%) to $475,000 compared to February 2015 and by $35,000 (+8.0%) in comparison with March 2014, with eight regions recording an increase. On a seasonally adjusted basis the national median house price increased 5.3% compared with February and rose 8.3% compared to March 2014.

Excluding the Auckland region, however, the national median price was steady compared to February at $350,000 and rose $5,000 or 1.4% compared to March 2014.

Central Otago Lakes recorded the largest percentage increase in median price compared to March 2014, at 21%, followed by Auckland at 13.0% and Taranaki at 11%. Compared to February, Central Otago Lakes recorded the largest percentage increase from February, at 13%, followed by Auckland at 7% and Canterbury/Westland at 3%.

The REINZ Stratified Housing Price Index, which adjusts for some of the variations in the mix that can affect the median price, is 9.5% higher than in March 2014, at 4,340.9. The Auckland Index rose 20% compared to March 2014, the Christchurch Index 5% and the Wellington Index 4%.

Days To Sell

Dwellings took a median of 32 days to sell in March, nine days less than for February and one day fewer than for March 2014. Eight regions saw an improvement in the number of days to sell compared to March 2014, with Manawatu/Wanganui recording an improvement of 11 days, Central Otago Lakes eight days, and Taranaki and Waikato/Bay Of Plenty with five days.

Auckland. Canterbury/Westland and Otago recorded the shortest median days to sell in March, at 30 days. Northland recorded the longest, at 68, followed by Southland at 47. Over the past 10 years the median days to sell in March has averaged 35 across New Zealand.

Auctions

There were 2,267 dwellings sold by auction nationally in March, representing 25.8% of all sales and an increase of 604 on the number sold by auction in March 2014. The percentage of homes sold by auction in the 12 months to March was 19.1% (14,659 by number), compared to 20.5% (16,127 by number) for the year ending March 2014.

Transactions in Auckland again dominated the auction market in March, representing 78% of the national total of auction sales. 48% of all dwelling sales in Auckland were by auction, compared to 41% in March 2014. Sales by auction in Waikato/Bay Of Plenty accounted for 8.0% of the national total, Canterbury/Westland 9% and all other regions combined for the remaining 5%.

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