In the first six months of this year Barfoot & Thompson sold 424 Auckland homes for more than $1 million, matching the number sold in the first half of 2007, the year before the global financial crisis started to impact on local real estate prices.
"In 2009 and 2010 the number of homes selling for more a million dollars increased modestly, but really took off in 2011, when we sold 308 in the first six months of the year," said Wendy Alexander, Chief Executive Officer of Barfoot & Thompson.
"In the first six months of this year that number has jumped again, this time by 38 percent.
"By contrast, homes selling for in excess of $2 million have not returned to their 2007 peak.
"In the first six months of this year we sold 51 homes for more than $2 million. While this is up on last year's 36, it is still well under the 99 sold in the first half of 2007.
"While this trend to more homes selling for more than a million dollars is assisted by a general rise in prices, more significant contributors are the growth of Auckland into a world class city and a growing preparedness by high-earning people to invest in their lifestyle.
"Demand for homes in the suburbs around the central business district, the beach- facing suburbs and rural lifestyle properties are all in great demand.
"The land in these areas is irreplaceable and therefore very valuable, and homes are being built or refurbished in keeping with those high values.
"An emerging trend is renewed interest in a number of the more established central suburbs to the west of State Highway 1, such as Western Springs, Mt Albert, , Hillsborough, Onehunga and Mt Eden, and their regeneration potential. In the past six months we sold 155 homes for more than a million dollars in these suburbs, a 63 percent increase on the same six months last year.
"Number one on the list of most expensive suburbs is Herne Bay, where the average sale price in the first six months of this year was $1.35 million (also in the number one position for the first six months of 2011), with Devonport at number two on $1.16 million (previously number 5) and Epsom number three on $1.06 million (previously number 7)."
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