Strong Housing Sales Reflect Seasonal Trend

Published: Tue 19 Nov 2002 10:43 AM
Strong Housing Sales Reflect Seasonal Trend
The seasonal trend for high levels of housing sales in Spring is clearly shown by the latest statistics released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) today.
REINZ vice national president, Howard Morley, said the total number of sales reported by real estate agents during October reached 9,448, for a national median price of $188,000 and total value of $2.227 billion.
“Sales are traditionally particularly buoyant at the start of the Spring season,” Mr Morley said. “However, this year, with the milder winter and reasonably strong current levels of business confidence, sales started to pick up again in August – a month or so earlier than usual.”
He said the number of houses sold in October was not a record however.
“In March this year, a total of 9,742 homes sold and April and May also recorded very high levels of sales.
“However, on an annual comparative basis, confidence in the property sector continues to be underlined. Total sales numbers are up almost a third again from October last year when 6,666 had sold for a median of $179,000.”
Across the country, the number of houses sold increased in all but one district, Northland, during the month. Auckland recorded the largest rise, at 3,392 showing an increase of 593 over September sales levels.
The national median price for all dwellings sold also improved reaching $188,000 – back to the level recorded in May.
“Overall, the median price has been relatively steady since February this year, with minor fluctuations recorded up and down the country.”
Six regions recorded increased median prices for the month – Auckland, Taranaki, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough, Canterbury/Westland and Otago – with the remainder showing slight adjustments downwards.
Mr Morley said sales of houses were buoyant across the board – with strong interest for every type of housing on offer.
“However we are noting a shortage of listings in most regions. This is in part due to increased demand for housing from migrants to New Zealand, including expatriates returning home.
“Mortgage rates are also at relatively attractive levels particularly for fixed rates. While lending institutions have left floating rates untouched for a month or more, we’ve been tracking a trend among them to trim fixed rates – especially for two year terms – providing certainty for homeowners and making investment in property an attractive option for investors,” he said.
Total sales for sections also continued to be strong during the month, with a total of 867 selling at a steady median price of $87,000.
Regional highlights:
House sales remained steady during the month, at 192, slightly eased back from the 217 sold in September, but well ahead of the 151 sold in October last year. Their median price also steadied to 165,000, down $4,000 from September but $5,000 ahead of October 2001. Thirty eight sections were sold at a median $63,500.
At 3,392, house sales in the Auckland region were at their highest level since March this year, when 3,708 had sold. The median price also notched upwards to reach $279,000, $6,000 more than the previous month. On an annual comparative basis, total sales were well ahead of the 2,187 recorded in October 2001 when a median price of $258,000 was recorded. Sections continued to sell readily, with 212 obtaining a median $125,000 price.
Metropolitan Auckland continued the national trend with sales recorded at their highest level since March this year. In all, 3,009 homes exchanged hands for another improved median of $287,000. One hundred and sixty one sections also sold during the month for a median $132,000.
Sales were up in North Shore City, at 609, 83 ahead of the 526 sold in September, and well ahead of the 394 sold in October 2001. Their median, however, eased back to $298,000, $2,000 less than the previous month. Section sales were also buoyant with 61 selling for a median $178,000.
In Waitakere City, the statistics showed similar results with 422 homes changing hands during the month (114 more than in September 2002), however their median increased marginally to reach $221,444 (September 2002: 220,000). Sections also sold readily with 26 achieving a $102,000 median price.
Sales in Auckland City also improved from the previous month to 1,125 – the highest number sold since May this year – (September 2002: 1,035 sold). The median price also moved up once more to reach $335,000. Section sales were buoyant, with 41 changing hands for a lower median price of $120,000.
Strong sales were also recorded in Manukau City, where 762 homes sold for an eased median of $278,500 (September 2002: 522 sold at a median $284,400). In Papakura, the same trend emerged with 91 homes selling for an eased median of $184,000 (in September 60 were sold at a median $196,250).
In the Rodney district, which includes Rodney North and the Hibiscus Coast, 183 homes sold during the month for a median $257,000. Eighteen sections also sold at a median $130,000.
Thames / Coromandel also recorded strong sales, with the 116 dwellings sold reaching a median price of $187,000 and 13 sections selling for a median $90,000.
Waikato / Bay of Plenty / Gisborne
The Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne region recorded improved sales during the month, at 1,365 homes the most sold in one month since April earlier this year, however the median price eased back to $162,000. On an annual comparative basis, sales were well up on the 949 sold in October 2001 and 739 in October 2000. Section sales remained consistently strong, at 137, up 12 from September and 55 ahead of October 2001.
Hawke’s Bay
Levels of enquiry from potential buyers were strong during the month resulting in 299 homes changing hands in the Hawke’s Bay during October for a steadying median price of $134,000. In September this year, 282 had sold for a median $135,500. On a 12 month comparative basis however, the improvement was more marked – 251 houses having changed hands for a median $130,000 in October 2001. Sales of section were well down however with only six selling during the month for a steadying median price of $66,000.
Manawatu / Wanganui
A good month, the best since March this year, for sales in the Manawatu / Wanganui region. In all, 417 homes changed hands at a slightly eased median of $105,000 (September 2002: 338 sold for a median $106,500). In October last year, 304 houses sold at a median $105,000. Section sales improved to reach 28 with another eased median price of $35,000 (September 2002: 15 sold at a median $43,000)
Spring sales were reasonably buoyant in Taranaki in October with 218 houses changing hands for a median price of $109,750, improved from the 201 sold in September at a median $106,000. In October 2001, 132 had sold at a median $100,000. Only seven sections sold during the month for a median $13,000.
The Wellington district reported strong levels of sales in October, with investors still seeking out lower price properties in the suburbs. Despite the current shortage of listings reported, 1,078 homes sold for a slightly improved median price of $205,137 during the month. In September, the 811 dwellings sold had reached a median price of $204,000. The improvement was more marked on an annual comparative basis, in October last year 919 houses sold for a median price of $195,000. Section sales were at the highest level since November 2000, with 82 selling for a median $96,719. In November 2000, 102 had sold for a median $90,125.
Nelson / Marlborough
Particularly strong demand for coastal and inner city character homes In Nelson / Marlborough during October – the best month for sales so far this year – was reflected in the district’s increased median. In all, 383 houses sold for a median price of $169,500 (in September, 317 sold for a median $155,000). On a 12 month comparative basis, the improvement was even more marked as 322 houses had sold in October 2001 for a median $147,000. Section sales were also strong, 97 changing hands for a median $82,500.
Canterbury / Westland
Sales in the Canterbury / Westland region again reflected the national trend, with the numbers sold during the month at the highest level for seven months. In all, 1,244 sold during the month of October (1,273 sold in March 2002). The median for the district also notched up to reach $149,000. A total of 105 sections sold for a relatively steady median price of $82,000.
Christchurch City sales totalled 820 in October with a median price of $158,694. In the city’s North West Inner Suburbs (including Fendalton, Ilam and Merivale) 84 homes changed hands at a median $278,250; at $316,500 the median was higher in the Hill suburbs where 17 homes sold. Total sales in Timaru improved to reach 80 during the month, however a lower median price of $88,275 was recorded. On the West Coast, 44 dwellings changed hands for an improved median price of $84,500.
Total sales of sections for the district dropped back to 105 (161 in September) while their median price improved slightly to reach $82,000 over the $81,250 recorded in September.
Strong levels of demand were reported in Otago during October, with high numbers of houses selling across all price ranges. In all, 524 homes changed hands for an improving median price of $102,050 (September 2002: 471 sold at a median $99,500). Demand for sections was particularly strong, with 92 sold, their median price however eased back slightly to $69,250 from the $74,000 recorded in September.
Southland carried on the national trend for strong Spring sales during the month of October. A total of 336 homes sold during the month, the most since April when 351 had sold, while their median price decreased slightly to $77,750 from the $79,250 recorded in the previous month. Section sales were again particularly high, at 63 well up on the 35 that had sold in October 2001. The median price for all sections sold in the district moved down to $79,000.

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