House sales running hot

By | June 18, 2010

18 June 2010


Auckland’s housing market is humming through the winter, with prices up in most suburban areas.

Data out yesterday from the Real Estate Institute showed increases.

The institute said the median house price was down $6000 nationally.

Wendy Alexander, Barfoot & Thompson chief executive, said the long summer meant people relaxed, stayed in their summer clothes longer, avoided shopping malls and traded their houses.

“Now we’re all going brrrrrr. Everyone is burrowing in. We’re having a very quiet June. But in April and May, there was tremendous demand,” she said. Barfoot’s wanted more listings to satisfy buyer demand.

Glorianne Campbell of the institute said a combination of more demand and more expensive houses selling probably pushed up Auckland prices.

North Shore’s median rose to $550,000 in May from April’s $540,000 and was a big jump on the May 2009 median of $505,500, the institute found.

Waitakere’s median increased to $400,500 from $394,000 in April and May 2009’s $357,500, although Papakura’s median dropped by $31,000 from April to May on the back of 54 sales last month.

Medians within Auckland City Council’s territorial limits increased to $520,000, from April’s $518,000 and May 2009’s $519,750.

Manukau’s median rose from $432,000 in April to $438,000 in May.

The institute said the market was still holding up well. Tax changes and rising mortgage interest rates could have taken a higher toll.

“It is good to see the market retain its strength and prices stay stable during a period when some buyers would have been concerned about potential tax and interest rate changes,” he said. Agents sold 5206 residential properties last month and 5207 in April.

“The May median is still 3.7 per cent up on the median price of $337,500 in the same month in 2009, so we are still not seeing any significant fall in property values. With tax changes and interest rates now settled, property investors are already talking about returning to the market to cater for the growing demand for domestic rentals.