Housing upturn unusual for April

By | May 7, 2009

6 May 2009

Source: NZ Herald

An upturn in the Auckland residential property market that started in February continued into April, figures show.

Agency Barfoot & Thompson said the average price for Auckland houses was $502,726 last month, up 2.2 per cent on the March figure.

The 809 Auckland sales in April was up 79 per cent on a year earlier, although down on the 924 reported for March.

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said traditionally April sales volume and prices could fall away markedly compared with March because of seasonal factors.

“It demonstrates the housing market has found strength at its present level and with confidence returning, an increasing number of people are prepared to make buy and sell decisions.

“There is a catch up surge going through the market as people follow through on long-held intentions to upgrade, invest or free up equity.”

The biggest challenge facing the Auckland housing market was a scarcity of properties to sell, Mr Thompson said. At this time last year, the agency had nearly 1400 more homes on its books than it did now.

Rental demand continued to be strong, with the average at $399 a week, up 2.6 per cent from the start of the year.