Hawke's Bay Property Investors' Association

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05-05-2009

No signs of surge in activity slowing

Landlords.co.nz

Auckland’s residential housing market showed no signs of slowing from the surge in activity seen in February and March.

Auckland’s average house price for April was $502,726, up 2.2% from the previous month, according to the latest figures from Barfoot & Thompson (B&T).

The number of sales was up a staggering 79%, at 809, on those for the same month last year.

“Traditionally April sales volume and prices can fall away markedly compared to March,” says B&T managing director Peter Thompson.

“It is a seasonal factor, so to get an increase in price in April with only a modest fall in the number of homes sold compared to the previous month is heartening."

Thompson believes the numbers demonstrate the housing market has found its footing at current levels and with returning confidence comes increasing numbers of people who are prepared to commit to buying and selling decisions.

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

The biggest challenge facing the Auckland housing market at the moment according to B&T is the scarcity of properties to sell.

“At this time last year we had close to 1,400 more homes on our books than we do at present (a decline of 19% on April 2008’s 7,483 homes).

“There is a widely held belief that the housing market is extremely quiet with prices dropping.

“That belief is wrong, and April’s average price is in line with the average price achieved for the first quarter of this year.”

Thompson anticipates the number of homes sold in coming months to follow the traditional seasonal pattern and decline gradually as winter approaches, before increasing again at the start of spring.

The demand for rental property continues to be strong, with the average rental increasing to $399 a week, an increase of 2.6% on that at the start of the year.

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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