Just like old times

Confidence in the home marketplace has improved for both buyers and sellers according to a recent report from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

The figures released in the report reveal further positive trends in terms of residential real estate turnover, median sale prices, and time to sell.

A turnover of 6,464 sales nationally during September represents an increase in sales of more than 30 percent compared with 4,499 sales in the corresponding month in 2008.  However, while volume of turnover is also up on the 5,894 sales in September 2007, it is still significantly lower than 2006 when September saw 8,658 properties change hands.

The national median price for houses sold in September 2009 was $350,000, slightly up on last month’s $346,750 median price and noticeably higher than the $330,000 of September 2008.

Newly elected Institute President, Peter McDonald, commented that the figures show a slow but steady appreciation in sale values, heading back to the prices being fetched in the corresponding period in 2007 when the median was $351,500.

House prices in September were up in all but three out of 12 districts compared with 12 months ago. Northland was down 4.20 per cent from a median of $297,500 to $285,000, and Hawkes Bay fell 2.48 per cent from $271,742 to $265,000. Central Otago Lakes was down 15.62 per cent from $480,000 to $405,000.

The biggest rises were in Auckland, climbing 8.33 per cent from a median of $420,000 to $455,000; Taranaki which rose from $256,583 to $283,000 (up 10.29 per cent); and Wellington, up 8.04 per cent from $350,000 to $378,168.

“The number of days to sell was the third factor contributing to what the real estate industry is describing as a very encouraging month,” Mr McDonald said.

Nationally, properties took a median of 33 days to sell compared with 34 in August and 52 in September 2008.

“Again for days to sell we’re back to 2007 figures which was a comparable 32 days,” Mr McDonald said.

Houses in Auckland, Taranaki, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough and Otago took 30 days or less to sell while the slowest markets were Northland (63 days) and Central Otago Lakes (60 days).

The September sale value figures are up 6.06 percent nationally on the corresponding figure for last year with a total residential sales value of more than $2,819 million.