House prices on the up and up

House prices have risen to their highest March level in two decades, while the number of sales broke through the 6000 barrier last month after dropping at the end of last year.

Latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) put the median sale price of homes in New Zealand last month at $360,500, seven per cent up on the same period last year, and the highest March figure in 20 years.

REINZ president Peter McDonald said the apparently strengthening market was an encouraging sign.

"Despite an abundance of good listings at present, we are still seeing prices going up as a result of strong demand from genuine home buyers."

The total value of residential values, including sections, in New Zealand during March was $2.73 billion, an increase on the February total of $2.14 billion.

The March total of 6161 dwellings sold was also an improvement on the February figure of 5029 and was well up on January's figure of just 3666.

McDonald said the figures were in contrast to November figures when listings were short and prices went up because demand was not being met.

The largest annual percentage increases were in Auckland, up 9.31 per cent to $475,500, and Taranaki, up 8.52 per cent to $280,000.

Southland also showed strong growth with the annual median price rising more than 5.3 per cent to $191,750.

Another indicator of the strengthening market was the recorded fall in the median number of days which fell from 46 to 35 from February to March.

Sales were quickest in Wellington, Canterbury/Westland and Otago at 29 median days.

- NZHERALD STAFF

- NZ Herald

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