House sales on rise in Hawke's Bay

By PATRICK O'SULLIVAN


The Hawke's Bay real estate market is starting to follow record-setting trends in other parts of the country.

Hawke's Bay residential sales volumes continue to rise with the November sales volume up 12 per cent compared with November 2011, according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said there was more confidence coming into the Hawke's Bay real estate market "with more investors and first-home buyers active".

"Most of the activity is currently at the lower priced end of the market, but activity is increasing across all price bands," she said.

Compared with November 2011, the Hawke's Bay median sale price dropped by $13,750 (-4.8 per cent) to $275,000.

The median days to sell increased by six days in November, from 36 days in October to 42. The median improved by one day compared with November 2011. Over the past 10 years the median number of days to sell in November has averaged 42 days.

The small size of the Hawke's Bay market continues to provide statistical spikes. The October median price in Hastings of $220,500 jumped 30 per cent in November to $286,500 - $1500 higher than the November 2011 figure.

Simon Tremain of Tremain Real Estate said the Hastings October median was very low because of a high number of Housing New Zealand sales.

He said the increased sales volume in Hawke's Bay was "without doubt starting to put pressure on price".

"The market started off being busy in the lower range, but we are starting to see it right through all the ranges - there is some good activity in the top end," he said.

While the market was already busy "Christmas is the time when people make decisions".

"We tend to get an influx of properties in January when everyone comes back from their holidays. So we should see some good sales through to the end of November and some good properties come on to the market in January."

Nationally sales volumes were up almost 25 per cent year on year with the strongest monthly sales volume in five years.

The national median house price was a new record median of $383,250, up 4.3 per cent from November 2011.

More than 20 per cent of all sales for the month of October were auction sales.

In Auckland it was 38 per cent.

Ms O'Sullivan said demand continued to outstrip supply in key markets such as Auckland.

"The activity in the Auckland market is now starting to see some spill over into other parts of the country, with increased buyer activity, although there are some remaining markets which are yet to see this effect.

"The lift in national sales volume to a five-year high and the new record medians in Auckland and Otago is indicative of the real estate market gaining in confidence. Volumes remain well below the previous market highs set in the period from 2003 to 2006, indicating that tight supply remains the key factor behind increasing prices."

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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