Home sales jump like spring lamb

Northland's property market has enjoyed a leap in spring auction sales - however, the trend may not last.

"I'm hopeful that in the spring we'll get a bit of a boon in listings. That will help to satisfy some of the buyers, so they won't feel so much pressure to perhaps have to outbid each other at auction," Northland Real Estate Institute of New Zealand spokesman Graeme Lester said.

The latest REINZ Residential Market Report showed sales volumes last month in Northland jumped almost 31 per cent year-on-year - with strong growth in Whangarei "country".

"There's a lot of buyers out there looking for the right property," Mr Lester said.

"The demand is still there. If we've got good, well-priced listings coming on to the market, they're going very quickly."

The median price across the region in August rose $3000 compared to July to $298,000.

Nationally, the median house price jumped $9000 from July to August, reaching $370,000 - up 4.2 per cent on the same time last year.

Auckland's median house price reached a new record - up 1.1 per cent to $505,500.

"Across the rest of the country, while we are continuing to see rising sales volumes, prices continue to reflect the general caution around the economic outlook," REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said.

Nationally, 6035 properties sold in August, an increase of 843 year-on-year, and up 2.2 per cent from July. Also breaking records was the amount of houses sold by auction, with 1110 properties under the hammer in August - 18.4 per cent of all sales.

The previous record was reached in March, when 16.2 per cent of properties were sold by auction, which were driven by market fluidity. Ms O'Sullivan said: "The best way to check the market value of a property is to take it to auction."

Despite the increased level of activity, the housing market was still subdued overall, with prices yet to catch up with increases in the consumer price index over the last five years, she said.

- Northern Advocate

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