RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY MARKET KEEPS PUNDITS GUESSING

Sunday 23 May 2004

Auckland and Wellington property prices continued to increase strongly during April in a month of sometimes puzzling fluctuations, according to the National President of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (Inc), Mr Graeme Woodley.

By The Landlord

The national median selling price increased from $240,500 to $242,000 for April, despite lower turnover and median price reductions in a number of regions.

Describing the latest monthly figures as “hard to take a reading off,” Mr Woodley said that a decline in sales of cheaper properties and the effect the Auckland and Wellington markets have on the New Zealand total seemed to be the most likely explanation for the median increase, which occurred despite the fact that five of the 11 regions surveyed recorded median price falls, four were up and two were unchanged.


“Total sales fell 15.6 per cent from 11,371 in March to 9,594 in April, but sales in the under $400,000 bracket declined by 16.4 per cent while sales in the $400,001 to $600,000 category declined 10.9 per cent, and sales in the over $600,000 market were down 14.7 per cent. This seems to be the reason why the national median has risen despite the falls in the five regions.

“However, looking back 12 months to April 2003 and comparing the latest figures with those of a year earlier we see: volumes up from 9,047 to 9,594; the median days to sell exactly the same at 29; and the national median sales price up from $203,000 to $242,000, a 19.2 per cent increase.

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