Auckland housing market has active start to 2013​

The Auckland housing market in New Zealand has experienced its most active January in five years with significant levels of new listings and sales, the latest market report shows. Compared to last January, the average price is up 13.4% and the average price also topped $600,000, the data from estate agency Barfoot & Thompson shows.

Managing director Peter Thompson said that the Auckland housing market is showing all the signs that it has picked up from where it left off in December, and that sales numbers and values will hold up through the remainder of the warm months to come. 'Normally, January is a quiet month with so many people away from the city enjoying their summer break, but this has not been the case this year,' said Thompson.

Last month the firm listed 1,440 properties, the highest number in a January for five years, and 39.7% higher than in the same month last year. During the month it sold 820 properties, a number that has not been achieved in a January for six years, and sales this January compared to last year were up 20.1%. 'It is always one of our lowest months for new listings, but interest in selling rolled over into January as a result of the excellent prices being achieved pre-Christmas, and our agents have been active since the first business day of the year,' explained Thompson.

He pointed out that as always occurs at the start of a new year, prices edged lower than those before Christmas, but January's average price of $600,754, is the first time the firm has achieved an average price above $600,000 in a January. Thompson said the high number of new listings in January had slightly eased the lack of choice available in December, and at the end of January it had 3,763 properties on its books.
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'While this is 10.4% higher than in December, it is also 21% lower than in January last year, so the current situation of greater choice may not last long,' he added. Interest in high end properties remains, and 68 homes sold for $1 million or more in January. Of the total number of properties sold 383, or 47%, were for under $500,000, and of that number 130, or 15.9% of all homes, sold for under $300,000. Will this demand spill over into the Australian property market?