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17-06-2011

Auckland house prices up over quarter, but ‘bumps ahead' says BNZ

Landlords.co.nz

Auckland house price rises over the three months to May are more than a simple recovery from the previous quarter, though "there will be bumps" according to BNZ.

In its Weekly Overview the bank said property sales rose over March, April and May resulting in a 5.5% growth for the three months to May compared to the three months to February, according to the latest BNZ Weekly Overview.

"Our expectation is that assisted by a recovering and then eventually strong labour market plus low interest rates for quite some time that this improvement will continue."

The bank said over the three months to May sales growth was strongest compared to the three months to February in Central Otago (33.2%), Auckland (12.7%) and Nelson/Marlborough (10.8%).

The still shrinking turnover markets are Wellington, Northland, Hawkes Bay and Canterbury/West coast.

However, when it comes to price the bank found "no overwhelming evidence yet that on a nationwide basis prices are yet following the same upward pattern as sales."

In May the stratified sales price measure eased by 1.8% to deliver a 1.3% rise over the three months to May from a 0.6% fall in the three months to February and 0.5% fall in the three months to November.

"The recovery in the past three months in prices is then best viewed we think as simply that - a recovery from weakness in the previous six months and not yet the start of the upward leg of the price cycle - though it could be that when we look back in a few months time," the bank said.

However, for Auckland BNZ said the 4.1% price index rise in the three months to May compared with the three months to February is ""a tad more than a simple recovery from a 1.5% fall in that earlier three month period."

"Note however that over just the month of May the Auckland measure fell 2.2%. What this says to us is that Auckland's underlying price trend is upward but it is not a straight line. . . there will be bumps."

When it comes to days to sell in May, nationwide it took 43 days to sell a property, 6.1 days longer than average over the past six years whereas April's 43 days was 7.7 days longer than average for that month and March 6.7 days.

The bank said the May result was the best in these terms since December's 5.5 days and "suggests that there is underlying activity improvement underway but that it still takes a few days longer than average for a vendor to move a property."

Source: Landlords.co.nz

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