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NZ house sales hit records in March

NZN 12/04/2016 Sophie Boot

New Zealand house sale prices broke records across the country in March as Auckland's strength and the halo effect on surrounding regions continued to improve.

The median national sale price increased 4.2 per cent to $495,000 in March from a year earlier, while the number of properties sold was up 8.2 per cent at 9,527, the highest number of sales in March since 2007, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

"Right across the country regional markets have been strong with a large number of record medians and the strongest sales for nine years for most regions, with the strongest March sales for 11 years in Waikato/Bay of Plenty and 14 years in Central Otago Lakes," chief executive Colleen Milne said in a statement.

"March demonstrates a noticeable surge in sales of higher priced properties, with the number of sales over $1 million increasing by over 90 per cent compared to February.

This is especially true in Auckland, where one in three properties that sell are valued at more than $1 million - a record 35 per cent of the market."

The median price in Auckland shot to $820,000, past $800,000 for the first time, and up 14 per cent from a year earlier.

Sales volumes fell 12 per cent to 3,230 with the largest declines in Manukau City and Rodney.

"Recent fears of the Auckland market cooling off have been overstated, as median prices across the city have rebounded during March," Milne said.

Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Central Otago Lakes were the strongest real estate markets in March, while Wellington, Nelson, and Canterbury/Westland also posted new record median prices.

Excluding Auckland's impact, the national median price rose 10 per cent to $385,000 from March 2015.

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