House sales in Auckland picked up last month after early signs that the property market was running out of steam, according to Barfoot & Thompson.
Last month, Auckland's biggest real estate firm recorded 927 sales, just ahead of last year's March sales, and a 48% jump on February. The average sale price gained 4.6% to $545,156, and was $53,000 more than the same month a year ago.
"The influx of people into Auckland, growing confidence in the economy, excellent choice and the Indian summer combined to create a busy first quarter's trading," said managing director Peter Thompson.
"Our experience is the majority of sellers are putting realistic values on their properties, while buyers are not solely intent on bargain hunting."
Since the start of the year, the housing market has been in a small slump as banks make fewer mortgage approvals and demand for property from an influx of migrants and returning expatriates dries up. Yesterday, Treasury said the slowing property market had weighed on consumer spending, with much of the uncertainty related to what the government will do to its tax treatment of investment properties.
Barfoot said its number of new listings in March fell to 1,671 from 1,714 a month earlier, and that it had 6,267 houses on its books, up from 6,247 in February.
The real estate agency's property management division recorded a 2.8% gain in the average weekly rental to $401 from February, and boosted the number of properties and units let 17% to 823.