Auckland is "clearly leading the real estate market recovery" with a 27% increase in written sales over the year to May 2011, according to the latest Harcourts MarketWatch.
"The signs of a recovering real estate market continue to be supported with encouraging results," said Harcourts New Zealand CEO Hayden Duncan.
"Nationally, Harcourts' May figures show higher written and settled sales volumes against last year. This is resulting in fewer properties available for sale with a shortage of new properties entering the market, further reducing the pool of availability for buyers."
Duncan said this reduced choice has resulted in a further fall of ‘days on the market' in main centres, "indicating that owners thinking of selling should act now while diminished supply, and buyers action, are creating competition."
While Harcourts reported the Northern region, including Auckland, saw the average sales price fall 6.9% in the year to May (from $554,460 to $516,447), sales were up 27%.
"The region is also one of the few markets sellers have started to believe now is a good time to sell in, and buyer activity is higher resulting in a stability in available homes."
In the capital Harcourts reported a 2.7% fall in the average price, down from $345,942 to $336,520 and a 1% increase in written sales.
"Stable but positive trends are reflected in the results from this region," the report said.
"A slight increase in written sales for the month and a small reduction in available property reflects the trends reported in the Auckland market place three to six months ago."
For central North Island Harcourts reported a 4.1% fall in the average price from $322,654 to $309,283 and a 2.3% rise in sales.
Harcourts said the region had seen a slight increase in sales over the year and a 25% rise on April 2011.
"However, as this activity continues, available property has reduced by over 15% creating a shortage of selection for buyers in the region. For those thinking of selling they should act now."
In Christchurch Harcourts reported the average price rising 3.9% from $370,789 to $385,423 and sales falling 20.8%, saying the results "continued to show strength in light of the on-going difficulties."
For the rest of the South Island, the average sales price was up 3.6% from $285,861 to $296,201 and sales were 21.9% higher.