New Zealand’s lifestyle property market is heating up again, with as 15% increase in sales reported in the three months to October 2012 compared to the same time the year before.
The 1378 sales was almost 200 more than were recorded in the three months to October 2011, and 39 more than were reported in the three months to September 2012.
Eight regions recorded increases in sales compared to September while six recorded decreases.
Auckland had the biggest increase, of 29 sales, followed by Manawatu/Wanganui, with nine more sales, and Canterbury with seven more.
Waikato had the biggest drop in lifestyle property sales, down eight, followed by Bay of Plenty and Northland.
Compared to 2011, nine regions recorded increases in sales and five regions recorded decreases.
The national median price for lifestyle blocks improved by $10,250 from $450,000 for the three months to September 2012 to $460,250 for the three months to October 2012.
Compared to three months to October 2011 the median price rose by 5.8%.
The number of days to sell for lifestyle properties improved by 10 days, from 81 days for the three months to the end of September to 71 days for the three months to the end of October.
Compared to the three months ended October 2011 the number of days to sell improved by 28 days from 99 days to 71 days.
West Coast recorded the shortest number of days to sell in October at 44 days, followed by Canterbury at 50 days and Southland at 53 days. Nelson recorded the longest number of days to sell at 140 days, followed by Bay of Plenty and Otago on 122 days each.
REINZ rural market specialist Brian Peacocke said: "Sales volumes are showing a healthy increase overall, although there is some variation in levels of activity around the country. Sales in the Auckland region are good with a healthy supply of listings; however, after a period of reasonable activity the Waikato market has become rather flat. Activity in the Bay of Plenty is reasonable, although the region continues to be affected by the problems with the kiwifruit industry."
He said Canterbury was showing strong activity because of earthquake-related payouts.