6 Apr 2011

Auckland house sales and prices rise

6:55 pm on 6 April 2011

Auckland's largest real estate agency has had its best month for house sales in four years in what it says is a sign confidence is returning to the market.

Barfoot &Thompson, which accounts for a third of the Auckland market, sold 1070 houses in March, an increase of 75% from February.

The average selling price rose to a record high of $581,000 - a rise of $59,000 on March and of $36,000 compared with a year ago.

The average rent also rose by a record $32 to reach $434 a week in March - another record.

Barfoot &Thompson managing director Peter Thompson says a belief that prices have stabilised encouraged buyers.

Goldman Sachs economist Philip Borkin says March is usually a good month for the Auckland market.

He says once that is accounted for, the increase is 11%, the agent's fifth consecutive monthly increase.