5 Feb 2010

Auckland real estate market 'shows improvement'

7:17 am on 5 February 2010

Auckland's largest real estate firm says momentum in the property market is continuing to build.

Barfoot and Thompson says its average sale price stood at $505,301 in January, down 9% on December, but up 0.5% on January the previous year.

The number of properties sold increased by 13% to 583 for the month.

Barfoot and Thompson managing director Peter Thompson says January is traditionally a quieter month, but 2010 has started very well, with new listings up 22% from late last year.

He says January trading showed no signs of reacting to speculation about changes to property taxes.

A scarcity of rental accommodation in Auckland is pushing up the average weekly rent, Mr Thompson says.

Average rent rose $12 a week from December to $401. It is only the second time rents have broken the $400 mark. The last time was in October 2009, when the average weekly rent rose to $403.