House sales in Auckland climbed to their highest level in almost two years last month, signalling an improvement in buyer confidence.
Figures from Barfoot & Thompson show house sales in March edged ahead of those for the same time last year, with the average sale price in Auckland now $545,156.
This is up 4.6 per cent on the previous month, and is more than $53,000 higher than the same time last year.
Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson cited an influx of people into Auckland, growing confidence in the economy and an Indian summer as reasons for a busy first quarter's trading.
The firm, which has about a 40 per cent share of the Auckland market, sold 927 properties during March, slightly ahead of March 2009.
Thompson said if monthly fluctuations were evened out, its sales data showed house prices across Auckland had risen an average 3.2 per cent, or $16,000 in the last year.
The number of new listings (1671 in March) while down on February's figure of 1714, was still good, with existing listings on par with the same time last year.
Thompson said the housing market was balanced and did not favour either buyers or sellers.
"Our experience is that the majority of sellers are putting realistic values on their properties, while buyers are not solely intent on bargain hunting."
"It's creating a market where a lot of properties are changing hands."
Based on normal seasonal patterns, prices would probably ease into Autumn, he said.
- NZ Herald staff