Barfoots says house sales and prices still strong in April

Barfoots says house sales and prices still strong in April
Auckland's largest realtor, Barfoot & Thompson, reported 809 sales in April at an average price of NZ$502,726. The number of sales over the month were still below those in 2006 and 2007, which recorded 829 and 899, respectively. Barfoots recorded 453 sales in April 2008. Sales were down from 924 in March, but this was due to the traditional seasonal downturn in April, Barfoots said. The average price over the month was up 2% from March, but still down 3% from April 2008 and 5.6% from 2007. "Traditionally April sales volume and prices can fall away markedly compared to March," Managing Director Peter Thompson said. "It is a seasonal factor, so to get an increase in price in April with only a modest fall in the number of homes sold compared to the previous month is heartening," Thompson said. "It demonstrates the housing market has found strength at its present level, and with confidence returning an increasing number of people are prepared to make buy and sell decisions. There is a catch up surge going through the market as people follow through on long held intentions to upgrade, invest in a property or free up equity," he said. "There is a widely held belief that the housing market is extremely quiet with prices dropping. That belief is wrong, and April's average price is in line with the average price achieved for the first quarter of this year."

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