By Bernard Hickey
Auckland's largest real estate agency group, Barfoot and Thomspon has reported sales of 894 in November, up 23% from October and up 34% from a year ago.
Barfoot said the average price for the month was NZ$567,489, up 2.5% from October and up 2.5% from November 2010.
Barfoot and Thompson Managing Directer Peter Thompson described the move as a surge and said prices had risen the most since March.
"November was an extremely active month," Thompson said.
"For the past four months the Auckland market has been ticking over quietly, but with the coming of summer, the end of the international rugby tournament and a degree of certainty as to the outcome of the general election, buyers and sellers felt the time was right to act," Thompson said.
Thompson said new listings rose 18.9% in November from October to 1,562 and were the highest they had been in 10 months.
"The greater choice available to buyers also increased market interest," he said.
"Properties with appeal are attracting a good deal of interest, but buyers are not paying over the top or acting in haste to secure properties."
Thompson said he expected the strong sales pattern to continue right up to the Christmas break.
At the end of November Barfoot & Thompson had 5,046 properties on its books, 47 more than at the end of October.
The Barfoot and Thompson figures are closely watched because they are the first to show sales and prices for any month and Barfoot and Thompson is the biggest agency chain in the biggest market.
Figures from Barfoot showing sales and prices by suburban area show volumes and prices strongest in the wealthier areas of North Shore, Central Suburbs (Remuera/Mt Eden/Epsom/Parnell/St Heliers) and Pakuranga Howick.
Prices fell in South Auckland and Central Auckland (Apartments).
The average central suburb price rose to NZ$705,906, up 14.3% in November from November a year ago. The North Shore average price rose 4.7% to NZ$610,713 and prices in Pakuranga/Howick rose 12% to NZ$631,045.
The number houses sold for more than NZ$600,000 rose 38% to 299 in November, with 10 properties sold for more than NZ$2 million, double that of a year ago.
The number of properties sold for more than NZ$1 million rose 52% to 76.
(Updated with more quotes, regional detail)