Real estate market up with the best

The Queenstown property market finished the year strongly, with sales volume in December significantly up on recent years, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (Reinz) says.

It was a continuation of strong buyer demand experienced in October and November at levels not experienced since 2007.

House sales for the last quarter of 2012 - October to December - were 160. This was up 50% on the preceding year of 106 sales.

The median sale price for the December quarter of $521,000 was also up 5% on the preceding year of $497,000.

Section sales for the last quarter of 2012 were high at 52. This was more than double the 23 sales for the October to December quarter in 2011.

Median value of sections was slightly down on the preceding year and is a reflection of good demand for cheaper sections from residents to build family homes.

Agents are reporting a good selection of new listings of property for sale across all price categories and believe the current momentum will continue over the summer, Reinz Queenstown spokesman Kelvin Collins said in a statement yesterday.

''December 2012 recorded 55 dwelling sales and 23 section sales, which is similar to November 2012 and almost up 100% on December 2011.

''The combined value of dwellings plus section sales for December 2012 was $48,997,500, which is 30% up on the previous month of $37,894,500 and up 100% on the same period last year.''

The median sale price of dwellings at $568,000 was similar to last year, but up 9% on the average median price of the preceding three months, Mr Collins said.

''This reflects stronger buyer demand at the top end of the market, with nine sales recorded over $1 million.''