Aerial photograph of Queenstown. Photo by ODT.
The residential property market in Queenstown finished
strongly in 2012 amid promising signs for this year.
One hundred and sixty houses were sold in the fourth quarter
of last year, up 50% on 2011, while section sales more than
doubled, from 23 to 52.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Queenstown
spokesman Kelvin Collins said the demand was at levels not
experienced since 2007.
Agents believed the momentum would continue over the summer,
Nationally, sales volumes were strong and the national median
house price reached a record $389,000 in December, up almost
10% on December 2011.
Key reasons were growth in Canterbury and Auckland, where
housing shortages had pushed prices up.
Mr Collins said prices at the lower end of the market in
Queenstown were showing signs of firming but were still below
the peaks of 2007-08. This indicated the possibility of room
for growth, he said. There was little ''spec'' house building
Winter sales had been quiet because of the economic problems
in Europe. But people were now saying things looked better
and, with fair value, the time had come to buy.
Queenstown figures cover the Wakatipu basin.
Sales volumes in the rest of the Central Otago Lakes region,
which includes Wanaka, have not been so buoyant.
Eight regions recorded sales volume increases on December a
year ago, with Northland volumes up 37.2%, Auckland 18.7% and
Central Otago Lakes 18.4%, according to REINZ figures.
During 2012, 1266 homes were sold in the Central Otago Lakes
region, up 28.7% on 2011 volumes.
Median prices across the rest of Otago increased slightly
(1%) comparing December last year and 2011, with a noticeable
drop in North Otago. Sales volumes fell nearly 5%, with rises
in North and South Otago unable to offset a fall in Dunedin.