House sales up at top end

Demand for Queenstown properties worth more than $1 million increased in April.

Statistics released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand confirmed there were 12 sales over $1 million, including two sections, which was "double the usual sales activity in this sector".

As stated in the report for April 2012, the median sale price was $640,000, which was "significantly up on the previous months and reflected greater activity in the top end of the market".

The market had "continued the positive momentum" which followed speculation in March by Queenstown spokesman for REINZ, Kelvin Collins, that the real estate sector might be entering "renewed confidence".

Demand for property under $500,000 was strong and the report attributed this to first-home buyers having access to KiwiSaver and wanting ownership instead of renting.

There were 50 house sales in April, similar to March but down 15% on April 2011.

Twelve sections sold, the same as in March 2012.

The total value of dwellings and sections sold was $39,318,500, which was 30% more than the March 2012 figure.

More than 30 Queenstown people attended a seminar for homebuyers last Thursday to hear how their KiwiSaver funds could be unlocked when buying their first home.

Harcourts consultant Michelle McElrea held what is becoming an annual information evening and said the mostly first-time buyers had found the process was not as complicated as they thought.

"Some people that have been in it for a few years have quite a bit of money," she said.

"They can take it out for their first property.

"It's a lot simpler to get it out than people think."


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