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New Zealand home sales boom

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New Zealand residential property sales just had their best February since the global downturn began, data has revealed.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand recorded 6,168 unconditional sales for February 2012. 

This is up 37 per cent on the same month in 2011, and higher than any February since 2008.

Sales in February 2012 were also more than 50 per cent higher than the previous month, in line with standard seasonal fluctuations.

Canterbury and Westland had the biggest year-on-year increase in sales, with February 2011 hit badly by the Christchurch earthquake.

The national median house price remained steady for the third straight month at $355,000 (£181,500). This is up marginally on 12 months previous.

REINZ chief executive Helen O’Sullivan said: ‘While agents are seeing more activity and more positive sentiment from buyers in most places this is not translating into significant price increases. 

‘Despite the increased number of transactions, buyers are remaining cautious with the days-to-sell measure down by just one day, and still above the long-term average.’

She added: ‘The improvement in the Canterbury/Westland market is remarkable, especially given the complexity of a sale transaction in a post-quake environment.’

Architects have been working to help rebuild Christchurch since the earthquake.

Work on the London Olympics inspired global sports specialist Populous in its design for a temporary stadium to replace the damaged AMI Stadium.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors said in a New Zealand market update: ‘We still think the outlook for residential construction is positive, as reconstruction in the Canterbury region gets underway and strong fundamentals drive growth in the near to medium term.’ ENDS

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