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A new report from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand shows home sales are up across the country, although prices have fallen. Sales jumped 20.1% in December compared to the same month in the previous year, while prices declined 0.9% over the same period. Analysts say the transaction volume is the highest it has been since 2007, with some areas seeing as much as a 40% increase over last year. Although prices are falling, values are still high and even rose in Auckland and the Canterbury/Westland area. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

Residential property sales have increased over 20% year on year although nationally prices are falling, the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) show.

Sales increased 20.1% in December compared with the same month in 2010, the best December result since 2007. But prices were down 3.4% in December month on month and are just 0.9% compared with December 2010.

Auckland recorded its strongest December sales volumes since 2006, with six regions; Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Manawatu/Wanganui, Taranaki, Nelson/Marlborough, Canterbury/Westland and Otago, recording their strongest December sales since 2007. Only two regions, Hawkes Bay and Wellington, had lower sales volumes than December 2010.

However, all regions, with the exception of Central Otago Lakes, recorded a decline in sales volumes during December compared to November.

In December, Central Otago Lakes recorded the highest increase in prices for the month, up 7.4%, followed by Taranaki up 4.6% and Wellington up 1%. Compared to December 2010, Central Otago Lakes also recorded the highest increase in prices with an increase of 8.7%, followed by Canterbury/Westland up 6.6% and Auckland up 6.5%.

‘December has been a strong month for real estate sales in New Zealand, with this being the strongest level of transaction figures in December since 2007, and Auckland having its strongest December since 2006,’ said REINZ chief executive Helen O’Sullivan.

‘Across the country sales volume is up by over 20% compared to December last year with some regions such as Manawatu/Wanganui and Taranaki reporting increases of more than 40%,’ she explained.

‘While the number of transactions is rising, prices have eased back from last month’s record highs, with some exceptions in parts of Auckland and the Canterbury/Westland region,’ she added.

The figures come after Quotable Value data showed New Zealand property values continued to improve in December and are almost back to where they were at the market's peak in late 2007.

It said that in Auckland, the median house price rose 6.5% to $484,375 from a year earlier, with the number of properties sold increased 28% in December.

Wellington house prices fell 3.3% to $387,000 from December 2010, while the number of houses sold fell 1.5%. Christchurch sale prices rose 4.7% to $346,000 and the number of houses sold increased 14%. While in Dunedin house prices gained 4.3% to an average $255,000, while the number sold increased 5.2%.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.