The Auckland property market saw its strongest January in four years with prices reaching the highest average ever for the month, according to Barfoot & Thompson.
"In January we sold more properties in the month than we have since 2007, prices reached their highest average ever for the month, new listings were up 15.1% and we sold double the number of million dollar homes than we did last January," said managing director Peter Thompson.
"It was an extremely positive start to the year."
Thompson said that while the traditional dip in activity over Christmas, New Year and annual holiday breaks was present in the trading figures, on every key measure January 2012 was "significantly" ahead of the year earlier.
"The average sales price at $529,768 was up 2.7%, sales numbers at 683 were up 21.3% and new listings at 1031 were up 15.1%."
January 2012 also bucked the trend for quieter sales at the top end of the market, with Thompson saying they sold 40 homes in excess of $1 million.
"We have not sold that many homes in that price category in a January since the peak year of 2007."
He said such high value homes were subject to different market drivers than the rest of the market and he expected demand to remain strong.
Barfoot & Thompson had 4,766 properties listed at the end of January, and while 4% higher than at the end of December, Thompson said it was the lowest number of listings for this time of year for four years.
"Limited choice has been a feature of the market now for the past seven months," he said.
Thompson said he expects to see trading in the first quarter of 2012 continue from the pattern of the last half of 2011, with gradual and modest price rises and the number of holds sold monthly remaining between 700 and 900 properties.
"Buyers and sellers are taking a measures approach and it will result in the market remaining stable and positive."