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Lifestyle blocks finding favour

Lifestyle properties lifted in popularity in the three months to July 2012, according to the Real Estate Insititute of New Zealand.

The REINZ’s latest data on rural sales shows a 10.8% increase in the number of lifestyle blocks sold in the July quarter compared to the same period the year before.

Just over 1500 sales were recorded, compared to 1367 in 2011.

Seven regions recorded increases in sales compared to June this year, while seven recorded decreases.  Auckland recorded the largest increase (+19 sales), followed by Waikato (+17 sales) and Manawatu/Wanganui (+10 sales).  Nelson recorded the largest fall in sales (-8 sales), followed by Wellington (-7 sales) and Southland (-5 sales).

The national median price for lifestyle blocks eased by $2500 or half a percentage point, from last month’s record high of $477,500 to $475,000 for the three months to July.  Compared to three months to July 2011 the median price rose by $22,000, an almost 5% increase.

The number of days to sell for lifestyle properties remained steady at 84 days for the three months ended July compared to the three months ended June. 

Compared to the three months ended July 2011 the number of days to sell improved by nine days from 93 days to 84 days.  Canterbury and Gisborne both recorded the shortest number of days to sell in July at 56 days, while the West Coast recorded the longest number of days to sell at 199 days.

REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said: “The number of lifestyle properties sold compared to 12 months ago shows a healthy increase, although the rate of increase has slowed during the winter months.  Current low interest rates are providing some encouragement to buyers and the overall strength of the lifestyle market will be tested when spring gets under way.”

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