Aucklanders are looking south of the city for cheaper properties and a more relaxed lifestyle, the Real Estate Institute says.
It reported an increase of 12.9% in lifestyle property sales volume in the three months to February 2013, compared to the same time the year before.
Ten regions recorded increases in sales. The biggest lift was seen in Auckland, where there were 85 more sales, followed by Canterbury and Waikato.
Waikato’s lift of 26 sales was largely because Aucklanders were considering it as a commuter option, spokesman Bryan Peacocke said. He said prices were strongest close to Auckland and there had been good levels of interest in properties north of Hamilton.
Lifestyle blocks priced between $400,000 and $600,000 were selling fastest. “With the new roading improvements people are finding it’s just as quick to commute from south of Auckland than it is to travel in from the North Shore, and in some cases quicker.”
The national median lifestyle block price rose by $30,000 to $495,000 for the three months to February.
Peacocke said buyers were still finding good deals in Waikato. “Part of the attraction is that prices are lower than in Auckland city. There are reports of strong activity close to the city boundaries… there’s a ripple effect from the strong city market.”