Prices in Auckland, New Zealand have increased year on year price for the first time in six months, up 1.4% to $852,000.

Overall, median house prices for the nation as a whole increased 3.6% in the 12 months to August 2018 to $549,000, according to the index from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), while excluding Auckland, the increase was even greater with a 6.2% annual increase from $428,500 to $455,000.

Only two regions saw a fall in median prices year on year with prices down by 0.5% to $425,000 in Canterbury and down 4% to $240,000 in Southland.

August saw three regions achieve record median prices with values up by 42.6% to $335,000 in Gisborne and up 24.2% to $615,000 in Tasman. In Manawatu/Wanganui prices increased 10.5% to $315,000. In Hawke’s Bay prices were up 9.9% to $445,000, an equal record with March 2018, and in Waikato up 9.4% to $525,000, an equal record with June 2018.

“Above average temperatures for New Zealand in the final month of winter has had a positive impact on the real estate industry with prices increasing in 14 out of 16 regions across the country,” says Bindi Norwell, REINZ chief executive.

“The middle of the North Island and top of the South Island continue to see strong prices achieved as low listing numbers continue to drive prices upwards in these popular areas.”

The index data also shows that the number of houses sold in New Zealand during August increased by 3.1% compared to the same time last year, while excluding Auckland, the number of properties sold increased by 5.6%. In Auckland, the number of properties sold decreased by 2.4%.

Regions with the biggest annual increase in sales volumes were Southland up 23.8%, Taranaki up 23.3%, Gisborne up 16.7%, and Waikato up 12.1%. The biggest fall in sales was in the West Coast with a decrease of 9.8% and Bay of Plenty down 6.2%.

“We’ve seen some mixed results this month in terms of volumes with 9 out of 16 regions seeing an increase in volumes year on year. However, those increases were enough to pull the national figure up with a 3.1% increase recorded across the whole country,’ Norwell adds.

“As we head into spring, we expect more listings to come to the market which will naturally result in more sales so we may expect the overall numbers to be even stronger in the coming months.”

The REINZ House Price Index for New Zealand, which measures the changing value of property in the market, increased 4.1% year on year to 2,723, a new record high for the country. The HPI for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased 8% from August 2017 to a new record high of 2,610.

The Auckland HPI increased 0.2% year on year to 2,860. For the second month in a row, the REINZ HPI again saw all 12 regions experience an increase over the past 12 months, highlighting the continued strength of the property market.

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