Median House Prices Rise in New Zealand


Median house prices have risen again in New Zealand with some regions reaching record highs but sales were down or flat, the latest index data shows.

Year on year median prices were up 11% in December 2016 to $516,000, just $4,000 below the record high set the previous month, according to the figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

On a seasonally adjusted basis the national median price was up 11.8% year on year. Outside Auckland, December saw a new record median price of $420,000 while in Auckland the median price rose 9.1% year on year to $840,000.

Wellington led five of the 12 regions to record high median prices and almost all regions have hit new record median prices in the past three months but nationwide sales fell 11% compared to December 2015.

The index also shows that the number of properties available for sale continues to decline nationwide, although the numbers are continuing to increase in the Auckland region. Compared to December 2015 the number of new listings fell 26% in Canterbury, 20% in Wellington and 13% in Waikato Bay of Plenty.

‘The underlying trends we are seeing are of rising prices across New Zealand, with all regions recording year on year increases in the median price. By contrast we are seeing flat or falling sales volumes in many areas of the country,’ said REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell.

‘In Auckland the long term median price trend has been consistently rising despite a slight easing compared to November 2016. The combination of fundamental factors, such as strong underlying population growth and a lack of supply in the market to meet Auckland’s growing population, suggests that we may be unlikely to see much change to the upward trend in prices unless these fundamentals change,’ Norwell pointed out.

Norwell added that Wellington experienced strong house price growth, as median prices in the region have risen nearly $100,000, or 22%, over the past year to hit a new record of $530,175, even with sales volumes rising since November. The next biggest price rise was in Nelson/Marlborough at 17% and Waikato/Bay of Plenty at 17%.

The number of days to sell increased by one day to 31 days for December 2016 compared to December 2015. Compared to November the number of days to sell fell by one day.

Otago had the fewest number of days to sell at 21 days followed by Nelson/Marlborough at 23 days and Wellington, Taranaki and Manawatu/Wanganui all at 26 days. Northland had the most number of days to sell at 36 days, while in Auckland the number of days to sell was 33 days.

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