A lack of homes for sale is pushing up property prices in New Zealand, with the median value up by 5.7% in June compared with the same month in 2017.

According to the data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), the average value of a home stands at $460,000, with some regions recording price growth of up to  12.3%.

Wellington saw the largest increase, with prices soaring to $595,000, while Marlborough rose 11.4% to $440,000.  However, the number of properties sold across the country decreased by 1.6% and the REINZ index report says that this was the result of significant decreases in sales volumes in eight out of 16 regions and a 9.9% decrease in new property listings year on year.

The REINZ House Price Index for New Zealand, which measures the changing value of property in the market, increased 3.8% year on year to 2,706. The HPI for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased 6.7% from June 2017 to a new record high of 2,561. The Auckland HPI increased 0.9% year on year to 2,883 showing that despite the annual decrease in median price the market is still in a strong position.

The only region not to experience an increase was Canterbury, which experienced a decrease of 1.1% year-on-year. REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell says that the lack of housing supply ‘continues to put pressure on prices in the majority of regions across New Zealand’, with 12 out of 16 regions seeing a price increase since June last year.

“While the Auckland median has stabilised, we’re seeing an increase in the number of one and two bedroom houses sold and a decrease in the number of three bedroom houses as people look to downsize or get a foot on the Auckland property market,” she says. “First home buyers are still dominant at open homes, especially with properties under $700,000. When the price goes above that mark, attendee numbers drop, as some may not qualify for loans above that price.

“We are also seeing lower listing numbers, mostly due to seasonal effects. Well marketed, newly listed properties continue to get good attendance at open homes and are selling quite quickly. It also means that more vendors are choosing to go for a priced strategy as this can be an effective approach to gain interest from buyer.”

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