NZ house prices set a new record, topping $600,000

Newstalk ZB, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 14 Nov 2019, 6:52PM
(Photo / 123RF)

NZ house prices set a new record, topping $600,000

Newstalk ZB, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 14 Nov 2019, 6:52PM

New Zealand house prices set a new annual record, up 8.2 per cent from a median $561,500 to $607,500.

Latest Real Estate Institute data showed that was the first time this country's house prices had gone above $600,000.

Auckland house prices rose by a median $7000 annually, from $861,000 a year ago to $868,000 last month which REINZ said was the highest median price for that city in 19 months.

Six areas with the fastest-rising prices annually where records were set are:
• Manawatu/Whanganui, up 20.9 per cent from $337,000 to $407,500;
• Hawke's Bay, up 16.3 per cent from $460,000 to $535,000;
• Otago, up 15.8 per cent from $475,000 to $550,000;
• Waikato, up 9.6 per cent from $$520,000 to $570,000;
• Northland up 9.4 per cent from $480,000 to $525,000;
• Bay of Plenty up 7.8 per cent from $575,000 to $620,000.

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said October was a strong month for record median prices and the new national record median.

Changes in median prices in October. Source / REINZ

"This is the highest number of regional record prices we've seen for the country in 23 months."

And she noted Auckland's lift: "Auckland City saw the highest median price in 28 months with a 4.6 per cent annual increase to $1,001,000, in part due to a 43 per cent increase in median price in the Waitemata and Gulf area."

But Auckland also suffered decreasing sales, down 5.5 per cent annually.

National sales volumes fell 4 per cent in October compared to a year ago. Norwell said it was unfair to compare October last year with last month due to the number of people aiming to sell their home before the foreign buyer ban came into effect at the end of October 2018.

"It's not surprising that the number of properties sold fell when compared to last year. When you add this to the fact that there are around 7800 fewer listings for the first 10 months of 2019 when compared to the same time last year, it's no wonder sales volumes are down," she said.

The REINZ House Price Index, which measures the changing value of property, rose 3.9 per cent year-on-year to 2863, a new record high.

In October the median number of days to sell a property nationally decreased by a day from 35 to 34 days when compared to October last year. This figure was down two days on last month's figure of 36 days, REINZ said.

Auctions were used in 15.5 per cent of all national sales last month, with 1052 properties selling via that method, in line with the same time last year.

National Inventory is falling: the total number of properties available for sale nationally fell 13.1 per cent in October to 22,313.

Last week Auckland's largest agency, Barfoot & Thompson, reported a lift in the number of new listings in October which it claimed set the scene for the Auckland residential housing market to be active.

Since March, a modest number of properties had been listed to the point where, by the start of October, numbers were at a two-year low. But the agency said it was now enjoying a 40 per cent listing number leap on the previous three months.

New listings with that agency jumped from 1204 in September to 1605 in October.

CoreLogic said last week the house sale market showed further signs of strengthening nationally in October with all main urban areas enjoying property value lifts.

The CoreLogic QV House Price Index showed that nationwide, average property values rose by 0.4 per cent last month.

"Housing market conditions are building momentum, following the tentative signs of growth witnessed last month," CoreLogic commentary on November 4 said.

Regionally, the standout performer from main centres remained Dunedin, up 2.7 per cent over the month to be up 6 per cent quarterly, the biggest jump in values in nearly 15 years.

Auckland's North Shore, previously the city's weakest value growth area, now led the region's recovery, with 1.5 per cent growth in the three months to the end of October, CoreLogic said.