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Property prices in New Zealand outside of Auckland reach new record


Property prices and sales in New Zealand increased in December with median home values, excluding Auckland, reaching a new record.

Sales were up 3.5% year on year but fell 9.1% compared with November, according to the latest index from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

The median prices of a home nationwide increased by 1.2% month on month and 3.3% year on year to $465,000, a rise of $15,000. Excluding Auckland the rise was 8%, taking the median to $379,000.

It is the fourth consecutive record median in 2015 and there was also a new record median prices also Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough and Otago.

In Auckland median prices increased by 13.6% year on year to $770,000, and increased by 0.7% month on month.

REINZ chief executive Colleen Milne pointed out that regional markets, particularly Northland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and Central Otago Lakes, are now setting the pace for the New Zealand real estate market, with Auckland, in a relative sense, now in the middle of the pack.

NZ house prices‘The decline in sales volume in Auckland, while noticeable, is likely transitory as the region gets to grips with the new LVR rules for investors, although the median price continues to firm,’ she said.

‘Over the past six months regional markets have demonstrated large declines in the levels of inventory, a significant decline in the number of days to sell, and noticeable increases in the median price, with a number of regions setting new median price records more than once over 2015,’ she added.

In addition, Wellington, Manawatu /Wanganui and Otago are also seeing positive movements in days to sell and median prices. ‘This breadth of the improvement across New Zealand suggests that there is more is at play than just an Auckland halo effect, although that has contributed in the northern regions,’ Milne explained.

Sales volumes excluding Auckland were down 8.1% from November but up 17.5% on December 2014. On a seasonally adjusted basis, Auckland’s sales volumes were up 8.3% compared to November, indicating that while the headline number showed a sharp drop in sales compared to November, after taking into account seasonal effects, sales were in fact stronger than would have been expected.

Northland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay continued to see the most robust sales growth. Aside from Auckland, Hawke’s Bay was the only region to record increased sales volumes compared to November, with volumes growing 0.4%.

Year on year nine regions recorded increases in sales volume, with Northland recording the largest increase of 39%, followed by Waikato/Bay of Plenty with 30% and Taranaki with 27%.