Although sales fell and prices dropped over December, the median house price year on year keeps rising and Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) chief executive Bindi Norwell says this upward trend is unlikely to change soon.
“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.
“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.”
Although Auckland’s median house price fell 1.4% to $840,000 over December compared to November’s $868,000, the Auckland median price year-on-year rose 9.1%.
Sales volumes across the region were 2% lower than November 2016 on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest data from REINZ.
The findings are in line with conclusions made from realtor Barfoot & Thompson figures last week, which reported a drop in house sales across Auckland during December and fallen median prices.
"While prices definitely eased there was certainly no suggestion that current prices are under any great downward pressure and normal sales numbers are being achieved," managing director Peter Thompson said in a statement.
Almost all regions have hit new record median prices in the past three months but Wellington is standing apart from the rest of the country, recording the largest percentage increase in median price compared to December 2015, at 22%, followed by Nelson/Marlborough at 17% and Waikato/Bay of Plenty at 17%.
“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,” said REINZ’s Norwell.
The national median house price rose $51,000 (+11%) to $516,000 year-on-year, just shy of the record median price of $520,000 set in November 2016 (-1%).