New Zealand saw the highest number of residential property sales for the month of December in three years, and prices rose in 15 out of 16 regions according to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).
Chief executive Bindi Norwell says the figures have marked a “solid end” to the decade, with the number of residential properties sold in December increasing from 5,596 to 6,285 compared to the previous year. For Auckland, the number of properties sold increased by 31.7% year on year, while high-performing regions outside of Auckland included the Bay of Plenty (+21.5%), Southland (+18.3%) and Northland (+17.3%).
The West Coast saw a notable dip in the number of properties sold (-43.5%), the lowest figure for the region since April 2017. However, Norwell says that the overall figures remain strong.
“The property market had a solid end to the decade with a 12.3% increase in the number of properties sold in December 2019 when compared to December 2018,” Norwell commented.
“That’s an additional 22 houses sold each day around the country in December, which is not an insignificant number.
“With insufficient properties on the market to satisfy buyer demand, it suggests that buyers are being more definitive when it comes to purchasing as they are aware of the need to move quickly on properties and areas with high demand. This is backed up by the decrease in the median number of days to sell which is at its lowest point for 3 years.”
Median house prices increased by 12.3% in December from $560,000 to $629,000, with record median prices being set in Northland, Manawatu/Wanganui, Taranaki, Tasman and Southland.
The West Coast was the only region to record a price drop, falling by -13.6% from $220,000 last December to $190,000 in December 2019.
“December saw 15 out of 16 regions with annual increases in the median house price and 5 regions with record median prices, reflecting the continued uplift in residential property prices that we’ve seen for a number of months now,” Norwell said.
“Looking at the Auckland region, Manukau City hit a new record median high of $900,000 in December, with Rodney District not far behind with a median of $890,000. North Shore City also saw a 7.1% annual uplift in median price, reaching $1,050,000 – the first time the median has been over the million-dollar mark in four months.”