March data shows 'mixed results' for the housing market, REINZ

by Ksenia Stepanova17 Apr 2018

The median house price in New Zealand has risen by 1.8% in March 2018, according to new data released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

Statistics showed that median price in New Zealand excluding Auckland increased by 6.2% year-on-year, and the regions of Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and Wellington achieved record prices.

The regions of Manawatu/Wanganui and Otago also saw strong increases.

In Auckland, prices fell by 2.2% year-on-year, albeit compared to March 2017 in which the region saw a record price of $900k; on a month-to-month basis, Auckland prices increased by 2.9%.

The REINZ House Price Index (HPI), which measures the changing value of property in the market, saw a record-high increase of 4.2%.

“Overall, March saw some mixed results,” says REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell. “We’ve seen a record price for New Zealand which was mostly driven by the growth in the regions, but on the other hand, we’ve seen the number of properties sold decrease by nearly 10% year-on-year.”

“When we looked into the detail, the Auckland decline was largely due to the mix of properties,” says Norwell. “More properties were sold in the $500-750k band, particularly in the Mount Eden area where there were a lot of apartment sales. This is great for first time buyers as there are more options at that lower end of the market, but it does tend to bring the overall median price down.”

Nonetheless, Norwell says the regions are expected to continue their steady growth and that the $1bn investment recently announced by Shane Jones will fire up their economy and infrastructure, bringing a slew of new jobs and opportunities. The Wellington region is also expected to do well given its positive net migration, a best-ever period of tourism and its status as one of New Zealand’s most liveable cities.

 “In terms of Auckland, the prices will probably stay quite stable,” Norwell went on. “The investor market has been impacted quite significantly with the number of regulations and policies that have been coming out- letting fees, negative gearing, etc. But overall the economy is in a really good place, and I think we’ll have continued stabilisation in Auckland.”


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