Median house prices hit record high in March

by Roxanne Libatique17 Apr 2020

Median house prices across New Zealand hit sky high before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country’s property market, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ)’s latest data.

The REINZ’s report found a 13.7% increase in median house prices in March to a new record high of $665,000, up from only $585,000 in the same month last year. March also saw 12 of 16 regions with double-digit annual median price increases, with Auckland’s prices having increased by 11% to a new record price of $950,000 compared to only $855,000 at the same time last year.

“March was an extremely buoyant month for residential property across the country. March marked four months in a row where every region in the country saw an annual increase in median prices,” Bindi Norwell, chief executive at REINZ, said.

“Before COVID-19 hit New Zealand’s shores, the property market was in a strong period of growth which now includes the Auckland market, which had five consecutive months of year-on-year growth, following two years of stable prices.”

Read more: Property market slowly seeing impact from coronavirus

Norwell explained that COVID-19’s impact on the NZ property market depends on several factors, including the duration of the lockdown, level of employment, consumer and business confidence levels, access to finance, and how long it would take for the economy to recover.

“Right now, in the Alert Level 4 lockdown period, people are still able to list their property for sale, but inspections can only be carried out online or via means such as virtual reality or ‘walk-through’ type tours,” she said.

“Going forward, we expect people will take a bit of a ‘wait and see’ approach when it comes to listing their property for sale. But those who have decided after four weeks of being locked in their ‘bubble’ that they don’t like their house anymore will be desperate for the chance to move, so there may be some great opportunities for those wanting to buy and sell in the coming months.”

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