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House prices rise, sales volumes ease

NEWS RELEASE 17 January 2017

House prices rise, sales volumes ease

Median house prices have risen and sales volumes have stayed flat or fallen across New Zealand in December 2016 when compared to December 2015, according to the latest figures released today by REINZ, source of the most recent, complete and accurate real estate data in New Zealand.

The national median sale price rose 11% year-on-year to $516,000, just $4,000 from its record high of $520,000 in November. On a seasonally adjusted basis the national median price firmed 11.8% year-on-year. Wellington led five of the 12 regions to record high median sale prices in December and almost all regions have hit new record median prices in the past three months. Outside Auckland, December saw a new record median price of $420,000.

The volume of sales for December 2016 was 6,533, a decline of 11% compared to December 2015. On a seasonally adjusted basis sales for December fell less than 1%, in line with expectations for this time of year.

In Auckland the median sale price rose 9.1% year-on-year to $840,000. Sales volumes across the region were 2% lower than November 2016 on a seasonally adjusted basis.Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Chief Executive Bindi Norwell says: “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.

“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.”

Median prices jump, continuing to be led by the regions

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%).

Wellington recorded 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%.

Days to sell falls further

The number of days to sell increased by one day to 31 days for December 2016 compared to December 2015. Compared to November the number of days to sell fell by one day.

Otago had the fewest number of days to sell at 21 days followed by Nelson/Marlborough at 23 days and Wellington, Taranaki and Manawatu/Wanganui all at 26 days. Northland had the most number of days to sell at 36 days, while in Auckland the number of days to sell was 33 days.

Auction sales steady

There were 1,152 dwellings sold by auction nationally in December, representing 18% of all sales and a decrease of 231 (-17%) on the number of auctions in December 2015.

Transactions in Auckland represented 50% of national auction sales, with the number of auctions in Waikato/Bay of Plenty representing 19% of national auction sales and the number of auctions in Canterbury-Westland representing 15% of national auction sales. These three regions represented 85% of auction sales in December 2016.

Million dollar homes show largest increase in volumes

Between December 2015 and December 2016, the number of homes sold for more than $1 million rose by 12% to 848 homes to equal almost 13% of all dwellings sold. The number of dwellings sold under $600,000 has declined by 884 between December 2015 and December 2016 compared to a fall of 780 for all dwellings.

For regional commentary and tables, please see the accompanying report.

- ENDS -

Full release with charts: REINZ_Residential_Press_Release__December_20161.pdf
Map: Map__December_2016.pdf
Commentary: REINZ_Residential_Regional_Commentary__December_2016.pdf

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