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House price records smashed across New Zealand


News Release 12 April 2016

House price records smashed across New Zealand as ‘Halo Effect’ grows

Record median house prices are being seen across multiple regions of New Zealand as the Auckland market shows its strength and pushes the Halo Effect of rising median prices across the country, according to the latest figures released today by REINZ, source of the most recent, complete and accurate real estate data in New Zealand.

Demonstrating that recent fears of the Auckland market cooling off were overstated, median prices across the city have rebounded and shot through $800k for the first time, to a new record high of $820,000.

Record median house prices have also been seen in Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough, Canterbury/Westland, and extraordinary growth in Central Otago Lakes.

Summary
9,527 dwellings sold in New Zealand in March 2016, up 30.7% on February and up 8.2% on March 2015. This is the highest number of sales in March since 2007.
On a seasonally adjusted basis the number of dwellings sold rose by 5.5% compared to February
National median price of $495,000, up $20,000 (+4.2%) on March 2015 and up 10.0% on February
New record national median prices across New Zealand, New Zealand excluding Auckland, Auckland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough, Canterbury/Westland and Central Otago Lakes
A 27% rise in the number of sales over $1 million between March 2016 and March 2015 – from 1,023 to 1,301
20,180 dwellings sold by auction in the 12 months to March 2016, representing 22.0% of all sales, an increase of 38% in the number sold by auction in the 12 months to March 2015
Excluding the impact of the Auckland region, the national median price rose $35,000 to $385,000 compared to March 2015.

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Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Chief Executive Colleen Milne says, “We have talked before about the Halo Effect, which is gaining in strength. Right across the country regional markets have been strong with a large number of record medians and the strongest sales for nine years for most regions, with the strongest March sales for 11 years in Waikato/Bay of Plenty and 14 years in Central Otago Lakes.

March demonstrates a noticeable surge in sales of higher priced properties, with the number of sales over $1 million increasing by over 90% compared to February. This is especially true in Auckland, where one in three properties that sell are valued at more than $1 million - a record 35% of the market.”

The surge in demand also shows in the number of days to sell, with the number of days to sell in March the lowest for Central Otago Lakes since 1994 and the lowest for most other regions between nine and thirteen years. Only Auckland and Southland did not see any major shift in the number of days to sell for March 2016.

The data demonstrates a generally robust real estate market across New Zealand, with Auckland appearing to overcome the changes to tax and LVRs introduced towards the end of last year and anecdotal evidence of surging investor demand in a number of regional markets.

Sales Volumes
There were 9,527 unconditional residential sales in February, an 8.2% increase on March 2015 and a 30.7% increase on February. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of sales rose 5.5% from February to March, although Easter reduced the number of trading days in March.

Sales volumes excluding Auckland were up 22.7% on March 2015 and up 19.0% on a seasonally adjusted basis. Otago, Northland, Manawatu/Wanganui, Wellington and Waikato/Bay of Plenty are all showing in excess of 25% annual sales growth. In contrast, Auckland saw the number of sales shrink by 12% compared to March 2015.

10 regions recorded increases in sales volumes compared to February. Compared to March 2015, 10 regions recorded increases in sales volume, with Otago & Northland recording the largest increases of 39%, followed by Manawatu/Wanganui with 33%.

Prices
The national median house price rose $20,000 (+4.2%) to $495,000 from March 2015 to March 2016. Compared to February the national median house price increased by $45,000 (+10.0%). Excluding the Auckland region, the national median price rose $35,000 (+10.0%) compared to March 2015. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the national median house price rose 3.4% compared to March 2015.

Auckland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough, Central Otago Lakes, New Zealand ex Auckland and New Zealand all reached new record median prices in March. Canterbury/Westland hit its record median for the third time after reaching it in April 2015 and January 2016. Central Otago Lakes recorded the largest percentage increase in median price compared to March 2015, at 26.5%, followed by Waikato/Bay of Plenty at 22.1% and Nelson/Marlborough at 15.2%. In comparison Auckland recorded the fourth largest increase in the median price at 13.9%. Central Otago Lakes also recorded the largest percentage increase in median price compared to February, with a 26.2% increase, followed by Auckland with a 9.3% increase and Otago with a 3.7% increase.

Auctions
There were 2,354 dwellings sold by auction nationally in March, representing 24.7% of all sales and an increase of 87 (+4%) on the number for March 2015. The 20,180 sales by auction in the 12 months to March 2016 represented 22.0% of all dwelling sales, compared to 19.1% (14,659 sales) for the year ending March 2015.

Transactions in Auckland represented 63% of national auction sales, a significant drop from the 78% of national auction sales in March 2015. In contrast, the number of auction sales in Waikato/Bay of Plenty has increased from 8.3% of national auction sales to 17.7% in March 2016. Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury/Westland, Central Otago Lakes and Otago all recorded a new record number of sales by auction in March.

Further Data
Across New Zealand the total value of residential sales, including sections, was $6.187 billion in March, compared to $5.381 billion in March 2015 and $4.232 billion in February. For the 12 months ended March 2016 the total value of residential sales was $55.207 billion. The breakdown of the value of properties sold in March 2016 compared to March 2015 is:

March 2016March 2015
$1 million plus1,30113.7%1,02311.6%
$600,000 to $999,9992,35424.7%2,12624.2%
$400,000 to $599,9992,34824.6%2,20425.0%
Under $400,0003,52437.0%3,45039.2%
All Properties Sold9,527100.0%6,898100.0%

----- ENDS -----

For more real estate information and market trends data, visit www.reinz.co.nz. For New Zealand's most comprehensive range of listings for residential, lifestyle, rural, commercial, investment and rental properties, visit www.realestate.co.nz - REINZ's official property directory website.
Editor’s Note:
The monthly REINZ residential sales reports remain the most recent, complete and accurate statistics on house prices and sales in New Zealand. They are based on actual sales reported by real estate agents. These sales are taken as of the date that a transaction becomes unconditional, up to 5:00pm on the last business day of the month. Other surveys of the residential property market are based on information from Territorial Authorities regarding settlement and the receipt of documents by the relevant Territorial Authority from a solicitor. As such, this information involves a lag of four to six weeks before the sale is recorded.

REINZ_Residential_Regional_Commentary__March_2016.pdf

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