Marlborough Property Investors' Association

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New record average house price: REINZ

New Zealand’s national average house price hit a new record in October, of $380,000.

Real Estate Institute chief executive Helen O’Sullivan said the spring surge in listings was still not enough to keep pace with buyer demand.

The average number of days to sell dropped to 32.

Sales volumes rose across the country in October but prices did not automatically follow.

O’Sullivan said: “The market is very much in two parts – the metropolitan regions of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch where prices are rising and the rest of the country where price trends are mixed.”

She said in Auckland most of the activity was around the central city, northern suburbs and eastern beaches.

“Buyer enthusiasm is less evident in South Auckland and the rural fringes north and south which is reflected in smaller increases in the median price and a longer time for sales to be achieved.”

There were 6640 unconditional residential sales in New Zealand in October, an increase of 1633 sales compared with the same time last year and an increase of 17.5% compared to September.  On a seasonally adjusted basis October’s sales were 5.7% higher than September and 24.7% higher than October last year.

The national median house price increased by $9,000 from $371,000 in September to $380,000 in October; an increase of 2.4%.

Auckland’s median house price moved up 2.9% compared to September to a new record median price of $530,000.  The national median house price is up 5.8% compared to October last year, while the Auckland median price is up 14.0% compared to October last year. 

All regions recorded increases in sales volume compared to October last year, with Central Otago Lakes recording an increase of 54.4%, followed by Northland with 52% and Hawkes Bay with 47.7%.  All regions recorded increases in sales volume in October compared to September, with Taranaki recording a 56.7% increase followed by Wellington with a 27.2% increase and Hawkes Bay with a 23.8% increase.

Demand for more expensive homes is rising much faster than the increase in prices or sales volumes.  In the past year, sales of houses in the $600,000-$ 1million band increased 73%, and in the Over $1 million band sales have increased by 96%.

For the month of October, Canterbury/Westland recorded the highest lift in prices for the month with an increase of 3.9%, followed by Auckland with 2.9%, and Otago with 2.1%.  Compared to October 2011, Auckland recorded the highest lift in prices with an increase of 14.0%, followed by Canterbury/Westland with 4.3% and Otago with 3.4%. 

The REINZ Stratified House Price Index, which adjusts for some of the variations in mix that can impact on the median price, is 6.9% higher than October 2011 and is at another record high.  The House Price Indices for Auckland and Wellington also set new record highs in October.