Property sales in New Zealand surged by over 40% last month, latest data shows
Residential property sales in New Zealand increased by 42.5% in February compared to the previous month while prices were up 0.9% month on month.
The data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand also shows that sales are up 12.6% on February 2014 and the month saw the highest February sales level since 2007.
The national median price was $430,000 for February, an increase of $15,000 or 3.6% compared to February 2014 and an increase of $4,000 from January.
The surge in sales volumes in February compared to January was stronger than is normal, but this partly reflects a catch up after there were fewer sales than expected in January, according to REINZ chief executive Colleen Milne.
But it is Auckland that is leading the growth with a rise of 14% in median prices from $592,000 to $675,000. In effect there has been no increase in the median price for New Zealand, excluding Auckland, between February last year and February just gone.
‘This underlines again the view that there are two distinct real estate markets in New Zealand, Auckland and the rest of the country. While politicians and policy makers focus on solutions to the Auckland region’s housing supply problems, they will also be right to reflect on the need to ensure that any national application of new policies doesn’t have an adverse effect on the rest of the country,’ said Milne.
All regions recorded an increase in sales volume compared to January, with Waikato/Bay of Plenty recording the largest increase, of 61.8%, followed by Canterbury/Westland with 58.6% and Hawkes Bay with 54.3%.
In comparison with February 2014, nine regions recorded increases in sales volume, with Waikato/Bay of Plenty recording the largest, of 40.6%, followed by Otago with 21.8% and Northland with 17.1%.
Overall seven regions recording an increase in prices and but on a seasonally adjusted basis the national median house price eased 0.5% compared with January and rose 3.6% compared to February 2014.
Auckland recorded the largest percentage increase in median price compared to February 2014, at 14%, followed by Central Otago Lakes at 12% and Otago at 6.8%. Compared to January, Otago recorded the largest percentage increase in median price, at 7%, followed by Manawatu at 5.5% and Nelson/Marlborough at 3.4%.
The REINZ Stratified Housing Price Index, which adjusts for some of the variations in the mix that can affect the median price, is 6.1% higher than in February 2014, at 4,069.7. The Auckland Index rose 15.4% compared to February 2014, the Christchurch Index 6.1% and the Wellington Index was flat.
Homes took a median of 41 days to sell in February, one day less than for January and the same as for February 2014. Seven regions saw an improvement in the number of days to sell compared to January 2015, with Taranaki recording an improvement of 19 days, Otago 11, and Auckland and Northland two.
Otago recorded the shortest median days to sell in February, at 31, followed by Auckland at 32 and Canterbury/Westland at 36. Northland recorded the longest median days to sell, at 72, followed by Manawatu/Wanganui at 65 and Waikato/Bay of Plenty at 59. Over the past 10 years the median days to sell in February has averaged 45 across New Zealand.