NZ prices up year on year but down month on month, latest index shows

Residential property sales in New Zealand increase by 18.6% year on year in October but where down 4.1% compared to the previous month, according to the latest index figures.

The national median price was $460,000, up $30,000 or 7% on October 2014 and down 5.1% on September, the data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand shows.

Excluding the impact of the Auckland region, the national median price rose $28,500 to $370,000 compared to October 2014 to reach a new record high and rose 1.4% on September.

There was a new record national median price excluding Auckland of $370,000, up 8.4% compared to October 2014 and up 1.4% on September and new record median prices for Northland, Manawatu/Wanganui, Wellington and Nelson/Marlborough.

But the market paused in Auckland with a year on year rise of 16.8% with month on month median prices down by 3%.

The data also show that there was a 57% rise nationwide in the number of sales over $1 million year on year and a 47% rise in the number of properties sold by auction.

‘The drop in the number of sales in Auckland in October is the result of a softening of demand over the past few months and the new IRD and bank account rules introduced at the start of October,’ said REINZ chief executive Colleen Milne.

‘However, the fundamental supply and demand drivers of the Auckland market remain in place, and the result for October is indicative of the market adjustment phase as it adapts to these new requirements,’ she explained.

‘Elsewhere across the country we are seeing increasing demand and rising prices as buyers of all types emerge to take advantage of low interest rates. It is further evidence of the halo effect of Auckland based buyers searching for value in regional markets,’ she pointed out.

‘During winter and into early spring, the property markets in a number of regions have been far more active than would normally be expected, thus a slowdown or pause is not surprising following this burst of activity,’ she added.

Overall 10 regions recorded increased sales volumes compared to September, with Central Otago Lakes volumes growing 31%, followed by Southland with 21% and Canterbury/Westland, 15%. Compared to October 2014, all regions recorded increases in sales volume, with Waikato/Bay of Plenty recording the largest increase of 54%, followed by Hawke’s Bay with 52% and Central Otago Lakes with 50%.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the national median house price fell 5.5%, indicating that prices fell slightly more in October than would normally be expected at this time of year.

Northland, Manawatu/Wanganui, Wellington and Nelson/Marlborough all reached new record median prices in October. Northland recorded the largest percentage increase in median price compared to October 2014, at 18%, followed by Auckland at 17% and Taranaki at 12%.

Hawke’s Bay recorded the largest percentage increase in median price compared to September, with a 9% increase, followed by Northland with 7% and Nelson/Marlborough with 5%.