REINZ figures show median house prices hitting new highs around the country as sales start to slow during winter

House prices show no sign of slowing down even though the number of sales is declining as the market heads into the winter selling season, according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

The REINZ’s median selling price hit new highs in five regions in June; Northland $360,000, Auckland $821,000, Waikato/Bay of Plenty $438,000, Otago $295,000 and Central Otago/Lakes $730,050.

However the national median price eased slightly, dropping to $500,000 from $506,000 in May. The REINZ recorded 7,864 residential sales throughout the country in June, which was down 13% compared to May but up 6% compared to June last year.

In the Wellington region the median price dropped from $465,000 in May to $455,000 in June and in Christchurch it dropped from $455,000 in May to $440,000 in June.

“Although the onset of winter means that June is generally a quieter month for the real estate market, there has been no let up in the rate of price increases across the country,” REINZ spokesperson Bryan Thomson said.

“Although there is much discussion about the housing market and increasing new build supply, the fact remains that the vast majority of supply comes from the sale of existing properties.

“The inventory data continues to show rapid declines in the volume of properties available for sale right across the country, with a number of regions such as Wellington and Hawke’s Bay recording very low levels of properties for sale.”

According to the REINZ data the number of homes sold for more than $1 million has increased by a third over the last 12 months, while the number of homes selling for less than $400,000 has declined by 6.1%.

Within the Auckland region the biggest price increase occurred in Outer Auckland, which covers Papakura and Pukekohe on Auckland’s southern flank, where the median price surged by 14.2% in a month, rising from $655,000 in May to $748,000 in June, up 29% compared to June last year.

The most expensive part of Auckland remains the North Shore, where the median price was $1,068,500 in June, up 3.7% compared to May and up 13.6% compared to June last year.

In an ASB Quickview note on the REINZ figures, ASB economist Kim Mundy said the continuing rise in house prices meant there was a risk the Reserve Bank might delay making further interest rate cuts.

“This increase in prices is likely to be of concern to the RBNZ, especially as the Auckland stratified house price is getting very close to hitting the $1 million mark,” she said.

“The RBNZ has been between a rock and hard place for some time now and June’s data do little to ease the pressure.

“We continue to expect the RBNZ to cut the OCR by 25 basis points in August, though there is a risk cuts get deferred until further macro-prudential policies are announced,” she said.

You can read the REINZ’s full regional report, with prices and sales details for all parts of the country, by clicking on the following link:

PDF iconREINZ Residential Regional Commentary – June 2016.pdf 

Median price – REINZ

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