Median house prices firmed slightly and sales volumes lifted across New Zealand during February as the market exited the holiday period, according to the latest figures released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), source of the most recent, complete and accurate real estate data in New Zealand.

Two of 12 regions in New Zealand hit new record high median sale prices in February 2017 (Northland and Otago), with the national median price rising to $495,000, up by $5,000 from January. This represents a 14.1% year-on-year rise on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The number of sales for February 2017 was 6,253, an increase of 45% on January, although on a seasonally adjusted basis sales for February 2017 fell 8.9% compared to February 2016.

In Auckland, median prices rose a seasonally adjusted +11% (6.7% median change) year-on-year, although the median price dropped $5,000 (-1%) during February. The median price rose an average of 10.6% over the past three months, versus 10.5% over the same period a year ago, indicating a very similar performance between the first three months of 2017 and 2016.

Auckland inventory has risen by 20% (1,562) over the past year, rising sharply over the past three months. Over the same period Auckland sales volumes were 8.9% lower on a seasonally adjusted basis. Auction sales dropped from 34.8% of sales in February 2016 to 29.3% in February 2017. Days to sell rose from 41 days to 43 days (against a 10-year average of 41).

REINZ CEO Bindi Norwell says: “We are seeing a mixed picture across New Zealand. Auckland is mixed: there is something in the market for buyers and sellers. For instance, although there are more houses on the market and median prices are rising on a seasonally adjusted basis year-on-year, sales volumes were down in February 9% year-on-year on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“We hear anecdotally that LVRs are having an effect and banks are reducing lending, becoming more selective about who they lend to, what properties they will lend on and the terms. Recent media has noted the lower level of cash incentives being offered by banks, and this ties in with the feedback agents across the country are hearing from their clients.”

Source: REINZ