Otago has joined Auckland and Christchurch in booking record
median house prices for November, as market buoyancy shows
signs of spreading.
While median house prices are up, many values around the
country are flat or in slight decline.
Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens said housing
turnover nationally, underpinned by low interest rates and
improving household confidence, had picked up ''steadily''
during the past year, with house sales ''surging'' 18% during
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) data revealed
overall sales up 24% over the past year, with more than 7450
houses sold, worth $3.6 billion, during November.
''Demand continues to outstrip supply and is placing upward
pressure on house prices,'' Mr Stephens said in a statement.
For most of the past 18 months, Auckland and Canterbury had
led sales, but other regions were beginning to close the gap.
''And turnover is now rising in many regions of New Zealand,
although some pockets or weakness do remain,'' Mr Stephens
Agency Quotable Value data was released separately yesterday
showing the increase in values nationally continued to be
driven by Auckland and Canterbury, while around the rest of
the country values have been steady or increasing only
slightly over the past six months.
Nationally, values were up 1.9% over the past quarter, 5.7%
over the past year and 1.5% above the previous market peak of
Research director for QV Jonno Ingerson said outside Auckland
and Canterbury the property market remained subdued as buyers
were generally cautious, and there were few quality
properties on the market to choose from.
Dunedin house values remained ''stable'', up 1.2% during the
past three months and up 3.7% during the past year, with
Queenstown Lakes one of three regions in decline for the
quarter, down 0.4%.
The REINZ data said median November house prices reached new
highs in Auckland, at $540,000, in Otago, at $258,000, and
Canterbury/Westland, at $345,000.
A record national median sales price of $383,250 was posted
REINZ said all regions recorded increases in sales volume
compared with November last year, with Central Otago Lakes up
45.9%, followed by Otago up 38.7% and Auckland up 28.9%.
ASB economist Jane Turner said price increases in other areas
beyond Auckland and Christchurch were ''much more modest'',
but the trend suggested the housing market pick-up was
broadening to other regions of the country.