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House prices have risen in 14 out of 16 regions around the country in the past year, the exceptions being Auckland, down 1.5%, and Canterbury, down 3.3%.
While not hitting a record, Otago prices have risen 16% to $472,000, Queenstown Lakes values are up 14.5% at $985,000 and Central Otago has booked a 23.5% gain, hitting $575,000, according to Real Estate Institute of New Zealand data released yesterday.
Southland’s 3.8% gain was enough to propel it to a record median house price of $275,000.House numbers sold across the country increased 2.6% on a year ago, rising from 7102 to 7286.
"Recent dips in mortgage interest rates and easing of loan-to-value ratio restrictions from 2019 should further boost demand and support provincial markets," Ms Mundy said.
Dunedin’s Reinz regional commentator Liz Nidd said during November there were more unconditional buyers in multi-offer situations, which allowed them to secure properties.
"There are investors still in the market, but not in great numbers due to the higher house prices and uncertainty of incoming Government compliance [regulations]," Mrs Nidd said.
Several real estate agencies spoken to earlier in the month by the ODT reported it was common to have anywhere from five to seven offers on a house, the competition to secure a home underpinning prices that were higher then seller expectations.
Mrs Nidd said she was expecting the Dunedin market to slow going into Christmas.
In Queenstown, Reinz regional director Gail Hudson said banks appeared to have more funds to lend and were easing conditions for first-home buyers in the area.
She said investor interest in the area was down about 30% on a year ago, but first-home buyers were bolstering open-home numbers.
Prices would most likely remain stable as buyers had a set price in mind they were not willing to negotiate too far from at the moment, Mrs Hudson said.
Reinz chief executive Bindi Norwell said record median prices had been set in New Zealand in the past two months.
That had been driven by extremely strong growth in some of the regions, where demand for good properties continued to outstrip supply.
"Of those 14 regions [out of 16] experiencing annual increases, seven of them saw double-digit increases, showing the strength of the market," Ms Norwell said in a statement.
While the record median prices were a great "early Christmas present" for vendors selling their homes, it made "hard reading" for first-time buyers desperately saving to get into the property market, she said.
However, with KiwiBuild and lending models such as BNZ’s shared-ownership scheme, there was some light at the end of the tunnel for those feeling locked out of the property market, Ms Norwell said.