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New Zealand house prices have set a national price record of $562,000, up 5% or $27,000 annually, driven by strong growth in areas like Tasman, where prices shot up 16.2% to hit $600,000 for the first time.
But Auckland prices continue to fall, down 1.3% from $862,800 to $852,000 in the year to May, with volumes also down.
The Real Estate Institute data showed Northland sale prices up 6.7%, giving a median of $475,000, up from $445,000, and Tasman up 16.2% to $612,000 which REINZ said was the first time since records were kept that prices had gone over $600,000.
Bindi Norwell, REINZ chief executive, said: "The record price for New Zealand of $562,000 continues to highlight the buoyancy of the housing market across the country.
Of the 16 regions, 13 saw an annual price increase, five of which were double-digit increases showing that the demand for good property continues unabated.
Only three regions saw a year-on-year price decrease – Auckland, Gisborne and Southland.
"The record median price achieved in Tasman has seen the region skip both Wellington and the Bay of Plenty to become the second most expensive region in New Zealand in just a single month, highlighting just how popular the region continues to be – even as we head into winter.
It's staggering to think that a region of 51,000 people has more expensive property than a region of nearly 514,000* people."
But Auckland had reached what she called middle ground.
"This suggests that the standoff between buyers wanting a bargain and sellers wanting an unrealistic price is coming to an end," she said.
The number of houses sold in May rose 1.3%, from 7482 to 7578. But the number of properties sold in New Zealand excluding Auckland decreased 0.5% year-on-year to 5247, down from 5271 in May 2017.
The number of houses sold in Auckland increased 5.4% year-on-year, from 2211 in May 2017 to 2331 last month.
Regions with the largest increases in sales year-on-year were:
• Nelson – up 25.3% from 83 sales to 104
• The West Coast – up 20.9% from 43 to 52 – the highest sales count in 6 years
• Gisborne – up 15.8% from 57 to 66
• Hawke's Bay – up 12.5% from 248 to 279 - the highest sales count in 14 months.