House prices hit new high

Buying a property has just become more expensive than ever before with the average national asking price reaching a record high last month, according to new figures.

Data by showed the national average price was $447,200 in April - up from the previous high of $446,200 in November last year.

The new high was caused largely by all-time high asking prices in Auckland and Central Lakes/Otago combined with a low number of properties coming onto the market and houses selling faster, said marketing manager Paul McKenzie,.

Auckland's average asking price has reached $612,100 and in Central Lakes/Otago, the figure was $679,900 - up nearly $40,000 on the previous record.

The figures were part of a continuing growth pattern, said Mr McKenzie.

"While the asking price did reach a new high, a six per cent increase on the same time last year, it is only a half of a per cent increase on last month. Asking prices are trending upwards and look set to remain high through the winter months," he said.

Auckland's inventory - the number of properties on the market bought at the current rate - would have sold out within 14 weeks last month.

At the same time last year the figure was 20 weeks and the year before, 28.

Nationally, the inventory is 26.8, with new lows set in Canterbury and the central North Island as well as Auckland.

"Fourteen weeks is pretty low. It's been worsening [for buyers] the last few years because we haven't had the same amount of stock coming on."

Listings were down in 10 of the 19 regions last month and demand remain high, which was also having an impact, said Mr McKenzie.

"We are still seeing a reluctance to bring new properties to the market, this is creating an ever tightening market as demand is staying high, there simply aren't enough new properties on the market to slow things down."


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