New record median prices were reported in Auckland and Canterbury/Westland last month, as the national median returned to its March high of $400,000, the latest Real Estate Institute figures show.
It said there were 6720 sales in September, up 18.9% on the same time last year and up 2.6% compared to August. The national median price increased $10,000 compared to August to return to March's record high. It was up $29,000 on September 2012.
Chief executive Helen O’Sullivan said: “Real estate sales volumes have been strong in the lead-up to the introduction of LVR restrictions by the Reserve Bank, with sales up over 19% compared to September last year.“
She said the sales volumes were higher than would normally be expected in September, and strong growth was happening in the regions. “Northland is experiencing a very strong uplift in its sales volume trend, with Taranaki and Nelson/Marlborough also showing positive trends in sales volume and price, although these three regions remain some way behind Auckland and Canterbury/Westland in terms of pure price movements. Waikato/Bay of Plenty is also seeing a noticeable uplift in sales volumes.”
But she said price rises were not evenly distributed across the country. “Auckland’s median price has increased by $120,000 (+26.7%) since the end of the previous price cycle in November 2007, and Canterbury/Westland’s median price has increased $61,000 (19.4%). However, for the rest of New Zealand combined, the median price has actually fallen $3000 (-1.1%) over the same time period.”
All but two regions recorded increases in sales volume compared to September last year, with Taranaki recording an increase of 50.8%, followed by Northland with 28.0% and Southland with 23.9%. Seven regions recorded an increase in sales volume in September compared to August, with Taranaki recording an increase of 15.3%, followed by Nelson/Marlborough with an increase of 10.8% and Southland with an increase of 10.7%.
The REINZ Stratified Housing Price Index, which adjusts for some of the variations in the mix that can impact on the median price, reached a new high in September and is 9.8% higher than September 2012. The Auckland Index has risen 17.5% compared to September 2012, with the Christchurch Index up 11.4% and the Wellington Index up 0.6%.
Houses took three days fewer to sell in September compared to August, improving from 34 days in August to 31 days in September; the shortest number of days to sell in September since 2006.